Green Papaya Salad – Som Tum

Sweet, tangy, spicy salad. Needs a few ingredients probably not in a normal cupboard, but when you’ve got them it is time to chow down like Thai Royalty/ anyone in Thailand as it is one of their most popular dishes.




  • 3 cloves of garlic
  • Pinch of salt
  • 2-5 Bird’s eye chillies – to taste (recommend about 3 or 4)
  • 1 heaped tablespoon of roasted peanuts
  • 2 tablespoons of dried prawns, or teaspoon of shrimp paste
  • 1 ½ tablespoon of lime juice
  • 4 cherry tomatoes (quartered)
  • 2 Green beans
  • 1 cup of shredded green papaya (use a cheese grater for expert grating)
  • 2 tablespoons of palm sugar
  • 1-2 tablespoons fish sauce
  • 1 tablespoon tamarind water (not essential)


In a pestle and mortar add the peeled garlic cloves, a pinch of salt and the chopped and de-seeded chillies. Smash these guys up till they have started to become a paste that even the devil would think twice about before using as eye-cream (i.e. looks spicy and garlicy).

Next add in the peanuts, half a tablespoon of lime juice, and the prawns (or shrimp paste if you are using that). Again smash these up with the pestle. This doesn’t need to be made into a paste, it is quite nice having the peanuts in chunks to add a bit of crunch to the salad. Everyone has their own preference of crunch so break these up as much or as little as you like, it is more important that everything is mixed together.

If you are a big crunch nut fan, just mix the stuff together with the occasional pestling. However, if all your teeth have fallen out I suggest making this into a full paste. Don’t want your gums getting all cut as the lime juice would really sting.


Once you’ve got a nice thick paste going on, add in the palm sugar, fish sauce, the rest of the lime juice, and the tamarind water (if you are using tamarind water, use a little less lime juice) and the quartered cherry tomatoes and mix together, half crushing the tomatoes.

Finally we can add this sloppy mess to its best friend, the shredded green papaya. Mix these two together so they are fully integrated. Finally have a taste of the salad. If it’s too salty add some more palm sugar (this stuff is so tasty you could probably eat it on its own), if its too sweet add some more fish sauce.



Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>
Subscribe to Blog via Email

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Powered by keepvid themefull earn money