Make Ahead

Som Tum (Green Papaya Salad)

June 28, 2011
Author Notes

This is a summer favorite when green papaya and long green beans are in season. It is usually topped with grilled shrimp. It tastes 'cooked', but the cooking is actually bruising the vegetables to soak in the salty, sweet, sour dressing. —edamame2003

Test Kitchen Notes

Without a pok pok, I just put it in a bowl with a tight lid and shook it violently to bruise everything a little bit. I found it on the spicy side, but a lovely mix of salty and sweet. —Stephanie Bourgeois

  • Prep time 25 minutes
  • Serves 4
  • For the dressing
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 2 limes, juiced
  • 1/4 cup fish sauce
  • 2 tablespoons palm sugar (or regular sugar)
  • 3 crushed Thai bird peppers (optional or remove seeds to adjust)
  • For the salad
  • 2 cups shredded green papaya
  • 8 to 10 cherry tomatoes
  • 3/4 cup shredded carrots
  • 3/4 cup long green beans, cut into 1" pieces
  • 1/8 cup roasted peanuts, chopped for garnish(optional)
  • 1 handful cilantro leaves for garnish
In This Recipe
  1. In a mortar, smash the garlic into a paste.
  2. Add the chili peppers and smash lightly.
  3. Move to a separate bowl and add the remaining 'dressing' ingredients. Adjust to your taste.
  4. In the mortar add the 'salad' ingredients to fill up to half the mortar. Bruise the vegetables using the pestle.
  5. Add some of the dressing and lightly pound the dressing into the vegetables.
  6. Continue until all the salad and dressing is mixed.
  7. Garnish with peanuts and cilantro
Contest Entries

See Reviews

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • Sagegreen
  • gingerroot
  • mrslarkin
  • edamame2003
I work in the entertainment business, and in my free time, I really enjoy growing my own vegetables, trolling my local farmers markets and trying to re-create yummy dishes I eat at my favorite restaurants. My son is a big influence on how and what I cook. He's my guinea pig and promises to try anything I make once. Luckily the recipes on food52 are bountiful and delicious.