Addictively hot and refreshingly crunchy, Som Tam Thai could take the crown for world’s best salad. It’s a complex dish that requires lots of practice to get right so to save you the wasted hours and crocodile tears, Ben of Thai-D Food Bar recorded a recipe guide (below).

For a vegan version, just replace the fish sauce with a substitute.


  • Julienned green papaya, soak in ice water for 10-15 minutes until they are firmer
  • Carrot
  • Swede
  • Green beans or runner beans
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • Bird’s eye chilies, to taste 
  • 1 1/2 tbsp palm sugar, finely chopped, packed
  • 23 long beans, cut into 2-inch pieces
  • 3 tbsp peanuts (optional)
  • 2 tbsp fresh lime juice
  • 2 tsp tamarind juice
  • 1 1/2 tbsp Thai fish sauce (Nam Pla) 0r vegan substitute
  • 1/2 cup cherry tomatoes tomato halves or a small tomato cut into wedges
  • Serving suggestion: sticky rice and Thai chicken wings are classic pairings with papaya salad!


We buy raw unsalted peanuts and roast them. Simply put them in a 350°F (175°C) oven for 15-18 minutes until they’re golden, stirring them half way through for even roasting. Do not use salted roasted peanuts as the dish will be unbalanced. 

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