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Papaya salad

Thai Papaya Salad or Som Tum

The papaya is traditionally pounded with a pestle and mortar, and this is where the term ‘pok pok’ comes from.
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Prep Time 40 mins
Cook Time 0 mins
Total Time 40 mins
Course Appetisers & Starters, Salad, Side dishes
Cuisine Thai
Servings 8 people
Calories 84 kcal

EQUIPMENT (click pictures for details)

Mortar and pestle
Vegetable peeler



  • Roast the unsalted peanuts in the oven at 160°C. Cool them and crush them roughly.
    crushing peanuts

Prepare the vegetables

  • Wash and peel all vegetables
    peel papaya
  • Cut the green papaya and the carrots to julienne.
    cut papaya to julienne
  • Cut the snake beans to 4-5 cm sticks and halve the tomatoes.
    cut all vegetables to julienne
  • Chop the garlic cloves and the Thai red chili birds.
  • Squeeze 3 limes and reserve the juice for the dressing, then cut another one into quarters for garnish.

Prepare the dressing

  • Pound the garlic, chilies and quartered lime in a bowl.
    pound chiliwith garlic and lemon
  • Add the lime juice, palm sugar, fish sauce and the tamarind juice. Stir well with your spoon and adjust to taste.
    add palm sugar and other ingredients
  • Add the ⅓ of the julienned green papaya, the carrots and pound to bruise the vegetables into the dressing.
    add julienned papaya to sauce
  • Add the remaining green papaya, tomatoes, green beans, peanuts and mix well.
    Papaya salad
  • Serve the salad in a bowl and garnish with the white cabbage, cucumber and fresh coriander leaves.
    Papaya salad


  • Palm or coconut block sugar is the best for Asian recipes. Melt the sugar blocks with a small amount of water to make a thick syrup and store in the refrigerator.
  • The palm sugar has a lower glycaemic index and is considered healthier than sugar cane.
  • Tamarind is a remarkable ingredient, as sour as lemon and as sweet as dates. It is the fruit pod of a tree, native to Asia and northern Africa.

Nutrition for 1 portion

Calories: 84kcalCarbohydrates: 13gProtein: 3gFat: 3gSodium: 564mgFiber: 2gSugar: 7gVitamin A: 5460IUVitamin C: 9mgCalcium: 31mgIron: 1mg
Keyword papaya, som tum, spicy
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