Spiralized Som Tam (Thai Papaya Salad)

Spiralized Som Tam (Thai Papaya Salad)

I figured it out!

I figured out how to spiralize a papaya.

And you have my trip to Thailand to thank – it motivated me to find a way to recreate this dish with the Inspiralizer.

YES. That’s right, with a little maneuvering and careful spiralizing, you can make papaya noodles with the Inspiralizer!

Spiralized Som Tam (Thai Papaya Salad)

To spiralize a papaya,

  • peel it
  • slice it in half
  • scoop out as many seeds as possible
  • spiralize each half, loading the thinner end of the papaya on the spikes of the handle, doing your best to keep it centered

Spiralized Som Tam (Thai Papaya Salad)

You’ll get gorgeous papaya spirals that work fabulously in this Som Tam, which is Papaya Salad. I had a Papaya Salad every single day while we were in Thailand. It was so refreshing,especially since while we were there it was above 90 degrees (although it felt like 115 degrees) every day.

We made this exact recipe in our cooking class in Chiang Mai (at Pantawan Cooking, which I highly recommend!) and I was so excited to recreate it with the Inspiralizer once we returned.

Som Tam can also be served with dried shrimp, but I didn’t like the taste of dried shrimp, so, because this is my blog, I omitted it – but if you like dried shrimp, just add it in at the end and toss together.

Spiralized Som Tam (Thai Papaya Salad)

Tomorrow, I’m sharing my favorite dish we had while in Chiang Mai: Kao Soi Gai – a Northern Thailand specialty, mainly found in Chiang Mai. It’s a curry noodle bowl with chicken and it was by far my favorite, with the Papaya Salad in the #2 post.

After that, we’re done with the Thai-inspired dishes for a while, so I hope you’ve enjoyed!

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Nutritional Information & Recipe

Weight Watchers SmartPoints*: 5 points

*These points were calculated using the official Weight Watchers SmartPoints calculator. We are in no way affiliated with Weight Watchers, we are providing this information based on popular demand.

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4.7 from 3 reviews
Spiralized Som Tam (Thai Papaya Salad)
Prep time
Total time
Serves: 4
  • 1 green papaya, peeled and halved, seeds scooped out
  • 6 Thai red chilis
  • 4 clove of peeled garlic
  • 1 cup green beans cut into 1” pieces
  • 2 limes, juiced
  • 4 tablespoon fish sauce
  • 4 small vine tomatoes, chopped or sliced
  • 4 tablespoons roasted peanuts
  1. Spiralize each papaya halve using Blade D. Set aside.
  2. Using a mortar and pestle (or something similar), mash the garlic. Add chilli and mash together. Add the green beans and gently mash, just to break the beans open. Add the peanuts and mash lightly again, just to crush the peanuts and break them up.
  3. Add the fish sauce and the lime juice to the mortar and toss to combine using a spoon.
  4. In a large bowl, add the spiralized papaya and tomatoes. Pour over the mixture from the mortar and pestle and toss to combine well. Lightly mash the papaya just to soften it and let the flavors absorb.
  5. Serve.

Spiralized Som Tom (Thai Papaya Salad)

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  1. Thank you for the instructions and the recipe. I so wanted to recreate this dish and I too don’t like the shrimp. On menu when I return home.

  2. I was hoping you’d make this recipe! Looks delicious Ali!

    Traditionally this dish is made with palm sugar which adds more complexity to the dish and compliments the acidity from the vinegar and fish sauce if you’re looking to make it more authentically. Also, there are a few Asian groceries in Jersey City that actually sell all of those Thai ingredients if you are looking not to venture to Chinatown!

    • I haven’t found any grocery stores downtown (JC) – and I looked all over! As for the palm sugar, I omitted it, because I don’t like using processed sugars in my cooking – hope that helps!

      • Ah makes sense..I totally understand! It’s one of my favorite kinds of salads mostly because it hits so many flavor notes–savory, sour, spicy, and sweet. I try not to use a lot of processed sugars too, but haven’t been able to find anything else to substitute it to still balance it out. If you have any suggestions I’d love to hear!

        The grocery stores aren’t in dtjc, but probably a 15 min drive away. 555 Asian Supermarket on Tonelle or Asian Food Market on 440 both have a lot of the Thai ingredients and good/cheap Asian veggies in general. It requires a car, but it’s still a great alternative if you’re looking not to lug ingredients around :)

  3. Carolyn Wand :

    Are the green beans supposed to be raw or cooked? The recipe doesn’t specify.

    • Unless I indicate cooked, they’re raw! So, raw! But you could definitely steam them beforehand, if you have a sensitive stomach to raw foods! Hope this helps, Carolyn – and great question.

  4. Quite possibly my favourite salad of all time! I sooooo need one of these machines :)

    • Get one as soon as your budget allows. You will not regret it!

      I have had the Paderno for over a year (got it before Ali came out with The Inspiralizer and couldn’t justify replacing it), but with the 20% off last week, some credits I had on Amazon, and a girlfriend wanting to get one (I sold mine to her for $20), I now have THE ONE AND ONLY!!! Oh my gosh what a difference! You are going to love, love, love it!

  5. We were eating this favorite dish at a restaurant YESTERDAY and saying we needed to come up with an easy home version so we can eat it all the time. So thanks!!

  6. Looks Delish! I’ve always wanted to try the papaya salad at my favorite Thai restaurant and now I may make my own thanks to you. When calculating WW smart points do you leave out the “free” fruits and veggies, etc or include them? When using just the peanuts and fish sauce to calculate, the points come out to 2 per serving, not 5. Maybe a note indicating that you use ALL ingredients when calculating would be helpful? I’m a huge fan of Ali, have her book and use the Inspiralizer nearly every day, and am just making a suggestion.

  7. How
    Odd, the comment of palm sugar being omitted because it’s processed. Palm sugar is very much a substitute in paleo cooking because it’s one of then more natural form of sweeteners. Traditional Thai cooking has a sweet element to offset or compliment the salty, sour, or heat elements, so I’m curious to see what a papaya alas raises without the Palm sugar! Palm sugar is boiled sap from the palmyra or nipa Palm and comes from a natural source, is not overly refined or processed like other sugars. Usually it’s formed into a shape after using a mold to hold the reduced sap:

    • That’s what I thought too Suzanne, but I have a feeling she meant not adding any kind of sugar into a dish besides sugars that are already in fruit/vegetables. I noticed in the Korean recipes there is no use of sugar either so it’s not 100% authentic, but just her take on it.

      It is definitely healthier, but it misses those complimenting elements you mentioned. I end up just taking the idea of spiralizaing something into the dish, but then using my own recipe for flavors.

  8. Elizabeth Burrows :

    Can I use a regular Papaya or does it have to be green?

  9. For anyone not familiar with Thai cooking, omitting sugar is completely missing the point of Thai flavouring. It is needed to balance the other flavours, it can be substituted with coconut sugar though. Also in this recipe tamarind water is missing which is also used when making som dtam. If you want the best reference point for making Thai meals then ‘Thai Food’ by David Thompson is essential. It will not taste authentic without these ingredients. The yellow papaya will also not work, it is too sweet at this point of ripening, it has to be green.

    • This is the exact recipe we made in Thailand by Thai instructors (less the sugar, which I pointed out – so that if people don’t mind sugar, they can use some). All recipes vary slightly depending on background (for example, every tomato sauce is different depending on the family’s recipe.) I’ve made this three times since I’ve been home and after being in Thailand for almost 10 days, I can assert htat yes, it’s 100% authentic – and I didn’t miss the sugar at all.

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