A Trip To Thailand Through Food

For those of you who know me, I love to travel and I am such a foodie! I recently took a trip to Thailand for my honeymoon and per usual, immersed myself in the culture. Cooking with the locals, exploring a silk factory, and visiting the food markets were just a few of my favorite things.

Did You Know Papaya is a Fruit and a Vegetable?

Cook like a local with this authentic papaya salad recipe. Courtesy of Pantawa Cooking School in Chaing Mai, Thailand. This Recipe for Som Tum (North East Thailand Papaya Salad) opened my eyes to new flavors…and I loved it!

Start with fresh ingredients … and as our chef told us the “fantastic four”

Ingredients: makes one serving

2 Bird Eye Chilis

1 Peeled Garlic Clove

1 TBS Palm Sugar

4 Green Beans

1 ½ TBS Lime Juice

1 ½ TBS Fish Sauce

¼ Small Tomato

1 TBS Baby Dried Shrimp (optional)

1 TBS Toasted Peanuts

½ Green Papaya


Mortar, pestle, sharp knife, and cutting board


1. Peel the papaya, shred it with a shredder (or mandolin slicer) to thin strips. When a papaya is green it is considered a vegetable. Use a tool like the one below to shave the papaya.

2. Cut the green beans into one inch pieces. Cut the tomatoes into thin strips and remove the inside seeds.

3. Smash the chilies and peeled garlic with mortar and pestle. Add the dried baby shrimp (optional) and continue bashing. Add the peanuts and mix well.

4. Add the shredded papaya and mix with the pestle, slightly bashing. Just enough so the mixture soaks up the flavors. Use a bigger spoon as a support tool that way you can shift the salad in the mortar and it doesn’t fall out while bashing and mixing.

5. Add the palm sugar, tomatoes, green beans, lime juice and fish sauce. Continue to lightly bash, shift with the spoon and mix until the juices are evenly distributed.

6. Spoon and serve.

Som Tum is just one of the dishes we made for our 4 course meal. Interested in the other recipes? Let me know, I’m more than happy to share!


Meredith Banzhoff
Meredith Banzhoff


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