Summer Salads ~ Green Papaya Salad – Som Tum

Summer is at its peak here and its salad days at our home. Means less time spent in the kitchen – just fix a salad and a chilled drink. ๐Ÿ™‚ Today I prepared a popular Thai inspired raw papaya salad, Som Tam. When ever we order Thai food, this salad is a must. This is a kind of salad I could eat every other day and still not have enough of it. I found a good recipe on the ‘The Good Food Show’ aired on NDTV and had made a mental note of it.

You would need a wooden or earthen mortar and pestle for this recipe as the ingredients have to be lightly pounded to combine together. Don’t have one, you can still make this salad by just combining the ingredients using your hands. Garlic and red chillis are pounded together followed by jaggery, lemon juice and soya sauce which are finally combined with raw papaya and tomato juliennes. This recipe is an adapted version of the authentic Thai raw papaya salad which calls for long beans and fish sauce which I omitted. The salad had a wonderfully light, sweet-sour-salty flavor with an added crunch of peanuts and raw papaya.

Iced cocoa-coffee and a healthy, refreshing sweet, subtly spiced and tart raw papaya salad was our lunch today and it’s hard to imagine anything better suited for a hot summer afternoon.:).

Raw Papaya Salad Recipe

Preparation: 15 mts,

Serves 3-4 persons



1 1/2 cups raw papaya, peeled and julienned and soaked in ice cold water

3-4 garlic cloves

1-2 small dried red chillies, de-seed and tear

2-3 tbsps jaggery or brown sugar

1 1/2 tbsps lemon juice

1 1/2 tsp light soy sauce

1 tomato, remove seeds and julienne

1 small cucumber, peeled and finely sliced (optional)

2 tbsp roasted peanuts

1 In a mortar, lightly crush the garlic, add the chillies and lightly pound again.
2 Add the jaggery, lemon juice, soy sauce. Add the roasted peanuts and lightly pound while stirring once in a while with a spoon to prevent the paste from thickening.
3 Add the tomato juliennes and lightly pound and mix with spoon again.
4 Add the shredded papaya and cucumber slices, lightly pound (they should just bruise a bit) and stir until all the ingredients have combined well. Don’t pound too much as it will become a pasty salad. The juliennes should hold shape while combining with the rest of the ingredients. Use a spoon to mix them well.
5 Garnish with crushed peanuts.


If you do not have a mortar, just crush garlic, red chillis and add them to a bowl. Add the soya sauce, lemon juice and jaggery followed by green papaya and tomato juliennes along with roasted peanuts and combine well. You can also add some raw mango juliennes for variation.

Summer Salads ~ Green Papaya Salad – Som Tum

  Prepare time:
 Serves: 2

 Main Ingredients:

  •  raw papaya


  • Madhuli

    That’s a lovely looking salad Sailu and looks quite easy to make.thanks

  • Asha

    Very nice! I made Apple salad:))

  • sreelu


    Chala bagundi, looks so beautiful.

  • sandeepa

    Have heard a lot about the Thai Papaya Salad, but never tried it. Thinking how raw green papaya would taste.

    Sandeepa, this salad has well-balanced flavors and the raw papaya when blended with the spices, has an absolutely wonderful taste.

  • Lata

    I order this salad too as soon as I enter Thai place. Simply love this. Will try this soon…

  • Lalitha

    Hai sailaja garu,
    your website is really great..I don’t mean just the recipes..presentation..Basically I am a hyderabadi and staying in US now..Your site really reminds me of India a looooooot. Your site is really homely…I just wonder do you stay in foreign? I know that u are from vizag but just curious to know. Makes me doubt from the script you write..I wonder do we have thai restaurants in india. Please don’t mis-understand that i am doubting your script.. I may not be aware that vizag is such modest city..never been to..And one more request from you…Please Please Please accept this. From the weekend blossoms that u post, I really feel that u have a very good garden at your house and obviously u must be maintaing that. Everytime i look at that, I immediately feel like coming back to india..Such beauty cannot be found in these apartments in US. I wonder what a good decorative taste you have. I just want to see your home pics. If your dishes are soo beautiful, how well you must be decorating…Only if u don’t mind, please post your home and garden pics. I would really love to see them..I want to know how a working lady (assuming that u r working) get so much time to try different dishes, time for garden, kid, hus etc. Appreciate you whole heartedly..This is just a request.

    Thanks for dropping by, leaving a kind comment and your appreciation, Lalitha. I have never lived abroad. Vizag is a modest city alright, but does have its share of multi-cuisine restaurants. I eat Thai food during my travels outside Vizag. I enjoy cooking and trying out different cuisines, thus this blog.:). I used to work but am on long leave from work to be a full time mother and hence I do have some time on hand to do the things I enjoy, be it gardening, cooking, blogging or designing.

  • sandeepa

    Was just wondering, had sent you two mails from DMC did you miss them?

    Can you send it again, Sandeepa?

  • Cynthia

    Yes this does look refreshingly light. Colour too. Added to that, it means less time in the kitchen… what is not to love ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Vini K

    Sailaja,salad looks so refreshing:)

  • Revathi

    Hmm Sailaja looks very tempting. Your posts make me feel that in India we get access to everything American. People like you there are very well informed about foriegn ingredients and foreign cuisine. I am surprised, because even now my sister will not know thai, mexican cuisines.

    Did you live in USA for a while or so, because if I were to go to India now I would know all this right !! Hmm that would make sense..

    Or is it that the society has changed a lottt there that everyone has knowledge of international cuisines?? I am curious.

