Thai papaya salad

April 5, 2021

By Chef Jessica Van Roo, assistant director of Culinary Recreation & Experiential Programs at UC Irvine

Serves 4


  • 10 Cherry Tomatoes
  • 4 chili peppers
  • 2 tablespoon dried shrimp
  • 3 tablespoons fish sauce
  • 2 clove garlic
  • 12 green beans
  • 4 cups shredded green papaya
  • 2 limes, juiced
  • 3 tablespoons Palm Sugar
  • 4 tablespoons toasted peanuts


  1. In a mortar smash a clove of garlic first with the pestle.
  2. Then add green beans and halved cherry tomatoes. Pound a few times just to bruise the beans and get the juice out of the tomatoes.
  3. Add chili peppers and crush them just enough to release the hotness, unless you like your salad really hot.
  4. Add the green papaya, dried shrimp, toasted peanuts, fish sauce, lime juice and palm sugar. Use the pestle to push the mixture up in the mortar and the spatula to push it down so that the mixture is mixed well.
  5. However, if you do not have a big enough mortar, you can crush garlic, tomatoes, green beans. Set them aside in a large bowl. Add dried shrimp, fish sauce, lime juice and palm sugar to the bowl. Add green papaya and mix well.
  6. Serve with sticky rice and a sliver of cabbage, green beans and Thai basil.

Tip: In Thailand, green papaya salad is made using a clay mortar, wooden pestle and a spatula. However, if you do not have one, you can also use a food processor by combining, shrimp with fish sauce, garlic, sugar and lime juice, mix well and add remaining ingredients.

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