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Easy Vegan Papaya Salad Recipe


Easy Vegan Papaya Salad Recipe
Thai papaya salad, also called "som tum" or "som tam" is a fun and spicy side dish. Although in Thai cuisine, papaya salad is usually made with fish sauce and shrimp, this vegetarian (and vegan!) som tum recipe has plenty of flavor as well. If you prefer a spicier dish, you can add even more chiles.



  • 2 cups firm green papaya, grated
  • 1/4 cup chopped green beans
  • 1/4 cup carrots, grated
  • 1/4 cup cabbage, sliced into thin strips
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce
  • 8-10 cherry tomatoes, sliced in half
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 small green or red chili, minced
  • 1 tsp lemon or lime juice
  • 1/2 tsp raw sugar or 1 tsp honey or agave nectar
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 2 tbsp roasted peanuts
  • lettuce (optional)


Combine all ingredients, except peanuts and toss well. Mash together with a mortar and pestle, if possible. Chill for at least 2 hours.

Add peanuts and serve cold on a bed of lettuce if desired.

Enjoy your vegetarian som tam salad!

Traditionally, the garlic and chilis are mashed together first with the mortar and pestle, then the lime is added. Some people smash the peanuts as well, while others add the peanuts in last so they're not crushed. Then, the tomatoes are lightly smashed before adding in all the rest of the ingredients.

In Thailand, the som tum maker usually takes a taste of the sauce to adjust the seasonings, if needed, and, if you're buying your papaya salad from a street vendor, they'll often offer you a taste too before packing it up for you or plating it.

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