Papaya Salad

Papaya Salad or ‘Som Dtam Thai’ ส้มตำไทย

This dish is one of the most popular in Thailand. There are many types of “Som Dtam,” this one being the most traditional called “Som Dtam Thai.” Thais usually pride themselves in how spicy this dish is. Usually it is eaten with sticky rice.


mortar and pestle ครกไม้กับสาก
10 Garlic cloves กระเทียม 10 กลีบ
3-8 chili peppers พริก 3-8 เม็ด
Spoon of brown, palm sugar น้ำตาลปี๊บ 1 ช้อน
4 green beans, cut up into 1 inch pieces ถั่วฟักยาว 4 ฟัก
Shaved green papaya* มะละกอ เเผ่นบางๆ
Shaved carrot เเครอท เเผ่นบางๆ
1-2 spoons of fish sauce นำ้ปลา 1-2 ช้อน
2 spoons of tamarind juice** นำ้มะขาม
Spoon of lime juice นำ้มะนาว 1 ช้อน
1 tomato cut into slices มะเขือเทศ 1 ลูก
Handful of peanuts ถั่วลิสง หนึ่งงำมือ
Handful of small, dried shrimp กุ้งเเห้ง หนึ่งงำมึอ

*I had never seen green papaya before coming to Thailand. It is a bit sour and hard, unlike orange papaya. It can probably be found at Asian markets and I’ve read that it is often sold cut up and shaved already.

**When making it in Thailand people use fresh tamarind juice by tamarind putting a piece of tamarind in water and then squeezing the juice out. If you cannot find fresh tamarind there is probably a substitute pre-made.


1. Using the pestle and mortar, mash the garlic with chili peppers.
2. Add the sugar to the mixture.
3. Mix the pieces of green beans into the mixture with a spoon.
4. Add the shaved papaya and carrot.
5. Spoon in the fish sauce, tamarind, and lime juice.
6. Mix in the sliced tomatoes.
7. Using a spoon, mix in the dried shrimp and peanuts.

One of the most popular Thai dishes, and a personal favorite!

One of the most popular Thai dishes, and a personal favorite!


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