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Ready to eat Thai Papaya salad

Som Tam

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  • Author: Noreen
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: 4 people 1x


Som Tam with peanuts, roasted (or raw for you to roast yourself) and crushed.


  • 5 small Thai chili peppers (both green and red for nicer presentation)
  • 3 cloves of garlic, chopped
  • 1 1-inch piece of ginger, chopped
  • ½ cup green string beans, trimmed of ends and cut in ½ inch pieces
  • 1 handful cherry tomatoes
  • ¼ cup of peanuts, roasted (or raw for you to roast yourself) and crushed
  • 1 tablespoon coconut sugar
  • 1 tablespoon fish sauce (on Amazon)
  • 1 teaspoon of dried shrimp (on Amazon)
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • 1 green unripe papaya, whole
  • 1 handful fresh Thai basil, coarsely chopped
  • 1 handful fresh mint leaves, coarsely chopped (optional)


Stage 1 – Create Your Som Tam Sauce

  1. In a large bowl or mortar and pestle, add your garlic, Thai chiles and ginger together. Pound together as the ingredients combine and mix together
  2. Next, add the dried shrimp (on Amazon), fish sauce (on Amazon) and lime juice. Continue to pound everything together to combine all the flavors
  3. Add the coconut sugar and pound to mix and dissolve into the sauce

Stage 2 – Hack Your Papaya

  1. Start by peeling away the outer layer of the papaya
  2. Next, with the papaya firmly in one hand and either a cleaver or a chef’s knife in another, begin to hack at the papaya in small, repeated chops. Continue to chop around the entire papaya
  3. Once you’ve cut into the papaya, take your cleaver/knive and cut longways down the sides of the papaya. The matchsticks you’ve just hacked should now easily fall off and apart as you move your knife down the papaya. Continue until you’ve cut around the whole papaya

Stage 3 – Finish the Som Tam

  1. With the base of your som tam sauce complete, add your tomatoes, roasted peanuts and green beans to the bowl of sauce. Pound together to integrate the sauce into these ingredients well
  2. Finally, add your papaya and pound as well. Your som tam is finished once you’ve distributed the sauce throughout and coated your papaya well in the sauce.
  3. Add some fresh basil or mint on top or on the side of your som tam, and enjoy!
  • Prep Time: 10 mins
  • Cook Time: 20 mins
  • Category: Appetizers
  • Cuisine: Thai