|Nutrition Facts (per serving)|
|Amount per serving|
|% Daily Value*|
|Total Fat 8g||10%|
|Saturated Fat 1g||3%|
|Total Carbohydrate 29g||11%|
|Dietary Fiber 7g||25%|
|Total Sugars 18g|
|Vitamin C 58mg||291%|
|*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.|
Som Tam is a popular Thai salad featuring green papaya and a spicy chile pepper dressing. The multitude of flavors from this salad explode in your mouth—sweet, tart, crunchy, and a touch of spiciness—the perfect side dish or a light entree.
Traditionally, Som Tam is pounded with a mortar and pestle, which can be fun at times. However, it's also messy and a lot of work. To make this tasty green papaya salad much easier to toss together, simply turn to your handy food processor or chopper. This Thai recipe was adapted for that modern convenience and there is very little difference in the taste.
Top it with shrimp or chicken for a full meal or eat it with sticky rice as is frequently done in Thailand.
Click Play to See This Green Papaya Salad (Som Tam Thai) Recipe Come Together
"Spicy, cooling, crunchy, tangy, sweet Som Tam or Thai Green Papaya Salad is an exciting way to try familiar ingredients like papaya in new ways (using it unripened). This Thai salad hits all flavor notes with just the right amount of heat." —Diana Andrews
1 small papaya (green, unripe, about 2 pounds)
1 medium clove garlic, minced
1 small red chile pepper, such as Thai bird, seeded and finely chopped
2 tablespoons fish sauce, or soy sauce
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
3 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice
2 tablespoons brown sugar
5 large green beans
1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
2 cups bean sprouts
1/4 cup coarsely chopped Thai or Italian basil, for garnish
1/2 cup roasted peanuts or cashews, for garnish
1/2 teaspoon granulated sugar, optional
3 medium scallions, thinly sliced lengthwise
Sticky rice for serving, optional
Steps to Make It
Gather the ingredients.
Peel the green papaya.
Using the largest grater you have (such as one for scalloped potatoes), grate the green fruit, rotating it as you go to avoid hitting the inner seeds.
If you don't have a grater, try a method used in Thailand: First, deeply score the flesh using a large, sharp knife.
Then, run your knife just under the surface to release the shreds.
In a small food chopper or processor, add the garlic, chile pepper, fish sauce, oil, lime juice, and brown sugar. Process until the liquid turns reddish from the chile. Set this salad dressing aside.
Alternatively, pound the garlic and chile into a fine paste with a mortar and pestle or with the back of a knife. Transfer to a small bowl, add the fish sauce, oil, lime juice, and brown sugar, and whisk to combine.
Slice the green beans into segments and add them to the chopper or processor. Pulse to lightly chop and bruise the beans. In Thailand, the beans are pounded to bruise them, but this method works just as well.
Place the shredded papaya, cherry tomatoes, and bean sprouts in a large salad bowl. Add most of the basil, holding back some to be used as a garnish. Add the chile dressing and beans and toss.
Add most of the peanuts, holding some back to be used for garnish, and toss again.
Test for taste and adjust the salad's flavor as desired. If you'd like a more intense flavor or extra saltiness, add an extra splash of fish or soy sauce. More chile can be added to make it spicier. If it's too sour, sprinkle a little white sugar over your salad and toss to mix (the sugar will melt in a minute or two).
Garnish with the scallions, and the remaining basil and peanuts.
Serve your salad as is or as a side dish to any Thai entree. If this is your main course, try serving it with a side of sticky rice like they do in Thailand.
- You can find green (unripe) papaya in Southeast Asian markets.
- Although raw green beans are part of this dish, some people find them hard to digest. Feel free to skip those if you like.