Thai Green Papaya Salad with Shrimp

I will not confess to sitting on the sofa with a carton of ice cream and a spoon, yesterday.  I will confess to feeling guilty for some unexplained reason and deciding that a light salad would be a great dinner option.  The guilt had nothing to do with a carton of ice cream, because there was no carton.  :)

Ok fine there was a carton, but only because all my bowls were in the dish washer.

I didn’t only make this salad to counter act the pint of ice cream I almost polished off.  I have been curious about a green papaya salad since I saw it on an episode of Triple D.   When I saw this recipe in Bon Appetit I jumped in the car and headed out to the Asian market for a few ingredients.

Green Papaya Salad 550

First let’s start with the dressing.  You will need fish sauce, golden brown sugar, dried shrimp, lime and garlic.   Whisk everything together and set aside.

A warning, it won’t smell so great at first but don’t let that scare you, it’s really very tasty.

Green Papaya Salad

Take 1/4 cup of the dressing and pour over the peeled and deveined shrimp, set aside.

Green Papaya Salad

Time to work the papaya.  I had to go to the Asian market for the green papaya because I only found ripe ones at my local grocery store.  Cut the papaya in half, seed and peel.

The seeds look like little popped rice pods, interesting.

Green Papaya Salad

Using a julienne peeler (or grater) peel enough until you have 3 cups of papaya.  It will be about half of the papaya.  You can peel the rest and freeze to use later.  Place in a bowl and set aide.

Green Papaya Salad

Blanch the green beans in boiling salt water until bright and crisp.

Green Papaya Salad

Rinse under cold water to stop the cooking process.

Green Papaya Salad

Chop the green beans into 2-inch pieces, add to papaya.

Green Papaya Salad

Thinly chop the scallions, cilantro and half the cherry tomatoes, add to bowl.

Green Papaya Salad

Now to give this salad a bit of a kick, add 1 tsp of chile garlic sauce.  It gives you that little tickle in the back of your through, it’s good for you.

Green Papaya Salad

Now cook your shrimp until pink and cooked through.  I grilled mine on my cast iron grill skillet but any skillet will do.

Green Papaya Salad

Add the shrimp to the salad,

Green Papaya Salad

top with chopped peanuts and remaining dressing,

Green Papaya Salad

toss until evenly coated.

Green Papaya Salad 550

This salad was perfect!  It’s light, crisp, and the lime in the dressing makes it bright and tangy.   For such simple ingredients it has a lot of texture and character, you will not be disappointed.

When Obed got home from work and saw what I had for dinner he made “the face”.  You know the face your man makes when he is suspicious about what you are about to feed him, the “what is that?” face, but he was very surprised to find out he actually enjoyed it.  He said the seller for him as the citrus in the dressing.

Trust me if my carnivore of a husband can eat this and enjoy it, anyone can.

Print Recipe

Thai Green Papaya Salad with Shrimp (adapted from Bon Appetit May 2010)  Serves 2 – 4

  • 5 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • 3 tablespoons (packed) palm sugar or golden brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons fish sauce
  • 2 tablespoons dried shrimp, chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 16 medium shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 10 green beans, halved crosswise
  • 1 1 lb green papaya, peeled, halved, seeded
  • 8 large cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1 green onion, very thinly sliced
  • 1 tsp chile garlic sauce
  • 2 tablespoons coarsely chopped salted peanuts

Whisk first 5 ingredients in medium bowl. Pour 1/4 cup of dressing over shrimp and set aside.

Cook beans in medium saucepan of boiling salted water until crisp-tender, about 5 minutes. Rinse under cold water. Cut into 2-inch pieces. Using julienne peeler, peel enough papaya to measure 3 cups. Place in large bowl. Add tomatoes, cilantro, green onions, chile, and green beans.  Grill shrimp in cast iron grill skillet or in skillet until pink and cook through, add to salad.

Pour dressing over; toss. Sprinkle peanuts over and serve


Julienne peeler or box grater


Palm sugar, fish sauce (nam pla or nuoc nam), dried shrimp, Chinese long beans, green papaya, and Thai chiles can all be found at Asian markets.


  1. says

    I like to eat papaya salad.

    When i view your article and view your site have good.

    I like your site.

    I have feel good in your content the best.

    thanks for this nice information.

  2. Scott says

    Love the fact that Tyler Florence, in his cookbook, “Eat This Book”, doesn’t mention a little detail like PEELING the thing!! Crap!

  3. kaaren says

    Traditionally, som tam is made with a mortar and pestle. Doing so helps soften up the papaya and let the sauces soak in a bit.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *