Papaya Salad or Som Tam

It is one of my favorite Thai dishes.    I just love it and I say it is worthy of a post!   INDEED!

I have been craving for Papaya Salad in Thailand  since I found out I’ll be coming here.  Right then and there, it became a yummy reality that I will be eating arse- kicking tasty, tangy, spicy and peanuty Papaya salad  in Thailand.  “YES” I said to myself!!

So on day 2 after my “pampering” I was ready to eat some papaya salad to top off my spa day.  And yes,  i will be eating it often.  It is not hard to find papaya salad here.  Look for the stalls or carts, they are everywhere.   All you have to do is point at the papaya.  First thing they’ll do is ask you how many peppers! 🙂

Do you see the scrumptious picture below?   That’s what I had on day 2 and yes it kicked my arse because I think they put 10 chili peppers when I was not looking.

Simple ingredients include shredded green papaya, tomato, green beans, dried prawns, roasted peanuts, chilies, garlic, lime juice and sugar.  These are simply pounded in a giant and round mortar using a pestle.

Photo Credit

Those simplest ingredients made a  killer dish that was garliky, peanuty, lime-y,  with the right touch of sweetness and crunchineess from the papaya– just perfect!!

It was so good I didn’t even eat the sticky rice with it.  That is typically how the Thais eat it.  I ate it all by itself and it was DELISH!  Umm Umm Good!

I did have to drink, and I mean drink a lot of water, to give my mouth some relief from the steaming heat of the chili peppers.  And it was all worth it for 30B only.  My total for dinner that evening was 40B.  Nice, for only $1.21 eh?  🙂

So while you’re in Thailand, this is one dish you will  have to try. Depending on your love of chili peppers or NOT, be sure to tell them how many chili peppers or NOT  you want prior to the making of this fabulous, to die for dish!


I always say, “life would be so damn dull without Chili Peppers, Lime and Garlic!  Not necessarily in that order!”

Cheers from Thailand!


8 thoughts on “Papaya Salad or Som Tam

  1. A post dedicated to som tum is a must Aye,
    I still can’t believe how good som tum is. I eat it with religious routine and have my favorite cart I go to by my apartment. I go to the cart so often that the ladies taught me how to make som tum. Now when I go for my som tum, the ladies just move out of the way and expect me to make it. I love it and can never get tired of it.

    1. i love it.. so great that you are making your own Som Tam in bkk taught by the loacals.. I want to be there to meet these ladies and take pictures.. Som Tam to be continued– part II with you in it! Som Tam king.. ha ha! :-))

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