Green Papaya Salad ส้มตำ (old version)

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Papaya Salad

Green Papaya Salad ส้มตำ (old version)

  • Author: Pailin Chongchitnant
  • Yield: Serves 2


  • 23 cloves of garlic
  • Thai chilies, to taste
  • 1.5 Tbsp small dried shrimp, roughly chop if you have large ones
  • 5 long beans, cut in 2” pieces
  • ¼ cup roasted peanuts
  • Pickled black crab, optional
  • 3/4 cup grape tomato halves
  • 2 cups shredded green papaya (See my video on how to shred papaya)


  • 2 Tbsp palm sugar syrup *
  • Juice of half of a juicy lime, about 2 Tbsp
  • 1 Tbsp tamarind juice
  • 1.5 Tbsp fish sauce
  • 1 Tbsp Pla Ra (fermented fish paste), optional **

Recipe Notes:

* To make palm sugar syrup, cook 1/2 cup finely chopped palm sugar with 3 Tbsp of water, stirring until all sugar is dissolved. Store leftovers in a sealed jar for future uses.

** If not using Pla Ra, increase fish sauce to 2 Tbsp.

Ingredients & Kitchen Tools I Use


In a clay mortar, pound together garlic and chilies until there are no more big chunks.

Add dried shrimp, and pound to crush them up a bit. Add long beans and peanuts, and pound to break them up.

Add palm sugar syrup, fish sauce, lime juice, and Pla Ra, if using. Throw in the remainder of the lime after juicing as well for added flavour. Mix well with a large spoon.

Add pickled crab, papaya and tomatoes. Mix everything together using the “pound and flip” technique shown in the video.

Serve with sticky rice and Thai BBQ Chicken!

If you do not have a mortar & pestle, you can: Grate the garlic with a zester, finely mince chilies, chop the peanuts, and bruise the long beans with any pestle-like object you can find (a bottle? rolling pin?). Toss everything together in a bowl. Or if you have a small mortar and pestle, follow the recipe until the dressing ingredients are all added.  Toss the content of the mortar with the crab, papaya and tomatoes in a larger bowl.  The idea here is to mimic what the missing equipment would’ve accomplished!

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