This green papaya salad aka Som Tum is a sweet, spicy, and savory Thai salad that has the zing flavor meter to the top notch. This is a satisfying salad packed with fresh veggies and fresh flavors. This recipe is vegan.
Simplicity in preparation makes this tasty salad is a comfort meal as it is rich with complex flavors and textures. This salad doesn't have any oil or mayo. The bright salad boasts healthy ingredients and fresh flavors. A few years back, on our trip to Taunton, UK, we had food at Lotus Flower Thai Restaurant, and we had the best Som Tum salad there. It was the ultimate and from there I recreated the same salad and this recipe is close to the one we had.
What is Green papaya?
Green papaya is simply the unripe papaya. As the unripe one is bland in flavors and can literally absorb any flavor added to it. It is used to make curries and stews in many regional cuisines. Like for an example, this Green PawPaw Curry from the Oceanic Cuisine is one of our favorites. We make a dry curry like the dry potato curry in our Indian cuisine that can be served with rice or rotis.
Now, why green papaya should be a part of your regular menu? It is obvious as it is a low calorie food and is rich in vitamin A and C. In addition, it is also an excellent source of fiber, folate, and potassium. Though green papaya is benefits our health, it may have side effects in pregnant women. Pregnant and nursing mothers should avoid its consumption.
Is this recipe vegan?
Yes, this recipe is vegan. Dried shrimp and fish sauce are used in traditional Som Tum Salad. This is omitted in this recipe. You should make sure to add some salt to balance the flavors in this salad.
You will require the following ingredients to make this salad:
Green papaya - Shredded papaya is used in this recipe. Thick or thin shreds can be used.
Carrot - Shredded carrots add to the color as well as nutritional profile of this salad
Green beans - Traditional recipes use long beans. This recipe uses green beans and it works well in this recipe.
Cherry tomato - Cherry tomatoes are sweet, acidic, and add a beautiful color and flavor to the salad.
Palm sugar - This is a type of sugar which is dark brown in color and used in many Asian recipes. You can find this in Asian groceries. You can substitute this with jaggery.
Lime juice - Adds to the zing flavor of this salad.
Peanuts - Crushed peanuts and whole peanuts are used in this recipe. The peanuts add to the protein content and give a texture bite to the salad. Roasted peanuts are the best in this recipe. You can roast the peanuts easily on sthe tove top or in the oven.
Salt - gives flavor
Garlic - Enhances flavor factor.
Cilantro and Thai basil - these herbs are used in this recipe as we love both these herbs. Most of the traditional papaya salad will have Thai basil alone. Cilantro is a good substitute. You can use either one.
Thai chili - Som Tum salad is a spicy salad. Thai chili adds to the spicy heat. You can adjust the amount of chilies if you can't handle the spicy heat. I highly recommend using the specified quantity for the phenomenal flavor.
You can adjust the quantity of palm sugar or Thai chilies to suit your taste preference.
More Thai Foods
Salads are healthy as they consist of raw or cooked veggies and proteins and have lot of fiber. They make a satisfying and comforting meal. To build a healthy salad use couple a few fresh veggies and some proteins along with a vinaigrette or a creamy dressing to make a comforting meal . Mixed Dal Sprouts Salad is a great filling and flavor packed salad with just tadka, and doesn’t use any cream or mayo. There are days where you crave for tasty and creamy salad with bold flavors and healthy options, and here are a couple of my suggestions. You should try these Grilled Nectarine and Feta Salad, Mango Black Bean Quinoa Chipotle Salad, or this Rainbow Salad with Tandoori Dressing and these will check all the boxes in your crave flavor list.
Green Papaya Salad
- 2½ Cups Green Papaya Shredded
- 4 Green beans cut into 1-in pieces
- 6 or 7 Cherry tomatoes halved
- 2 Thai chili Thinly sliced
- 2 cloves Garlic sliced
- 2½ tbsp Lime juice
- 2 tbsp Palm sugar
- 2-3 tbsp Peanuts roasted
- 1 cup mung sprouts
- 2-3 tbsp cilantro finely choppes
- 3 tbsp Thai basil Finely chopped
- 3/4 tsp Salt
- 1/2 cup carrot shredded
- Add the sliced Thai chilies and garlic to a mortar and pestle and crush to a coarse mixture.
- Add the beans and peanuts, crush a few times such that the beans absorb the juice. Add the palm sugar, salt, lime juice, followed by halved cherry tomatoes and crush a couple of times.
- Add about half cup of shredded green papaya and crush a couple of times and fold such that all the juice melds in.
- Add the remaining shredded papaya, carrots, and mung sprouts to a platter. Add the crushed veggie mixture. Combine thoroughly. Garnish with cilantro and Thai Basil.
- Serve immediately.
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