Easy Vegan Papaya Salad

Thai papaya salad

Rick Poon / Getty Images

Prep: 15 mins
Cook: 0 mins
Total: 15 mins
Servings: 2 to 3 servings
Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
136 Calories
4g Fat
25g Carbs
4g Protein
See Full Nutritional Guidelines Hide Full Nutritional Guidelines
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 2 to 3
Amount per serving
Calories 136
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 4g 5%
Saturated Fat 1g 3%
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 828mg 36%
Total Carbohydrate 25g 9%
Dietary Fiber 5g 17%
Total Sugars 16g
Protein 4g
Vitamin C 89mg 445%
Calcium 63mg 5%
Iron 1mg 6%
Potassium 485mg 10%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

Thai papaya salad, also called som tum or som tam, is a fun and spicy side dish. Although in Thai cuisine, papaya salad is a pescetarian dish usually made with fish sauce and shrimp, this vegan som tum recipe has plenty of flavor as well. It uses soy sauce instead of fish sauce, and you won't miss the shrimp with all the other fantastically textured ingredients, including green beans, cherry tomatoes, and roasted peanuts for some crunch. 

Westerners usually think of papaya as a soft, ripe and orangey colored tropical fruit, but this dish is made with unripened green papaya, which is firm, green on the outside and pale yellow on the inside. You may need to stop by an Asian grocer in order to find green papaya, but don't try making this recipe with ripe papaya; it won't work.


  • 2 cups grated firm green papaya

  • 1/4 cup coarsely chopped green beans

  • 1/4 cup grated carrots

  • 1/4 cup shredded cabbage

  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce

  • 8 to 10 cherry tomatoes, halved

  • 2 cloves garlic, minced

  • 1 or 2 small Thai green or red chilis, minced

  • 1 teaspoon lemon or lime juice

  • 1 teaspoon raw sugar, or 1 teaspoon agave nectar

  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

  • 2 tablespoons roasted peanuts

  • 2 cups shredded lettuce

Steps to Make It

  1. Combine all ingredients, except peanuts and toss well. Mash together with a mortar and pestle, if possible. Chill for at least 2 hours if you have the time. 

  2. Add peanuts and serve cold on a bed of lettuce if you'd like.