Home Recipes Som Tam, the famous spicy green papaya salad

Som Tam, the famous spicy green papaya salad

by Pierre To
3 minutes to read
Som tam thaï

Som Tam (ส้มตำ) also called Tam Bak Hung in Issan language and Papaya pok pok for tourists, is a very spicy salad prepared with green papaya strips pounded with fish sauce, lemon juice and lots of chilli!

This salad is a real drug for some Thai people, the mixture of chillies with the papaya green, lemon juice and the rest of the ingredients have a very tonic effect.

If you are a bit ill, Som Tam will act like a grog on germs, it can even give you energy if you have a hangover!

Som tam thaï
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4.29 from 21 votes

Spicy green papaya salad: Som Tam

Prep Time20 mins
Total Time20 mins
Course: Salad
Cuisine: Northeast Thai (Isan)
Keyword: Papaya, Papaya Salad
Servings: 4


Ingredients for Som Tam

  • 1 green papaya
  • 6 à 12 small chillies It is up to you to choose the dose,
  • 1 carrot
  • 4 small tomatoes
  • 3 tablespoons fish sauce
  • 4 tablespoons juice of one lime file,
  • 1 tablespoon palm sugar
  • 1 handle unsalted roasted peanuts
  • 2 pod crushed garlic


Preparation of the Som Tam

  • Peel and cut the papaya in half lengthwise, remove the seeds with a spoon, rinse with clean water and dry thoroughly. (Do not discard the seeds, see link below the recipe).
  • Grate the papaya and carrot into thin strips and set aside.
  • Grind the chillies and garlic in a large pestle and mortar until you have a paste-like consistency.
  • Add the papaya and carrot.
  • Combine the sugar, fish sauce and lime juice and stir into the mixture.
  • Crush one last time, mixing the ingredients well.
  • Cut the tomatoes in half and stir them into the salad.
  • Stir in the crushed peanuts. Mix well.


The dish is ready, you can serve it with Chinese cabbage and other crunchy vegetables (this calms the fire of the chilli) and sticky rice.

There are several styles of som tamThis recipe is the one for Thai som-tamwith the addition of crab it becomes a som-tam pou (crab = for) and with fermented fish som-tam plâ râ.

If you don't have glutinous rice you can also eat it with bread, it becomes a som tam farangset thaior Franco-Thai.

Papaya seeds have many medicinal properties, so it is better to keep them and eat them than to throw them away.

See : Medicinal properties of Papaya

Video of another Som Tam Thai recipe

Here is a video showing the preparation of the Som-Tam

See also :

10 delicious Thai dishes not to be missed, what to eat in Thailand

Recognise Thai dishes so that you can order them in restaurants

Photo: Takeaway

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