Som tum recipe

Som tum recipe making it at home

This is a blog post on making som tum homemade recipe. Som tum is a fresh papaya based salad which has origins of street food in Thailand. It’s great zingy salad dressing it makes an appetizing as side dish or a salad. To serve as side dish with roasted meats and boiled rice.

To get hold of green papaya is not easy to find as it is only available in Asian grocers. Papaya is grown commonly like weeds in South East Asia so if you can find grocers that sell South East Asian ingredients for cooking you will most likely find green papaya. This recipe also uses dried shrimps that give the dish an umami flavour. Omit it for a vegan option. It is possible to make this recipe a completely plant-based recipe.

Som tum recipe
Som tum

Here is how to make it at home.

Som tum recipe makes about 4 portions as a side dish

1 small green unripe papaya

30 grams of dried prawns blended finely

50 grams of nuts (peanut or cashew nut) blended finely

100 – 150 grams of cherry tomatoes

100 grams of fine green beans (optional) but it will more texture to this dish


1 fresh green lime (juice only)

3 cloves garlic finely minced

1 – 2 tablespoon of fish sauce use soy sauce for vegan option

One fresh red chilli finely sliced or 1/2 teaspoonful of chilli flakes (to taste depends on how much heat you would like)

1 teaspoon of palm sugar or caster sugar


First of all grated the green papaya coarsely on a grater. The traditional method seen in street food stalls uses quick motions of slicing using the knife. Also the other ingredients are also pounded on a traditional pestle and mortar. Depends on the region some street food stall offer fresh soft shell crabs to add to the som tum. I haven’t put it in the list of ingredients as it is not commonly found in restaurants or abroad.

Then slice or quarter the cherry tomatoes and quickly blanch the green beans in hot water then plunge in cold water. Finely slice it.

In a dry frying pan, fry the dried prawns and nuts over medium be careful not to burn it. Fry till it releases a nice aroma.

Som tum recipe
Roasted buts and prawns

Add the green papaya, tomatoes, green beans and toasted dried prawns & nuts. Set aside.

Make the dressing by adding all the ingredients together. Then add it to the green papaya mix. Enjoy.

Thank you for dropping by for my other recipes have a look at my runner bean and tomato salad. Runner beans are easily available it uses the same type of dressing.

Som tum recipe
Som tum recipe

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