Thai Papaya Salad

This salad is incredibly flavourful and good for you! Not even a drop of oil is used which is very uncommon considering most traditional salad dressings are oil based. To make the papaya strands I used a handheld julienne shredding tool found here but you can always use a regular box grater or even a spiralizer if you have one. I found all of the ingredients listed fairly easily at my local Asian market, so hopefully, you can do the same! 


Thai Papaya Salad

Prep time: 20 minutes
Cook time: 5 minutes
Total time: 25 minutes
Yield: 4 servings


  • 1 tbsp. dried shrimp

  • 1 tbsp. palm sugar

  • 2 cups green papaya, peeled and grated

  • ¼ cup Chinese long green beans, ends trimmed and cut into 2 inch pieces

  • ½ cup cherry tomatoes, cut in half

  • Juice of 1 lime, plus additional lime wedges for garnish

  • 2 cloves garlic

  • 2 thai chili peppers (use less if you don’t like the heat)

  • 1 tbsp. fish sauce

  • 2 tbsp. toasted peanuts

  • Cilantro for garnish

*If you do not have a mortar and pestle you can simply put the ingredients in a large Ziplock bag, and pound them on a cutting board using a rolling pin, a kitchen mallet or a wine bottle.


Soak the dried shrimp in warm water for 10 minutes. This helps to release the flavours when cooking. Drain and pat dry, then place a small dry pan over medium heat. Place the shrimp in the dry pan, and sauté until fully dried and crispy, approximately 5 minutes.

Place the palm sugar in a small bowl with ¼ tsp. of water. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and microwave until softened, but not liquefied, approximately 15-20 seconds. Place the palm sugar in a mortar and pestle and mash until a smooth paste is formed.* (if you do not have a mortar and pestle, see the notes above)

Using a large mortar and pestle, mash the softened palm sugar, garlic cloves and chili peppers, until only small pieces of chili pepper and garlic remain.

Add in lime juice, fish sauce and peanuts and mash again until the peanuts are in coarse pieces.  Next, add in the shrimp and green beans, and lightly pound to bruise the beans and release the flavours from the shrimp. Lastly, add in the tomatoes and the grated papaya and toss until well combined. Serve with lime wedges.