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Thai Green Papaya Salad

Added: Saturday, August 1st 2020 at 5:22am by MariasRecipes

This is a very popular side dish in the North of Thailand, it is almost a staple served with bbq meats and sticky rice.

It is delicious and fresh with a well balanced flavor of sweet, salty, sour and spicy.

All these ingredients are readily available at any Asian grocery store.

When buying the papaya, choose the greenest and firmest you can find making sure there are no blemishes or bruises on the skin.


1-1/2 cups julienned green papaya.  (you can julienne with a knife or you can grate using a box grater. Julienne with knife is the authentic method)

Cut your papaya in half, discard the seeds and peel.

Using a sharp knife, make deep cuts into the flesh by hitting it multiple times until there's lots of shredding on the surface.

Then use a smaller knife to slice the shredded flesh into a bowl of ice water to firm and crisp up the flesh.

after 10-15 minutes in the ice water, drain very well and transfer into a bowl lined with paper towel to absorb the rest of the moisture.

The other ingredients:

Snake beans are sometimes called long beans, different to normal string beans. If  you cant find them, use ordinary string beans instead.

2-3 gloves of garlic (depending on size and to your taste)

Thai chillies (to taste) sliced

2-3 long beans (sometimes called snake beans) cut into 1 inch pieces.

3 tablespoons roasted peanuts (plus a small handful for garnish)

1 heaping tablespoon small dried shrimp.

1/2 cup of cherry or grape tomatoes cut in half (or use a small red tomato cut into wedges)

1-1/2 tablespoons of palm sugar (shaved with a knife from palm sugar cakes)

The condiments:

2 tablespoons fresh lime juice

2 teaspoons tamarind juice (use tamarind paste sold in jars, adding a scant amount of water just to liquify)

1-1/2 tablespoons of fish sauce

Putting it all together. 

The most important equipment for this is a large mortar and pestle.

If you dont have a mortar and pestle, you can break down the ingredients (except the beans, tomatoes and papaya) with a food processor but do not process anything to a paste.  Use quick bursts or pulse to break down the ingredients just slightly.

1) Pound garlic and chilli until thoroughly bruised and broken up.

2) Add the roasted peanuts and pound until peanuts are broken up.

Then add the dried shrimp and the shaved palm sugar and pound until sugar is dissolved.

3) Add the cherry tomatoes and pound just until the flesh is soft and juicy.


4) Add the beans and pound slightly just until the beans are broken up and can absorb the juices.

5) Add the sauces and lime juice including a piece of the lime skin to add extra flavor. Mix thoroughly with a spoon.

6) Slowly start adding the shredded papaya pounding lightly while flipping ingredients over with a spoon.

Once all the papaya is incorporated into the rest of the ingredients, transfer to a plate.

Sprinkle extra peanuts on top to garnish and add sliced green onion or cilantro if you like that stuff!!

This recipe makes 2 generous serves.

Serve with steamed sticky rice and enjoy!!

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