Thai Papaya Salad

I have seen this salad at restaurants and on take-out menus, but it is usually made with fish sauce, so I never had the chance to try it. It turns out making it yourself is not too difficult and extremely delicious. In fact, way more delicious than I could have anticipated. I thought the papaya would be sweet, but it wasn’t. It provided the perfect texture and fresh flavor to really carry the dressing. It is pretty spicy from the chiles, but you can cut back on those if they aren’t your thing.

This salad is insanely tasty, and will really encourage you to book that trip to Thailand, ASAP. In the meantime, we’ll just keep borrowing their cuisine and pretending we’re in Bangkok.

Let me know if you decide to try this recipe! Let me know in the comments, and tag me on Instagram!  


1 lime, sliced in half
3 fresh Thai chiles, like Bird’s Eye (can sub serranos)
2 cloves garlic, peeled
2 tbsp light brown sugar
10 cherry or grape tomatoes, halved
2 tbsp mushroom stir-fry sauce
1 tsp liquid aminos
1 tsp rice vinegar
1 lb green papaya
Chopped roasted peanuts (optional)

  1. Cut ½ of the lime into small wedges and place in a large mortar along with the fresh chiles, garlic, and sugar. Crush with the pestle until the chiles are mashed and bruised (but not totally pureed) and the sugar is dissolved.
  2. Add the tomatoes and pound a few times to bruise them. (You can also accomplish this with a mixing bowl and potato masher or round-ended cocktail muddler.)
  3. Squeeze the juice from the remaining lime half into the mortar and stir in the mushroom sauce, liquid aminos and rice vinegar.
  4. Peel and seed the green papaya, and shred with a food processor or mandoline. You should have about 4 cups of shredded papaya.
  5. Add the papaya to the mortar and mash and toss lightly. If desired, top with peanuts. 
  6. Enjoy! 

Recipe inspired by Chrissy Teigen