Papaya Salad

All over Thailand, you’ll 
see cooks in makeshift sidewalk food carts working huge mortars and pestles, pounding together the ingredients for this spicy, refreshing salad. If you don’t have a mortar and pestle, chop and smash the chiles and garlic with the side of a chef’s knife before mixing them with the remaining dressing ingredients. Traditionally, the papaya is cut into julienne threads with a large, sharp knife, but I prefer the safety 
of a nifty julienne peeler.

Papaya salad recipe

Shredded Papaya Salad

Learn about common Thai ingredients and how to use them.

  • 4Servings


  • 1/4 cup sliced green beans (½-inch lengths)
  • 1/2 to 1 red Thai chile 
pepper, stemmed
  • 1 tbsp date sugar
  • 2 large cloves garlic, peeled
  • 2 tbsp fresh lime juice
  • 1 tbsp fish sauce
  • 4 cups julienne, 
shredded or grated green papaya or green mango
  • 1 cup cherry 
tomatoes, halved
  • 2 tbsp unsalted roasted peanuts, chopped
  • 2 tbsp chopped 
fresh cilantro


  1. Into a medium heat-proof bowl, pour 2 cups boiling water over beans. Let sit for 30 seconds; drain and refresh with cold water. Drain and set aside.
  2. Place chile pepper, sugar and garlic in a large mortar and pestle and pound until the mixture is a fine paste, or smash it with the side of a chef’s knife. Add lime juice and fish sauce and stir to dissolve sugar. Pour into a small bowl.
  3. Add 1 cup papaya to the mortar and pound with the pestle until the fruit is a little bruised and limp, about 20 seconds. Transfer papaya to a large bowl and toss with the dressing and remaining ingredients. If you don’t have a mortar and pestle, vigorously mix the papaya and dressing together with your hands, squeezing gently to bruise the fruit slightly. (MAKE AHEAD: This salad can be made up to 2 hours in advance and refrigerated until ready to serve.)

Nutrition Information

  • Serving Size: 1 1/2 cups
  • Calories: 88
  • Carbohydrate Content: 15.5 g
  • Fat Content: 2.5 g
  • Fiber Content: 2 g
  • Protein Content: 4 g
  • Saturated Fat Content: 0.5 g
  • Sodium Content: 312 mg
  • Sugar Content: 9 g