Healthy Vegan Thai Green Papaya Salad. A delicious, fresh, raw, Thai SOM TUM. It takes just 10 minutes to make this beautiful salad. Enjoy all the flavours of Thailand in this bowlful of goodness.
History of Som Tum
Som Tum is a form of spicy Thai salad that is associated as coming from the Isaan province in North-East Thailand.. These days you will find it all over Thailand and it is a comfort dish for many Thais.
Papaya salad is not only a signature dish in Thailand but also a popular one in Cambodia and Vietnam, though the Thai version is certainly the most famous. Food historians believe the dish originated in Thailand’s northeast neighbor of Laos, which might be why green papaya salad is one of the most popular dishes in Isaan, the northeastern region of the country. As the largest region in Thailand, many of the most remarkable of dishes commenced their journey into the foodie scene from this rarely visited area.
Ingredients you will need for Thai green papaya salad
- Green papaya
- Green beans
- Cherry tomato
- Red chili
- Palm sugar
- Soy sauce
- Roasted peanuts
Kitchen equipment and tools you will need
- Chopping board
- Chefs knife
- Thai vegetable peeler
- Mixing bowl OR Thai mortar and pestle
What to Serve with
Traditionally Green Papaya Salad is served with sticky rice, here is a link to a recipe if you would like to try.
Ingredient variations for Som Tum
Try changing up the vegetables, in Thailand hundreds of variations of this salad are available. There are shops and restaurants dedicated solely to making Som Tum!
If you cannot source green papaya, you can try using some of the following vegetables:
Different types of Green Papaya Salad in Thailand
Som Tum Thai
This classic version made from grated papaya, is the one you will find in most restaurants - especially ones overseas or catering to a Western audience. Often grated carrot will be added in addition to the papaya. You can make it as spicy as you want.
Green Mango - Som Tum Mamuang
Instead of papaya this is made with slightly sour and hard green mango.
Mixed Fruit - Som Tum Polamai
You can use a variety of fresh fruits including apples, grapes, guava, pineapple. In this version the fruit is usually chopped into small chunks rather than grated.
Cucumber - Tum Teng
Using cucumber makes this a version you can easily make anywhere in the world. You can cut the cucumber think or cut it into batons/
Guava - Som Tum Farang
Use Guava instead of papaya. You can grate the guava or cut it into small chucks.
Woon Sen (Glass Noodles)
Use a normal som tum sauce but mixed with glass noodles, carrots and papaya.
Sen Chan (Pad Thai Noodles)
Use a normal som tum sauce but mixed with Sen Chan noodles and morning glory
Kanom Jeen (Fermented rice noodles)
Use a normal som tum sauce but mixed with kanom jeen and cucumber. Best extra spicy!
Lotus or Lily Stems
Lotus stem are readily available in Thailand, these make a lovely som tum variation
Som Tum Pu Pla Ra
Isaan version of som tum. Traditionally crab and anchovy are added, but I have sourced a Vegan Pla Ra
Tum Suo (with vermicelli noodles)
This is a noodle based version
Use sweetcorn - Som Tum Khao Pod
This is a simple version that can be made anywhere in the world as sweetcorn is readily available in most places.
Som Tum Pa (Jungle)
This translates to "jungle" pounded and it includes a random mixture of all sorts of pungent ingredients including khanom jeen noodles, water mimosa and mixed vegetables.
Nutritional benefits of green papaya
Green papaya is really a nutritional fruit, it's power-packed with essential nutrients that will help in digestive health and blood purification. Learn more about the health benefits of green papaya here.
Some more Thai Recipes to try
Green Papaya Salad - Thai Vegan 'Som Tum'
- Serving bowl
- 400 g Green Papaya
- 100 g Carrot
- 100 g Green beans
- 100 g Tomato - cherry
- 4 each Red chili - Thai
- 4 each Garlic cloves
- 4 each Lime to taste
- 20 g Palm sugar to taste
- 20 g Soy sauce to taste
- 20 g Tamarind paste optional
- 60 g Peanuts
- Assemble all the ingredients
- Peel papaya and carrot
- Julienne papaya and carrot.Slice green beans, cut cherry tomato in half.
- Add garlic and chili to mixing bowl - crush together.
- Add palm sugar, lime juice, tamarind paste and soy sauce to the mixing bowl and mix together well.
- Add the green beans, green papaya and carrot - mix well.
- Check the seasoning and adjust sweetness, sourness, saltiness or spicyness as you like.
- If you cannot source green papaya, you can use turnip, radish or carrots.
- Try adding pineapple, apple, sweetcorn or tomato for recipe variations.
ADD YOUR OWN RECIPE NOTES
Interested in learning to make som tum or other healthy delicious recipes?
Visit my Online Cook@Home Series, keep an eye on upcoming classes that maybe of interest to you.