Green Papaya Salad

Green papaya salad is a spicy salad made from shredded unripe papaya mixed in a dressing made from pounded Thai chilies, fresh garlic, dried shrimp, fish sauce, lime juice, and palm sugar. Although this dish originated in Laos, Thailand’s version became more popular around the world. The salad combines the four major flavors in Lao cuisine: sour, spicy, salty, and sweet. Green papaya salad is also prepared and eaten throughout Southeast Asia. Green papaya salad is usually served as a meal, a spicy vegetable side dish or a snack by itself.

This recipe will show you how easy and simple it is to prepare a basic and authentic green papaya salad. Crunchy thin strips of fresh green papaya are mixed with a spicy, salty, sour, and sweet dressing made from pounded chilies, tomatoes, fish sauce, shrimp paste, lime juice, sugar, dried shrimps. This green papaya salad is perfect to pair with fried dishes or as a condiment for sandwiches.


This recipe takes about 20 minutes to make. Serves 2 to 3.

• 2 cups of shredded green papaya
• 1 green chili
• 1 red chili
• 1 clove of garlic
• 1 tomato, sliced
• 1 tbsp fish sauce
• 1 tsp shrimp paste
• 2 tbsp lime juice
• 1 tsp sugar
• 2 tbsp dried shrimps


Put chilies and garlic in a mortar.
Using a pestle, vigorously pound until the garlic and chilies are pulverized.
Add shredded green papaya, tomato slices, fish sauce, shrimp paste, lime juice, sugar, and dried shrimps.
Using the pestle and a spoon, alternately pound and stir the ingredients in the mortal.
Do this until the tomato slices are smashed and the sugar is dissolved.
Transfer the papaya salad to a plate and serve.

Ideas And Tips:

You can also add shredded carrots, cucumbers, zucchini, jicama, daikon or green mangoes, sticks of blanched string beans, roasted peanuts or bean sprouts.

If you cannot find shrimp paste or dried shrimps, you can use anchovies. You can also use cooked shrimps. You will need to add more fish sauce as both shrimp paste and dried shrimps are salty.

You can add chopped fresh cilantro or coriander leaves.

If you do not have a mortar and pestle, you can use a food processor or blender. Blend chilies, garlic, fish sauce, shrimp paste, lime juice, sugar, and dried shrimps first. Then, blend in tomato slices just until smashed but not crushed. In a bowl, put the blended ingredients and shredded papaya, and then toss well.

The salad will stay fresh and crisp for 2 days in the fridge in an airtight container.

Green Papaya Salad
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