Gordon's Great Escape

Spicy Thai green papaya salad recipe

MiMi Aye's fiery som tam salad packs a punch with exciting colours, textures and flavours. It's perfect with barbecued meats, as a side dish, or as a starter

Serves 4


  • 6 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 3 bird’s eye chillies
  • Handful of dried shrimps
  • Handful of dry roasted peanuts
  • ½ lime
  • 1 large green (i.e. unripe) papaya or mango, peeled and sliced into matchsticks
  • 100g trimmed French beans, snapped in half
  • 8 cherry or baby plum tomatoes, quartered
  • 1 tbsp palm or brown sugar
  • 1 tbsp fish sauce

To serve

  • Wedges of white cabbage
  • Cucumber slices


  1. Pound the garlic, salt and chillies into a rough paste using a pestle and mortar. Add the shrimps, peanuts and a good squeeze of lime and pound again. Set to one side.

  2. Add the papaya and the French beans and bruise gently so the paste gets worked into it, but not so you pulp the fruit. Don’t worry if your mortar isn’t big enough to hold all the papaya and beans; just make sure you pound some of both with the paste.

  3. Tip everything out of the mortar into a large bowl. Add the rest of the papaya and beans if you didn’t before. Add the tomatoes and mix by hand.

  4. Add the sugar, fish sauce and the rest of the juice from the lime and mix thoroughly. Serve with the cabbage leaves and the cucumber slices.

By MiMi Aye, Asian food geek, cook and writer of the blog meemalee’s kitchen


Average rating: 4.5/5
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Gordon's Great Escape

Last Broadcast: Monday 30 May 9.00PM

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Friday 27 May 2011
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