Spicy Green Papaya Salad with shrimp

known as Som Tam


This salad is easy to make, low-calorie, very nutritious.. and incredibly tasteful! A classic dish with Laotian and Thai roots that’s spun into an elegant main course by adding the shrimp.

I ate it for the first time in Thailand and after that I prepared it at home, in Bucharest, as we bought around 10kg of spices and vegetables from this amazing country. Here I do not think I can find any green papaya but for sure I will continue searching for it in the supermarkets or maybe in the Asian groceries.

!Crunchy green papaya is not the same as under ripe papaya. It is green-skinned and utterly unripe, with a crisp texture.

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Total Time: 30 minutes



500g fresh shrimp

500g shredded green papaya

20g shredded carrots

80g roasted peanuts


5 pcs garlic cloves

5 pcs sliced  hot chili

20g green beans

5 pcs cherry tomatoes, cut in half

1 tbsp. palm sugar or brown sugar

4 tbsp. lime juice

2-3 tbsp. fish sauce

20g dried shrimp


In a salad bowl, mix the shredded papaya and carrots.

In a mortar, crush the garlic, the chili and the beans.

Cook the dried shrimp for about 3 min at medium heat. Set aside.

For the dressing, bring palm sugar and 1 cup water, to a boil in a small saucepan, whisking to dissolve sugar. Let cool. Add lime juice and fish sauce, then add the cooked dried shrimp. Combine this sauce with the mix in the mortar. Taste and adjust the seasonings to have your preferred level of tartness, sweetness, and spice. Pour the dressing to the salad bowl, over the papaya and the carrots.

Peel the fresh shrimp and cook it in olive oil for about 5 minutes. Add it to the salad.

Add the peanuts at the last minute, then toss and serve. A light, bright dish that pairs well with a glass of Riesling! In Asian cuisine, you have to pair the wines with the spices, so Riseling is a wine that can handle the assertive flavors of fish sauce and lime juice so common to Thai dishes.


PS: For a great taste, you need to keep in mind this rule: salt and sour should be used in same quantities and sweet in about ½.

If you have a question about this recipe or about ingredients, do not hesitate to contact me!

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