Posted by Tasty Asian Recipes on May - 13 - 2013 under All Recipes, Appetizers, Lao
  • 2 cups shredded green papayas
  • 1 garlic clove minced
  • 4 red Thai chilies
  • 1 Tbsp water
  • 1 Tbsp Shrimp Paste
  • 1/4 Tbsp Crab Paste with Soya Bean Oil
  • 1 Tbsp Fish Sauce
  • 2 1/2 Tbsp sugar
  • 2 Tbsp lime juice
  • 5 medium-sized cherry tomatoes, cut in halves
  • 2 Tbsp of crushed roasted peanuts
Prep time: 15 mins Serving: 2 people

Papaya Salad, also known as Tam Som in Laos, is a very popular side dish or appetizer found in certain Asian restaurants. It is made with crunchy, shredded pieces of young green papaya mixed with lime, fish sauce, and red chili. A variation of this is the Thai version which has a more distinctive sour taste using more lime.


  1. Using a large mortar and pestle, add the garlic and red chillies and pound them together.
  2. Add the shrimp, crab paste, and water. Continue to pound until the shrimp and crab paste are all mixed thoroughly with the chilies.
  3. Add the fish sauce, sugar, lime juice, and tomatoes. Then add the papaya and mix all the ingredients together.
  4. Taste the papaya salad. If you want it more sour, add more lime juice. For more tangy/flavorful taste, add more fish sauce. For spicier taste,add more chillies. For sweeter taste, add more sugar.
  5. Serve on a plate and sprinkle roasted, crushed peanuts as garnish.

If you like this recipe, you can also check out Traditional Recipes of Laos by Phia Sing (affiliate link):


Let us know in the comments below if you’ve tried this recipe and let us know what you think.

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One Response so far.

  1. Emily Saechao says:

    Me and my husband love eating papaya salad so we actually tried this and it was super good!

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