Thai Papaya Salad (Som Tam)

Back to my roots!

I am so excited to share the recipe of the Thai Papaya Salad with you guys, because this is my number one favorite Thai streetfood! It’s sweet, sour and spicy, a true explosion of flavors. I won’t be able to beat my Thai auntie’s papaya salad, but I reckon I’m getting pretty close😁 Anyone else who has been to Thailand? If so, let me know in the comment about your favorite Thai streetfood and let me know how close this one is to the Som Tam you’ve tried!

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Gotta love those Dutchies though!

Big shout out to my extremely generous neighbor, Bert (who happens to be Dutch as well!), who’s my generous donator when it comes to  green papayas, chillies and whatever else he’s growing that time in his yard! With a massive yard with all different kinds of fruit trees and veggie plants, Bert must be the Foodie And The Feast‘s biggest sponsor! In return, I make Dutch recipes for him and his favorite: Bami Goreng. (Indonesian Fried Noodles)
You‘d be shocked how hard to find green papayas in the shops, so if it wasn‘t for him, I would have a very ‘Papaya Salad-less‘ life.

And what is my partner supposed to make me whenever I have a bad day if it wasn’t for Bert? Unlike probably most women who settle for chocolate on off-days, a plate of papaya salad will always make my day better! Feel free to share whatever dish is your ultimate comfort food😊

Let‘s go to the recipe

Picture does not show the right proportions

For a big bowl of Papaya Salad, we‘ll need:

  • Green papaya
  • Big carrot
  • Cherry Tomatoes
  • Green beans
  • Lime
  • Chillies
  • Garlic
  • Peanuts
  • Dried shrimp
  • Tamarind sauce
  • Palm sugar
  • Fish sauce
  • Maggi Seasoning

Above are the ingredients that we‘re going to use. Let‘s pretend I put the carrot, palm sugar and garlic on there too. I just started this blog and I am still getting used to grabbing all the ingredients before I start cooking, so I can make pictures of it. Practice makes perfect right?😂

Be careful with the chillies

As shown in the picture used quite some birdseye chillies, because these ones are only small, but if you use the ones out of the grocerie store, I suggest to use 2, but that depends on your ‘heat‘ tolerance. If you‘re a beginner, 2 chillies will be you enough to give you a sting, while you can still taste the rest of the dish😉

Chop chop

The first thing we do is cut everything up. It‘s the longest process of this dish, but it will be worth it, I promise!
You can choose to use the grater for this, but I do it the traditional Thai way, because I reckon it somehow tastes better. It goes by peeling the skin off first and whacking your knife multiple times in the papaya (same goes for the carrot) and then ‘shave‘ it off. As you can see, I always make a big mess. If you have suggestions to get the same shape and make less of a mess, please don‘t be shy and let me know!!

This is only my cutting board. The rest of the kitchen bench is covered in papaya too!

I cut the tomatoes in half, juice half the lime and cut the other half in wedges and the beans in +/- 1 inch pieces. I crush the garlic, chillies and the peanuts (separately) roughly in a mortar and pestle.

Sauce and mix

Originally, this dish is made in a huge mortar and pestle, but I can‘t find it here, so I use a big bowl and start off with making the sauce. It will be very strong in flavor, but remember that it will all spread out and you don‘t have to drink it as a shot😉. When you‘re happy with the sauce you add all the ingredients and start mixing it together.

Keep some peanuts aside for garnish and I hope you enjoy this dish just as much as I do!

Bon Appetit, eet smakelijk and enjoy your dinner!

Thai Papaya Salad (Som Tam)

Traditional Thai streetfood with fresh green papaya. The tangy, spicy and sweet flavours make this a delight on hot summer days
Prep Time 1 hour
Cuisine Thai
Servings 4 people


  • 1 Mortar and pestle


  • 1 Green papaya grated
  • 1 Big carrot grated
  • 150 grams Green beans chopped
  • 200 grams Cherry tomatoes cut in half
  • 3 tbsp Dried shrimp
  • 1 cup peanuts coarsely chopped
  • 1/2 Lime cut in wedges

For the sauce:

  • 2 Birdseye chillies (more or less to taste)
  • 3 cloves of Garlic
  • 1/2 Lime juiced
  • 3 tbsp Tamarind paste
  • 3 tbsp Fish sauce
  • 1 1/2 tbsp Maggi seasoning
  • 4 tbsp Palm sugar


  • Mash the chillies and garlic in the mortar and pestle
  • Mix all the ingredients for the sauce in a big bowl
  • Add the rest of the ingredients and toss together
  • Garnish with chopped/crushed peanuts
Keyword asian food, healthy dinner ideas, healthy thai food, healthy thai recipes, som tam, som tam recipe, summer recipes, summer recipes dinner, thai dinner recipes, thai papaya salad, thai paw paw salad, Thai recipes authentic, thai recipes with tamarind paste, thai salad papaya, thai salad recipes, thai salads, traditional thai food

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