A side shot of Thai green papaya salad
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5 from 2 votes

Thai Green Papaya Salad | Som Tum

Thai Green Papaya Salad, also known as Som Tum or Som Tam, is a crisp, refreshing salad, with a medley of various flavors like spicy, sour, salt etc. The use of peanuts gives it an extra crunch. 
Prep Time15 mins
Course: Salad
Cuisine: Thai
Servings: 4
Author: Sonal Solanki | Eat More Art


  • 1 Green papaya (unripe), medium sized
  • 8-10 Green beans
  • 1-2 Tomatoes
  • 4-5 Thai green and red chilies (other chilies in case you don't have Thai variety)
  • 6 tablespoons Peanuts
  • 4 tablespoons Tamarind juice
  • 2 teaspoons Lemon juice
  • 1/2-1 teaspoon Salt (per taste)
  • 2 teaspoons Soya sauce (optional)
  • 1-2 teaspoon Honey/sugar
  • 1 clove Garlic


  • Shred the green papaya. Immediately give it an ice-bath. Before giving an ice-bath, if you do want to blanch the papaya, you may. I did not blanch it. Both ice-bath and blanching processes are stated in the notes section.  
  • Blanch green beans, and give it an ice bath. Chop it into 1-2 inch pieces. 
  • Slit the green chilies, remove seeds. Using green chilies is optional. Dice tomatoes, remove the pulp and seeds.
  • In a mortar and pestle lightly pound garlic, chillies, add tamarind juice, honey/sugar, salt, soy sauce (optional).  Add green beans tomatoes, shredded papaya, lemon juice, some chopped peanuts.  Lightly pound again such that the salad is mixed and the veggies are lightly bruised. 

    Traditionally a mortar and pestle is used for this, but if you don't have it handy, you may use a bowl and a spoon.
  • Serve it on a plate, top it with remaining crushed peanutsEnjoy.


To blanch: To blanch either green papaya or green beans or any other vegetable, heat water, add a pinch of baking soda (optional) in case of green vegetables. Once the water comes to a boil, add the vegetable (shredded green papaya or green beans in this case), remove it from water after 2 minutes.
To give ice-bath: Immediately after blanching the veggies, put them in ice cold water, until these cool down.  Drain out all the water.  The process of putting it in ice cold water is called ice-bath.   
Baking soda helps retain the bright green color of the green vegetables, and ice-bath helps in keeping the vegetable crisp, as well as maintaining the bright green color of the vegetable.