David Thompson’s Green Papaya Salad

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David Thompson’s Green Papaya Salad

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Adjust Servings:
2 cloves peeled garlic
pinch sea salt
2-4 Thai bird chillies to taste
5 cherry tomatoes
1 tablespoon dried prawns soaked and drained
1 slice of lime
1 tablespoon toasted peanuts
1/4 cup snake beans cut to 4 cm pieces
2 cups green papaya shredded
3 tablespoons palm sugar
4 tablespoons lime juice
3 tablespoons tamarind water
2 tablespoons fish sauce
large pinch chilli powder
    • 25 min
    • Serves 2
    • Easy




    Originating from ethnic Lao people, this spicy salad is a delicious appetizer. It is eaten throughout South-Asia and you’ll find it in a few different forms in Thailand, Laos, Vietnam or Cambodia. This green papaya salad recipe is provided by Chef David Thompson, an expert in Thai food, and it is absolutely amazing. You can enjoy his delicious Thai dishes in one of Sydney’s best Thai restaurants – Long Chim.

    How To Make the Green Papaya Salad

    1. In a mortar & pestle pound the garlic with salt.
    2. Cut the tomatoes in half then toss into the mortar and crush with pestle along with the dried prawns, lime slice, peanuts and snake beans.
    3. Add the green papaya and bruise – do not over work.
    4. Season with palm sugar, lime juice, tamarind water, fish sauce and chilli powder – initially only use about 2/3s of each. Adding more as needed to hone and finish the seasoning.
    5. It should taste sweet and sour, hot then salty.


    Soak equal parts tamarind paste into warm water. Allow to soak 10 minutes. Using your fingers, mash the tamarind well into the water until it feels completely soft. Next, strain the tamarind water into a fresh bowl and squeeze out as much extract from the pulp as possible. The tamarind water is now ready for use in curries and many other things that require a tangy or sour flavour.

    David Thompson

    Multi-award-winning chef and author David Thompson is considered by many to be the world’s leading authority on Thai cuisine. The celebrated restaurateur launched the first of his many eateries in Sydney in the early 1990s in an effort to share Thai flavours with the rest of the world. In the 2000s David expanded into Great Britain, welcoming the adored Naim in London in 2001, an eatery so respected it was awarded a Michelin star within its first 6 months of opening. In time he returned to Australia to launch the first of his (now three) Long Chim restaurants, which embraces a simply food philosophy of fare that is fast, full-flavoured and affordable, and heavily inspired by the marketplaces of Bangkok. “The streets of Bangkok are the part of Thai culture I love the most. You’ll find most Thais prefer to eat in the markets and on the streets – and it’s where you’ll find me too,” David explains of his ongoing love affair with Thai cuisine.

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