    Revati, food trends are changing rapidly. There is more awareness due to travel, TV (international channels), cookery shows, food festivals and food magazines to name a few. Thanks to the IT boom, esp in Andhra, we have a lot of foreigners and NRI’s who want/need international cuisines and hence a demand. Infact ‘Nilgiris’, stocks quite a few imported sauces/spices/herbs and so do a few other departmental stores for that niche market (like me, who like to cook intl food). I place a special order for ingredients like cheddar/parmesan cheese or balsamic vinegar with the local vendor and he tries his best to get it for me.:) Customer is KING! Recently, a star hotel in Vizag held a cookery class on Italian food where the executive chef taught the finer details of getting it right. Well, you can imagine how the food trends in metros would be compared to smaller cities.:)

    I have not lived in US ever, Revathi. Reliance fresh brings you western vegetables like brocolli, iceburg lettuce, zuchinni, red and yellow peppers, parsley while the bigger malls bring you all international brands – apparel, footwear, kid stuff, furniture, cosmetics etc. Walmart is setting shop soon and you can just imagine the things to come. Its a global village out there, Revathi and nothing is static, its ever changing and real fast at that.:)

  • archana

    I am bookmarking this recipe. I bought a wooden mortar from the Thai pavillion ( Pragati Maidan) Delhi, and was wondering how to use it. Thanks for making the recipe vegetarian friendly, I will certainly try it ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Maninas

    As usual, a delicious and interesting recipe! ๐Ÿ™‚

  • sandeepa

    I was wondering from all these comments you are getting. This increased demand for “phoren” veggies and people flocking to stores like Reliance Fresh etc. does it hamper the local grocer’s business? I agree that globalization cannot be avoided but do you think the local grocerys are intimidated by these big giants.

    Sandeepa, the demand for phoren veggies is not much with only a small percentage of customers buying them becoz they are highly priced. But yes, with RF setting shop, the local subziwallas are badly hit and its very sad and unfortunate. Its farmer’s market (rythu bazaar) for all my veggie needs and RF for veggies like brocolli/iceburg lettuce//kiwis which aren’t available with the local subziwallas.

  • Priti


    An amazing and interesting recipe once again. I truly enjoy reading and trying out your recipes especially the chicken ones and am still waiting for you to blog authentic chilli chicken and chicken 65 recipes since your spice level matches mine.

    You had mentioned about the Italian cookery demos. Sailu, my friends husband owns the coromandel institute of hotel management in Vizag and I have lost contact. Are they the ones who had conducted the classes?

    Keep up your good work.

    Thank you, Priti. The class was conducted by the executive chef at ‘The Park’.

  • Revathi

    Now i am all the more shocked. I have been presuming all along that you have lived in US. The kind of recipes that you have been posting – the mexican series especially made me think so. For people like us who left India a while ago, the image of India is what it was when we left. Its kind of apalling.

    Yet travel a few miles from the city – I guess its all untouched. Like my sister – she lives in the outskirts of Chennai, works for a software company but she is still novice.

    I think the farther we try to reach out makes the difference. Thanks for the detailed update Sailu. I really appreciate it.

  • Mamata

    Dear Sailaja,

    Your blog site is extremely well presented and informative. Your recipes are simple and easy to follow and your enthusiasm and pride in your art form (I do consider this blog an art form) is inspiring. Always a good assortment of recipes. Pls keep up this fabulous work.

    Please if you have time, could you present the corn garelu recipe from your ugadi special. I am very eager to learn that as my little boy loves corn, altho in michigan the corn we get is always a little sweet….I wonder if it will work?

    Thank you for all your wonderful recipes.

    Really appreciate your encouraging and sweet words, Mamta. Thank you.
    Yes, sweet corn will work for this recipe and will definitely blog this recipe soon. Please be patient.:)

  • Mallika

    Hi Sailaja – this looks yummy and really easy to make!! Thanks so much.

  • Aruna

    Hi Sailaja,

    That’s really beautiful salad, i am big on salads myself but never tasted this one. I am going to try this one for this weekend. BTW, whats tomato juliennes please!!

    Tomatoes, cut into length wise thin strips.

  • Anil

    Hi Sailaja, this is anil from baltimore, US originally from Vizag. I just wanted to thank you for the Royyalla Iguru recipe that you have on indiacuisine blog. I brought some prawns today and googled out Andhra Prawn curry and found your recipe. I stuck to your recipe to the T and the curry turned out to be just awesome. My flatmates also loved it. Thanks again. Keep sharing your wonderful recipes.

  • kranthi

    hi sailu,
    I am from Hyderabad and got married recently. And also new in cooking. your website is so nice that i cant express my words. Your blog is the first in google search for cooking. The pcitures you keep are really nice and mouth watering. If you can put the receipes in telugu it will be good for people who don’t know english and want to try new items. Think of trying to put the receipes in telugu.

  • sujatha

    Hi Sailaja,

    You have a wonderful website and wonderful recipes too. I have already tried a couple of them and they came out very tasty ๐Ÿ™‚

    I just wanted to bring to your notice that I have seen your recipes getting posted in sakshi paper. I am basically from US but browse newspapers on net. Not sure if you are aware of this or are you the chef for that column.


    Thanks so much Sujatha for informing me. Appreciate it very much.

  • Janani

    Hello Sailaja:

    Hope all is well.

    Had commented before on your blog and particularly on one of the guest posts by Nupur. Love both of your blogs and have often been inspired to try different things from them.

    One great product I got introduced to from Nupur was these rice paper rolls

    Now in our house, we’ve taken to using your papaya salad (we like to also add thinly sliced raw mango and trader joe’s chilli lime nuts lightly crushed ) as a filling in the rice paper rolls.

    A great combo..