Somtam – Green Papaya Salad

I have been wanting to make this Green Papaya Salad, finally Andita and Atu gave me the papaya last Saturday, It’s not easy to buy it here in my town, they sold out so fast. I didn’t have the mortel but it’s ok, you can make it without 🙂

Recipe taken from hot thai kitchen



  • 1 1/2 cups julienned green papaya, soak in ice water for 10-15 minutes until they are firmer
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • Thai chilies, to taste 
  • 1 1/2tbsp palm sugar, finely chopped, packed
  • 2–3 long beans, cut into 2-inch pieces
  • 3tbsp roasted peanuts (see note)
  • 1tbsp small dried shrimp, roughly chop if you have large ones
  • 2tbsp fresh lime juice (see note)
  • 2tsp tamarind juice 
  • 1 1/2tbsp fish sauce
  • 1/2 cup grape tomato halves or a small tomato cut into wedges


  • Drain the soaked papaya well and place in a bowl lined with 2 layers of paper towel to absorb excess water. You want to have as little water on the papaya as possible so as to not dilute the dressing.
  • In a large mortar and pestle, pound garlic and chilies until there are no more big chunks (pieces of chili skin are fine).
  • Add palm sugar and mash with the pestle until it turns into a wet paste and all the chunks are dissolved.
  • Add long beans and pound just until they’re broken.
  • Add dried shrimp and peanuts and pound to break the peanuts up slightly.
  • Add fish sauce, tamarind juice, and lime juice, adding the squeezed lime skin into the mortar as well for extra lime fragrance. Stir with a large spoon to mix and dissolve the sugar.
  • Add shredded papaya and tomatoes, and mix. Once everything looks well mixed and the tomatoes are just slightly crushed, it’s done!
  • Plate and sprinkle with the remaining peanuts

If you have a small mortar and pestle:

  • Follow instructions above in your small mortar, and stop before adding the papaya and tomatoes.
  • Transfer the dressing into a large mixing bowl, then add the papaya and tomatoes and toss, pushing on the tomatoes slightly to bruise and release a bit of the juice.
  • Plate and sprinkle with the remaining peanuts.

If you don’t have any mortar and pestle: 

  • Finely mince or grate the garlic and finely mince the chilies and add them to a mixing bowl.
  • Put finely chopped palm sugar in a small bowl and drizzle a little hot water on it and mash it into a paste with a fork.
  • Add fish sauce, lime juice and tamarind and stir until the sugar is dissolved and add to the garlic and chilies. Stir everything around to infuse the garlic and chilies into the dressing.
  • Roughly chop half the peanuts and add to the mixing bowl.
  • Bruise the long beans until broken using anything heavy you can find in the kitchen (a bottle, a can, rolling pin) then add to the mixing bowl.
  • Add tomatoes and press on them to bruise and release the juice slightly.
  • Add papaya and toss to mix.
  • Plate and garnish with the remaining peanuts.

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