Thai Green Papaya Salad (Som Tum)

  • Serves

    serves 6


At Seattle's Little Uncle, chefs Poncharee Kounpungchart and Wiley Frank dehydrate Oregon bay shrimp and crush them into a green papaya salad, where the crustaceans amp up the umami flavor. This recipe first appeared with the 2015 SAVEUR 100 item Don't Forget to Dehydrate.


  • 10 small home-dehydrated or store-bought dried shrimp
  • 2 small red Thai chiles, stemmed
  • 1 clove garlic, peeled
  • 14 cup tamarind juice
  • 1 tbsp. grated palm sugar
  • 1 tbsp. Thai fish sauce
  • 1 lime, cut into 1" pieces
  • 4 cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 3 long beans or 6 regular green beans, trimmed and cut into 1" pieces
  • 1 carrot, coarsely shredded
  • 12 English cucumber, seeded and coarsely shredded
  • 16 small green cabbage, cored and thinly sliced
  • 1 lb. unripe green papaya, peeled, quartered, seeded, and finely shredded using a mandoline (about 2 cups)
  • 3 tbsp. unsalted roasted peanuts


Step 1

For home-dehydrated shrimp: dry bay shrimp in dehydrator at 155° for 9 hours.

Step 2

Using a mortar and pestle, crush shrimp, chiles, and garlic. Add tamarind juice, palm sugar, and fish sauce. Squeeze three-quarters of lime pieces over the top and drop into mortar; grind to make a rough dressing. Add remaining ingredients, except peanuts, adding papaya last. Use pestle and a spoon to grind and mix salad until vegetables and fruit are bruised and coated in dressing. Transfer to a serving dish; garnish with remaining lime pieces and peanuts.

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