Here is one of my most favorite refreshing Asian summer salads…
Let me show you how to make Thai green papaya salad!
Packed with flavor and crunchy vegetables… You will love that fish sauce and lime juice marinade!
Have you every been to Thailand before?
Then you surely must have eaten this Thai green papaya salad up there!
If you leave that country without having eaten this classic, then you haven’t really been there… And I mean that. It would be like going to Brussels without having waffles.
Or visit Vietnam without trying their pho noodle soup!
The hubs and I visited Thailand a couple of years ago.
We stayed for about 2 months. And we loved every single day we were there. We mainly stayed in hotels so we had to eat out a lot. Not that we minded.
The food was always excellent, and cheap as well.
We would always look for street food specials. Like this green papaya salad or som tum. We have eaten tons of this stuff. Never had a bad one though.
And it is normal, because if you look at the ingredients you need.
Together with the fact that you can get the freshest produce everywhere.
There is really no room for error.
Easy Thai green papaya salad (Som Tum)
But I have to agree with you that green papaya is not easy to find outside of Asia.
I am lucky though to have an Asian supermarket by the name of Sun Wah (near Central station) quite close to our home in Antwerp where they sell fresh Thai vegetables and herbs.
However Thai green papaya isn’t always available there.
In that case you can also prepare this salad with green mango. Which is again not always on sale at the Asian supermarket.
Check my recipe for a classic Thai dessert: mango with sticky rice!
If I can’t find green papaya or mango, then I usually use another more easier substitute for green papaya would be shredded white cabbage. Of course it doesn’t taste the same, it is only a substitute.
But I like the crunch of the cabbage in this salad!
Do you like Asian flavors?
Then you should check out this article I wrote about cooking Thai!
Last week I also made another classic Thai dish: ground pork with stink beans, what a delicacy!
Again an ingredient that is not easy to find, but when you do: buy it!
Let’s move on to our green papaya recipe here…
Thai Green Papaya Salad
Prep time: 20 min
Cook time: 30 min
Servings: 2 persons
1 medium green papaya
a handful fresh carrot grated
3 green beans sliced into bite-size pieces
4 cherry tomatoes cut in half
1 medium garlic clove
1 red chili or to taste
2 tbsp brown sugar or palm sugar
2 tbsp fish sauce
4 tbsp lime juice
2 tbsp peanuts, crushed
a handful fresh cilantro
- Transfer the peeled garlic clove and red chili to a pestle and pound into a smooth paste. Add the fish sauce, 2 tablespoons of water, the palm (or brown) sugar and the lime juice.
- Pound and mix into a smooth mixture until the sugar has dissolved. Then put this aside until needed later. Peel the green papaya using a sharp knife and grate it finely. Discard the seed in the centre.
- Transfer the grated papaya together with the grated carrot to a large mixing bowl. Then add the sliced green beans and cherry tomatoes.
- Drizzle with the garlic mixture from the pestle.
- Stir well. Add the peanuts and fresh cilantro.
- Stir well again. Then check the seasoning and and add extra lime juice of fish sauce to taste if necessary. Transfer the green papaya salad onto plates.
- Serve at room temperature.
How about you?
Have you ever tasted this green papaya salad before?
Would you buy one next time you visit an Asian supermarket?
Let us know in the comments below!
We’d love to hear from you!