Green Papaya Salad - Thai (Som Tham Mara Gor)

Prep Time
Cook Time
Ready In

"Green papaya salad originated in the northeastern part of Thailand, but it is now common in the marketplaces of Bangkok. Green papaya may be found in well stocked supermarkets, but may not be available in others; however, carrots may be substituted with little loss of flavor. In this recipe use a mortar and pestle to crush and bruise the papaya and green beans in order to release their essence and allow them to absorb the flavors better. This crunchy salad has a medium-hot dressing and is served with steamed sweet rice in Thailand. For a more colorful salad, substitute 2 tablespoons of shredded carrots for an equal amount of green papaya."

Original recipe yields 4 servings


  • Serving Size: 1 (314.9 g)
  • Calories 138.7
  • Total Fat - 0.5 g
  • Saturated Fat - 0.1 g
  • Cholesterol - 0.3 mg
  • Sodium - 46.3 mg
  • Total Carbohydrate - 37 g
  • Dietary Fiber - 3 g
  • Sugars - 15.3 g
  • Protein - 2 g
  • Calcium - 43.5 mg
  • Iron - 0.8 mg
  • Vitamin C - 168.7 mg
  • Thiamin - 0.1 mg

Step 1

Dry roast the raw peanuts in a skillet for about 10 minutes over medium-low heat until brown, flipping frequently. Be careful not to let them burn.

Step 2

In a mortar, pound the peanuts into small pieces. Remove from the mortar and set aside.

Step 3

Place the garlic and Thai chili peppers in a clean mortar. Pound into tiny pieces.

Step 4

Add the dried shrimp and pound until flattened into soft crumbly pieces.

Step 5

Gradually add the green beans and green papaya. Pound to slightly crush and soften.

Step 6

Add the cherry tomatoes and palm sugar; lightly pound to release some of the tomato's juices and to dissolve the sugar.

Step 7

In a medium bowl combine the crushed ingredients, lime juice and zest, fish sauce, and ground peanuts.

Step 8

Serve on a bed of lettuce.

Tips & Variations

No special items needed.



This salad was fun to make, as it allowed me to use the Thai mortar my son bought me for Christmas! It was a lot of effort to grind, especially the dried shrimp - but oddly satisfying! I've had green papaya salad before - and loved it... All was good until I came to the fish sauce. 6 teaspoons (or 2 tablespoons) seemed too much, so I added only 3 teaspoons, which in retrospect is still too much. Sadly, you can't remove it once you add it - so use caution! I think this salad would work if the fish sauce were adjusted.

review by:
(6 Aug 2016)