Thai papaya salad

I love this easy Thai green papaya salad.  The first time I had it was when I was recently married and my husband, Alex and I went to the main Thai temple in Thaitown in Los Angeles.  I remember that it was a hot, sunny day and the inexpensive green papaya salad hit the spot.  It was cool and refreshing with the combination of sweet from the palm and granulated sugars, sour from the lime, spicy from the Thai chili and crunchy from the papaya, beans and peanuts. So delicious!

A few years ago, I did an externship at an authentic Thai restaurant in New York City.  It was an amazing experience.  One of the things that I learned was how simple and easy it was to make a green Thai papaya salad, especially if you can purchase green papaya already shredded!

Thai externship

Thai externship. Learning to make papaya salad.

Tips for making easy Thai green papaya salad.

Green papaya.

Some asian grocery stores will sell shredded green papaya.  However, if you cannot find green papaya that's already shredded, buy a very firm, green papaya.  If it is not firm, the salad will not be crunchy, but rather mushy.  

julienne shredder

Julienne shredder

When using the julienne shredder, ensure that the teeth that cuts the papaya into julienne strips are close to the papaya.  Sometimes, placing the shredder flat on the papaya pushes the teeth away from the blade, making it difficult for the shredder to actually cut the papaya into shreds. Angle the papaya in such a way that the teeth of the julienne shredder is not being pushed away from the blade.

Fish sauce.

Fish sauce can be found in any Asian grocery store.  Read the ingredient labels as some fish sauces contain monosodium glutamate.

fish sauce

Palm sugar.

Palm sugar does have a more complex taste than granulated sugar. This easy Thai green papaya salad recipe uses both palm sugar and granulated sugar.  Palm sugar can be found in most Asian grocery stores or online.  Break off the required amount of palm sugar needed using a kitchen cleaver.

Palm sugar

Palm sugar

Making the salad.

The salad is traditionally made in a large clay pestle and mortar.  If you don't have a large mortar, a heavy-duty bowl will work as long as it can handle some slight pounding from the pestle to crush the ingredients and bruise the papaya.  The crushing helps the ingredient juices to mix and the dressing to absorb into the papaya. 

Enjoy this deliciously simple salad and let me know how yours turned out in the comment section.

Thai papaya salad


Michelle Sam
Shredded green papaya
No ratings yet
Prep Time 30 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Course Appetizer, Salad
Cuisine American
Servings 2
Calories 158 kcal


  • ½ Tbsp palm sugar
  • ½ Tbsp granulated sugar
  • 1 Thai chili
  • 2 2" cut Green beans
  • 3 Cherry tomatoes cut in half
  • 1 Tbsp Fish sauce
  • 2 Tbsp chopped peanuts
  • ½ lime cut into 2 pieces
  • 300 grams shredded GREEN papaya


  • Shred papaya with julienne shredder or buy shredded green papaya
  • In a mortar, add the palm sugar.
    ½ Tbsp palm sugar
  • Crush and mix.
  • Add granulated sugar.
    ½ Tbsp granulated sugar
  • Add green beans.
    2 2" cut Green beans
  • Add tomatoes.
    3 Cherry tomatoes cut in half
  • Crush Chilli.
    1 Thai chili
  • Add chopped peanuts.
    2 Tbsp chopped peanuts
  • Add fish sauce, mix
    1 Tbsp Fish sauce
  • Add shredded papaya.
    300 grams shredded GREEN papaya
  • Squeeze lime and add limes.
    ½ lime
  • Crush papaya to bruise and mix.


Serving: 2gCalories: 158kcalCarbohydrates: 27gProtein: 4gFat: 5gSaturated Fat: 1gPolyunsaturated Fat: 2gMonounsaturated Fat: 2gSodium: 730mgPotassium: 463mgFiber: 4gSugar: 18gVitamin A: 1615IUVitamin C: 106mgCalcium: 55mgIron: 1mgNet Carbohydrates: 23g
Keyword thai papaya salad
Tried this recipe?Let me know how it was or if you have any questions or suggestions!
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