Thai Green Papaya Salad

Green Papaya Salad

I normally wouldn’t order a salad when we go out for Thai food (because I crave noodles and rice), but this just sounded sooo good that I couldn’t help myself.  We found a great little Asian restaurant in Cary called the Tangerine Cafe and this salad sounded so interesting that I had to try it.    Plus, I knew that I could have some of the girls’ Pad Thai so I really wasn’t going to miss out on my carbs.

The salad at Tangerine Cafe has green papaya, jicama, tomatoes and a Tamarind sauce. The salad in the picture above is pretty similar except I didn’t have any tomatoes or jicama in the house.   Many of the recipes also call for dried shrimp, but I just added a little extra fish sauce.

I had this salad the next time we went out for Thai Food in Tysons Corner, VA after out trip to the American Girl Doll store.  As soon as I saw it I knew I was going to order it again.  This time they served it with grilled shrimp which was wonderful.

The salad is a little bit spicy, a little bit sweet, and a little bit salty….which is everything that I love about Thai Food.  Plus, its so fresh tasting so you feel good about eating it.  Trust me, you won’t be able to stop eating this, but unlike a noodle or rice dish it’s ok…because it’s just a salad:-).  Enjoy!

Recipe adapted from Thai Table


Thai Green Papaya Salad
  • 1½ tablespoons fish sauce
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 6 green beans (cut into 1 inch pieces)
  • 2 cups shredded green papaya (I found this pre-shredded in my local Asian market)
  • ¾ lime
  • 1½ tablespoons sugar
  • 2 tablespoons toasted peanuts
  • 1 tablespoon Thai chili paste
  • 6 Cherry Tomatoes (halved) and 1 tablespoon dried shrimp (I didn't have either when I made this but ideally I would have liked to add at least the tomatoes.
  1. Ideally this salad is made using a mortar and pestle, however, I don't have one as I am sure many others don't. I used the bottom of my meat tenderizer and gently crushed the ingredients in a stainless steel mixing bowl. This seemed to work ok.
  2. In the bottom of your bowl smash the garlic clove. Add the green beans and tomatoes (if using) and pound them to bruise them slightly. Add the remaining ingredients and use the pestle (or whatever tool you are using) to mix the ingredients well by pushing into the bowl.
  3. Enjoy!



  1. It looks so fresh and healthy I love this type of recipes!

  2. There are no Thai restaurants in my town, and I am infinitely sad. It’s one of my favourite cuisines! I won’t lie, I’ve never had papaya either! Hopefully something I can add!

  3. Karen (Back Road Journal) says:

    You were so lucky to have found shredded green papaya. Oh to have an Asian market nearby for fresh ingredients. I just planted lemongrass in my garden because if I can find it then it is all dried out.

  4. Words Of Deliciousness says:

    Sounds so delicious.

  5. I’ve heard great things about this salad before but never had an opportunity to try it. I love that you recreated it! I will have to try and find the green papaya. It sounds wonderful especially with shrimp.

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