Thai Papaya Salad

This Thai Papaya Salad (Som Tam) is a simple, healthy and fresh recipe that’s packed with flavor. Crisp and juicy unripened papaya is finely shredded and mixed with colorful vegetables fresh herbs, tossed in a spicy, tangy dressing and topped with crunchy crushed peanuts.

Thai Papaya Salad

This is one of my favorite salads. It’s light, has layers of spicy, sour, sweet and salty flavors. I also love the crunchy texture in every single bite.

Thai Papaya SaladThai Papaya Salad


Papaya Salad is a dish originating in Southeast Asia, consisting of a sweet and spicy dressing and shredded unripe papaya. It’s made everywhere from Thailand, Laos, Vietnam, and Cambodia. This being said the ingredients can vary and include a variety of vegetables and seasonings. This salad is one of my favorite things to eat when I’m craving a light yet flavorful salad. It’s refreshing and delicious, with a perfect mix of different textures and flavors. 

Thai Papaya Salad


You can buy green, unripe papaya for making this salad at most Asian or South Asian grocery stores. When picking the fruit look for a dark green, firm papaya, void of any floral scent. If you can’t find green papaya at a market near you, you can double the amount of shredded carrots and cucumbers. 

Thai Papaya Salad

A quick note before we get to the recipe––this recipe doesn’t include fish sauce. If you’d like to add it, replace the soy sauce for fish sauce, in the same quantity.

Here’s how to make a quick and flavorful Thai Papaya Salad (Som Tam) with fresh vegetables tossed in sweet chili dressing.  Just as good as takeout and vegetarian!

Thai Papaya Salad

Thai Papaya Salad
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
How to make a quick and flavorful Thai Papaya Salad (Som Tam) with fresh vegetables tossed in sweet chili dressing.  Just as good as takeout and vegetarian!
Recipe type: Appetizer
Cuisine: Thai
Serves: 4
  • ⅓ cup rice vinegar
  • 4 tablespoons sweet chili sauce
  • 2 teaspoon soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • juice of one lime
  • 1 medium green papaya (4½ cups shredded green papaya)
  • 2 cups carrots, peeled and julienned
  • 1 cup English or Persian cucumbers, julienned or cute thinly in quarters
  • ⅓ cup loosely packed mint leaves, chopped
  • 4 tablespoons crushed roasted peanuts
  1. Mix all the ingredients for the dressing in a small bowl and set aside.
  1. Slice off the ends of the green papaya. Using a vegetable peeler, peel the outer skin. Using a julienne peeler or spiralizer, shred the raw papaya.
  2. Shred the peeled carrots and cucumbers.
  1. In a large bowl, mix the green papaya, carrots, cucumber and mint. Pour in the dressing and toss to coat the vegetables with the dressing. Top with crushed peanuts. Serve immediately.


Thai Papaya Salad Pin


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