Bangkok Street Food's Green Papaya Salad

Luk Thys

At most Thai joints, the papaya salad is rarely one of the more memorable plates. Swimming in a cloyingly sugary dressing or wilted beyond recognition, these sub-par salads do nothing to showcase the vibrancy of a truly exemplary Green Papaya Salad. To experience the salad the way it's meant to be enjoyed, we turn to Tom Vandenberghe and Eva Verplaetse, the Thai food-loving co-authors of Bangkok Street Food.

This recipe from Bangkok Street Food comes from years of on-the-street research—that is, loads of spicy-fresh papaya salads made streetside, pounded with a mortar and pestle for optimal enjoyment. Aside from the papaya and a really fabulous dressing of chiles, garlic, and fish sauce, this salad calls for a few other veggies: long beans and Thai eggplant. Finished off with a handful of roasted peanuts and chewy dried shrimp, this papaya salad is tasty on so many levels—crisp, hot, sweet, crunchy, and fishy in the best possible way.

Reprinted with permission from Bangkok Street Food by Tom Vandenberghe and Eva Verplaetse. Copyright © 2010. Published by Lannoo. Available wherever books are sold. All rights reserved.

Recipe Details

Bangkok Street Food's Green Papaya Salad

Active 15 mins
Total 15 mins
Serves 2 servings


  • 200g green papaya (about 1 cup)

  • 1 to 2 garlic cloves

  • 2 to 5 small bird's eye chiles

  • 1 pinch salt

  • 1 to 2 teaspoons palm sugar

  • 2 snake beans (long beans), cut into 1/2-inch lengths

  • 2 tablespoons roasted peanuts

  • 4 cherry tomatoes, halved

  • 2 tablespoons dried baby shrimps

  • 1 Thai eggplant, sliced (optional)

  • 2 to 3 tablespoons fish sauce

  • 1 to 2 tablespoons lime juice


  1. Peel and shred the green papaya. Pound the garlic with chiles, salt, and sugar in a clay mortar with a wooden pestle. Add snake beans, peanuts, tomatoes, dried shrimps and when using Thai eggplant, now is the time.

  2. Keep pounding and mixing simultaneously with a large spoon. Season it with fish sauce and lime. Fold in the green papaya and continue pounding and mixing until the papaya is coated with the dressing.

Nutrition Facts (per serving)
185 Calories
5g Fat
30g Carbs
8g Protein
Show Full Nutrition Label Hide Full Nutrition Label
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 2
Amount per serving
Calories 185
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 5g 7%
Saturated Fat 1g 4%
Cholesterol 11mg 4%
Sodium 1578mg 69%
Total Carbohydrate 30g 11%
Dietary Fiber 4g 13%
Total Sugars 14g
Protein 8g
Vitamin C 84mg 419%
Calcium 97mg 7%
Iron 2mg 10%
Potassium 686mg 15%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)