Som Tam or green papaya salad consists of the simplest ingredients and yet each bite bursts with heat, sweetness, umami, and even a little bit of pungent goodness from the fish sauce.

It was a staple order from the market below my sister’s apartment when I would visit her in Bangkok. These were the cheap (Literally!) thrills I would indulge in on my trips to the capital city of Thailand.We paired this salad with sticky rice and a variety of grilled meats. It was always a feast, an affordable one at that!

You must think that serving up a spicy salad in this heat is insane. On the contrary, when consuming spicy food on a hot day you will indeed sweat (as predicted) but your body will also cool down faster. Another great thing about consuming chilies is it boosts metabolism, and don’t we all need a little metabolism boost?

Green Papaya Salad

Green Papaya Salad


If you don't have a large mortar and pestle, use a small one to pound the garlic, chillies and dried shrimp and mix everything else in a metal or glass mixing bowl.
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