Green papaya salad (Som tum)

Thai green papaya salad, also known as som tum, is the most requested of all my recipes. There are many versions of it, however most of my papaya salads feature fermented fish or crabs, the latter being the Isan version. The simplest version of som tum is “som tum Thai” which is popular in the central region of Thailand and among foreigners.

When Thai people make som tum or cook we rarely measure the ingredients, but this time I have added ingredient measurements for your guidance. Please remember to have a taste before and adjust as you prefer.

Let’s talk about some ingredients.

Green papaya: prepare by peeling the skin and shredding it using a shredder or sharp knife. To get it crunchy after shredding put it in a plastic bag and put in the fridge or in an ice bucket. Some vegetables that can substitute for green papaya are carrot, swedes (Rutabaga)or Kohlrabi.

Palm sugar syrup: I made this by boiling 2 parts of palm sugar with 1 part of water and leaving it to cool down. You can use normal palm sugar as well but I think the syrup gives more liquidity to the salad.

Dried shrimp : find a good grade that is large and meaty if you can.


100g Shredded green papaya (I mixed it with shredded carrot for greater coulor)

8-10 Chilli or as your prefer

1 clove garlic

1/4 cup Snake beans or green beans

1/2 cup sliced tomatoes (Mini Roma or cherry tomatoes)

2 tbsp Fish sauce

2 tbsp Palm sugar syrup

2 tbsp lime juice

2 tbsp Dried Shrimps

1/4 cup Roasted peanuts


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