Spiralized Som Tam (Thai Papaya Salad)

gluten freepaleo
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!


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.

Screen Shot 2016-07-13 at 5.16.14 PM

Spiralized Som Tam (Thai Papaya Salad)

Prep Time20 mins
Total Time20 mins
Servings: 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


  • Spiralize each papaya halve using Blade D. Set aside.
  • 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.
  • Add the fish sauce and the lime juice to the mortar and toss to combine using a spoon.
  • 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.
  • Serve.

Spiralized Som Tom (Thai Papaya Salad)

New to spiralizing? Grab your FREE eBook with our 20 Most Popular Blog Recipes!

Have a spiralizer and not sure where to start?How about making our fool-proof, most popularly made recipes from the blog? In this printable PDF eCookbook you’ll find photos and full recipes of our readers’ favorites to get you started!

Share on facebook
Share on google
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin

Leave a Comment

Want to share a photo of what you’ve made? Be sure to click the 'Choose file' button below to add your photos!

Recipe Rating

The maximum upload file size: 300 MB. You can upload: image. Drop file here


Jacki says:
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.
Ali Maffucci says:
Jacki - can't wait to hear what you think!
Maribeth says:
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!
Ali Maffucci says:
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!
Maribeth says:
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 :)
Jillian says:
Just wanted to pop in and say that Terri's Oriental Grocceries in Maywood, NJ is right off route 17 and has an incredible selection of thai grocceries. If you have a car, it's worth the half hour drive! I go there for all of my thai groccery needs, living in the JC area myself. Really keeping my fingers crossed that 99 Ranch actually opens up in JC for other asian products...
Carolyn Wand says:
Are the green beans supposed to be raw or cooked? The recipe doesn't specify.
Ali Maffucci says:
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.
Mummy Tries says:
Quite possibly my favourite salad of all time! I sooooo need one of these machines :)
Karen says:
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!
Ali Maffucci says:
You are so sweet to post this, thank you Karen!
Naomi says:
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!!
Ali Maffucci says:
Yay! Hope you make it at home.
Melissa says:
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.
Suzanne says:
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: https://www.primalpal.net/paleo-recipe-blog/35/what-is-palm-sugar-and-how-do-you-use-it
Maribeth says:
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.
Elizabeth Burrows says:
Can I use a regular Papaya or does it have to be green?
Ali Maffucci says:
You'll need to use a green papaya - the flavors and consistencies are different! But, if that's all you can find, go for it!
John says:
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.
Ali Maffucci says:
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.

Latest on Inspiralized

Subscribe to Inspiralized

Subscribe to one or all of our newsletters for amazing
recipes, inspirational content + our most popular recipe PDF.

  • Weekly Recap
  • Kidsletter
  • Products + Sales

air fried shrimp tacos with pineapple mango salsa and guacamole, another meal made fully from a @wholefoods shop! 🌮🍍🥑🍤⁣

~ corn tortillas⁣
~ guacamole⁣
~ pineapple & mango salsa (fresh prepared foods)⁣
~ sliced red cabbage (pre-sliced container)⁣
~ @sirkensingtons chile lime crema⁣
~ cleaned & deveined shrimp ⁣
~ panko breadcrumbs ⁣

preheat the air fryer to 400 degrees. dredge the shrimp in egg and dip in panko (toss the panko with paprika, onion, chili, & garlic powder, salt, and cumin.) add in a single layer to the air fryer and cook for 7-10 minutes, flipping halfway through (they’re done when golden brown and C-shaped.) spread some guacamole on the tortillas and top with shrimp, cabbage tossed with juiced lime, pineapple mango salsa, and drizzle with the bottled crema. easy peasy! 👏🏼 ⁣

what’s your favorite easy weeknight taco combo? 🌮 #inspiralizedwholefoodsmealideas

super easy lunch idea, made (almost) entirely from the freezer and 100% from @wholefoodsmarket, so next time you go there to shop, grab the following items and make this Teriyaki Tofu and Pepper Riced Cauliflower Stir Fry👇🏼👇🏼

~ frozen riced cauliflower, stir fry style⁣
~ frozen three pepper blend (sliced bell peppers)⁣
~ organic teriyaki sauce⁣
~ @wildwoodfoods teriyaki baked tofu⁣
~ for garnish: white sesame seeds, red pepper flakes⁣

heat a tablespoon of neutral oil in a medium skillet. add the bag of riced cauliflower and sauté until softened to your preference (about 5 minutes for rice-like, IMHO.) set the cauliflower aside in a bowl. add a couple handfuls of bell pepper strips and half the package of tofu, cubed. pour over some teriyaki sauce (I use about 1/3 cup), stir, and let cook until peppers are totally soft, another 3 to 5 minutes. top the riced cauliflower with the teriyaki tofu and peppers. garnish with sesame seeds and red pepper flakes. enjoy!⁣ 🥡

do you like easy meal ideas like this from specific grocery stores? 🤔 I'll start a hashtag for them - this one will be #inspiralizedwholefoodsmealideas

probably my favorite part of parenthood is seeing life through my children’s’ eyes. everything is new and they live a life of exciting discovery. and nothing beats the merriment of Christmastime! 🎄🎅🏻 luca and roma had a blast ice skating today in NYC - luca got the hang of it quickly and he loved pushing roma on the little plastic bear seats they had at @rinkatbrookfieldplacenyc. ⛸❄️ the twins were angels and slept the whole time, so I could be present with my older kids. 👼🏻👼🏻

and we’re building a holiday bucket list calendar, what should we add to it (aside from meeting santa? 😉)

cauliflower and carrot masala, totally normal meal on thanksgiving eve, right? 😅🥄

tomorrow we’re going to my BIL’s to hang out with Lu’s side of the family, and I’m excited to see everyone (it’s been YEARS!) and have the kids spend time with their cousins, aunts and uncles 🙏🏼

for the curry, simmer cauliflower, carrots, a jar of @mayakaimalfoods, and 2 cups of @bonafideprovisions veggie broth in a large pot for 20 minutes or until thickened to your preference. add cooked lentils, stir, and serve with jasmine rice, chutney and toasted naan. easy 30 minute meal 👏🏼 not exactly thanksgiving-friendly, but worth a share!

safe travels today and tomorrow and wishing everyone a safe and happy thanksgiving 🦃 I’m so grateful for you