Green Papaya Salad whose origins initially came from ethnic Laotian people is a spicy slaw made primarily from shredded unripe papaya. In Thailand, the name of this salad is Som Tam. In Laos, it is known as Tam Som or more specifically, Tam Maak Hoong. In Cambodia, it's called Bok I'hong, and in Vietnam, it's Gỏi đu đủ. This particular Asian salad is a fabulous alternative to the usual Greek, Italian or typical garden salad that most westerners have come to recognise.
The green salad recipe on this page is a particular firm favourite amongst South East Asian fare and includes a great diversity of ingredients such as garlic cloves, red chillies, shallots, snake beans, Nam pla fish sauce and lime juice. Crushed peanuts and thinly sliced chillies get used as a garnish. If papaya is not readily available, you can substitute this with finely grated carrot, cucumber and green apple or even thinly sliced white cabbage.
1 Green Papaya
4 Garlic Cloves (chopped)
4 Fresh red chillies (seeded and sliced)
4 Snake Beans or 6 Green Beans
10 Cherry Tomatoes (cut into quarters) or
2 Medium Tomatoes (sliced or cut into small wedges)
I Lime (freshly squeezed)
1 Tablespoon chopped Shallots
3 Tablespoons *Nam Pla (fish paste)
1 Tablespoon Sugar
1/2 Teaspoon Salt
2 Tablespoons crushed peanuts or almonds
2 Fresh red chillies (seeded and thinly sliced)
*Nam Pla is a fish sauce made from salted anchovies which are placed into wooden barrels for fermentation to occur. The sauce itself does not impart a fishy flavour, but it does accentuate the taste of food.
1) Cut the papaya lengthwise in half, then remove the seeds with a spoon. Peel the outer skin with a swivel vegetable peeler or a small sharp knife. Finely shred the papaya flesh using either a grater or a food processor.
2) Place the garlic, shallots and chillies in a large mortar or bowl and, using a pestle, grind to a paste. Add the shredded papaya and salt a little at a time, while pounding the mixture until it becomes slightly limp and soft.
3) Slice the beans into 3/4 inch lengths, then add them together with the tomato wedges or quarters to the mixture. Crush lightly with the pestle.
4) Season the mixture with the fish sauce, lime juice and sugar. Transfer the salad to a serving dish and sprinkle with crushed peanuts or almonds. Garnish with thinly sliced red chillies. Serve and enjoy this refreshing salad.
Please take note that the information on this site is designed for educational purposes and is intended solely for a general readership. The contents herein are not intended to offer any personal medical advice or to diagnose any health issues you may have. This information is also by no means a substitute for medical care by a licensed healthcare provider. For that, you'd need to consult your medical doctor or a health care practitioner for any advice should you require prescription medication.