This spicy papaya salad is fresh, flavorful, and satisfying. 


Fresh Green Papaya Salad

I love green papaya salad, and while it’s easy to make at home, it’s become my go-to takeout meal when traveling (well, until 2020!). A som tum salad and an order of brown rice from a local Thai eatery always helps me stay healthy on the go. 

Just what is green papaya? While we’re used to the ripe, bright-orange papaya readily sold in stores, green papaya is simply the unripened fruit harvested at an earlier stage. It’s white, crunchy, and loaded with enzymes and antioxidants—and can be found at Asian markets. 

This Fresh Green Papaya Salad serves four, but I can just eat it all myself, especially when paired with my Thai Coconut Tom Kha Soup. Don’t have green papaya on hand? Try cucumber, carrots, or cabbage!  

Serves 4

What you need:

  • 6 cups julienned green papaya
  • 10 long beans, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 cup sliced cherry tomatoes 
  • 3 minced garlic cloves
  • 1 minced Thai chili
  • 3 tablespoons soy sauce or tamari 
  • ¼ teaspoon sea salt 
  • 3 teaspoons maple syrup
  • 3 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • 1/2 cup chopped toasted peanuts, divided 

What you do:

  1. Into a large bowl, combine all ingredients, reserving ¼ cup peanuts for garnish. 
  2. Toss gently, and serve garnished with remaining peanuts. 

Healthy hints:

  • >> I always prefer toasted nuts in my cooking. Lightly toasting your raw peanuts (10 minutes at 325 degrees) will make all the difference!

  • >> On a recent trip to Thailand (I love our annual VegNews Food Lover’s Tour of Thailand with VegVoyages!), I picked up a handy tool that I use exclusively for shredding green papaya the way they do in Thailand. It’s available on Amazon, and I highly recommend it!

    >> Want your Fresh Green Papaya Salad extra crunchy? Soak the julienned papaya in a bowl of ice water for 10 minutes. Drain and thoroughly dry prior to tossing with remaining ingredients.