Som Tam Salad / Thai Papaya Salad

Sonali Raut

May 18, 2022
Cuisine: Thai

During summer months I try and cook light meals…consisting mostly simple dal, rice and regular subjis…minus all the extra grease.

Planning Lunches is a chore actually…no one is particularly interested in eating too much.

Summer Salad like this one is a boon…light but fulfilling.

I do not follow the regular recipe to the T. My suggestion would be to use whatever ingredients are available at hand.

So…here’s my version of the Thai Papaya Salad (Tom Sam).



  • 1 Medium sized Raw Papaya

    1/2 Cup Shredded Purple Cabbage (can use the regular cabbage too)

    1 tbsp Soya Sauce

    1 tsp Red chilli flakes

    1 tsp brown sugar

    1 lemon (juice)

    2 Cloves Garlic (minced)

    1 tbsp Peanut oil

    2 tbsp Crushed Roasted Peanuts

    a few peanuts for garnish

    Salt to taste

    a handful of fresh Coriander Leaves

    1 tbsp Grated Raw Mango (optional)



  • 01

    Peel and grate the raw papaya (you can use a shredder not grate it too fine else the salad will go limp)

  • 02


    Feel free to use shredded carrots or beans or bean sprouts too.

  • 03

    Soak the shredded papaya in a bowl of ice cold water to keep it nice and crisp.

  • 04

    For the dressing...mix together the soya sauce, chilli flakes (traditionally the recipe calls for thai bird eye chillies which are super spicy) brown sugar (honey can be used instead for a healthy version), juice of a lemon, minced garlic cloves, peanut oil and the crushed peanuts. Whisk everything well and keep aside for 10 mins.

  • 05

    Remove the shredded papaya from the water n drain well.

  • 06

    Roughly mix together the papaya n the shredded cabbage in a salad bowl.

  • 07

    Pour the dressing over the it and toss well.

  • 08

    Add the grated Raw Mango if using.

  • 09

    Add the reserved Peanuts and garnish with the roughly chopped Coriander leaves.

  • 10

    Add the salt later according to your taste as the soya sauce has a bit of salt too.

This salad is a refreshing change from all those Mayo smothered salads. Has a good amount of fibre content but is easier on the stomach too.