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Som Tam (Thai Papaya Salad)

Som Tam (Thai Papaya Salad)
Som Tam (Thai Papaya Salad)

Som tam is a famous Thai fresh salad recipe that originated in Isaan – North Eastern Thailand. This salad is traditionally made with the use of a mortar and pestle. The pounding process brings out the flavors of all the ingredients.

If you are a legit Thai food fan, you probably encountered this dish before.
This dish is almost a “national dish” in their country because you can literally find it anywhere (according to locals).

Hope you can try this healthy, delicious and very colorful Thai salad. Happy cooking and enjoy!

Som Tam (Thai Papaya Salad)


  • 1 medium green papaya, julienned
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 2 cherry tomatoes
  • 2-4 Thai chillies/Red chillies (Adjust to your spice level)
  • 2 tablespoons roasted peanuts (any nuts)
  • 1 tablespoon patis/ fish sauce (or use light soy sauce if no patis)
  • 1-2 tablespoon palm sugar (can also substitute brown sugar)
  • 1 fresh lime (substitute with calamansi, or lemon, or light vinegar)
  • 1 tablespoon of dried shrimp (optional)
  • To garnish: (optional)
  • 2 pcs Sitaw, slice in 2″ size (Long-beans or green beans)
  • ¼ Cabbage (repolyo)
  • Thai sweet basil


  1. Peel and grate raw papaya in julienned style. (You may use vegetable peeler or grater)
  2. In a mortar and pestle, pound nuts, chili, garlic, sugar and patis together to release the flavor.
  3. Add the tomatoes and julienned papaya. Lightly mash them all to meld the juices together. (This is how it is done in Thai cooking. But if your mortar is too small, transfer into a mixing bowl, and just mash papaya using spoon).
  4. Add the freshly squeezed lime juice. Mix them well together.
  5. Slice the sitaw (green beans) into 1″ size and chop the cabbage into bite size pieces. Garnish on the side upon serving and top with fresh Thai basil if available.
    6. Sprinkle with more grounded nuts if preferred. Serve and enjoy!

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