Asian Strawberry Papaya Salad

Asian Strawberry Papaya Salad

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Here comes another #FreakyFruitsFriday dish for you all! This twist on a traditional Thai salad is light and refreshing and would go great as a side at your next potluck or barbecue. The traditional name for this dish is called Som Tam and uses underripe, green papayas. Inside, I used a strawberry papaya and it was just as delicious! Asian Strawberry Papaya Salad is sure to be a hit!


Thank you to Melissa’s Produce for sponsoring this recipe for Asian Strawberry Papaya Salad. As always, my opinions are my own. 


You might be more familiar with a traditional Mexican yellow papaya. The main difference between those and a strawberry papaya (also called a sunrise papaya) is the color of it’s flesh. It’s got a beautiful salmon pink center with a golden orange skin. It’s sweet and tender when ripe and makes a great tenderizer for meat. Be careful though about consuming papaya if pregnant! Unripe papaya has been known to induce labor! No joke!

I love the light, balanced flavors of this dish. It’s slightly sweet with a punch of heat coming from Thai chilis and fish sauce. Super easy to put together too! The dressing consists of just 5 ingredients, whisked together and allowed to meld in flavor for a couple of hours. The salad is so bright and colorful that it makes a great showstopper on your table! I also love the refreshing pop of mint that perfectly ties all the Asian flavors together. This Asian Strawberry Papaya Salad is sure to become a regular in your house! Feel free to mix up the vegetables too. I’m sure some tomatoes, cabbage, or roasted red peppers would be delicious in this dish!

Be sure to check out all the other fun #FreakyFruitsFriday recipes from my fellow bloggers below! They’ve got some great recipes to share as well!

Interested in other Freak Fruits Friday recipes? Check out last week’s recipe for Chayote Squash Keto Enchiladas!

Asian Strawberry Papaya Salad

A variation on the traditional Thai salad, Som Tham, this sweet and savory salad is Paleo friendly and Vegetarian! It makes for a light and refreshing side dish.


For the dressing

  • 1/3 cup rice vinegar
  • 2 tbsp coconut aminos
  • 2 tbsp maple syrup
  • 1 tbsp fish sauce omit for vegan, use Red Boat for Paleo
  • t tsp salt

For the salad

  • 1 strawberry papaya underripe is easier to work with
  • 1 small thai chilis
  • 2 large carrots I used heirloom carrots for extra color
  • 2 Persian cucumbers English cucumbers will work too
  • 2 scallions
  • 1 red bell pepper thinly sliced
  • 1/4 cup chopped peanuts or almonds
  • 2 sprigs of fresh mint
  • 3 leaves iceberg lettuce for the base


For the dressing

  1. In a tall container or glass, whisk all ingredients together. Refrigerate 2-3 hours to meld flavors.

Assemble salad

  1. On a large platter, arrange lettuce as a sort of bowl.

  2. Using a hand peeler, peel slices of papaya off (or use a mandolin to create julienne slices).

  3. Thinly slice carrots into matchstick sized pieces. Repeat with cucumbers as well to create thin slices.

  4. Thinly slice bell peppers and chop scallions.

  5. Toss vegetables together and lay on top of lettuce.

  6. Pour dressing over the top. Sprinkle with nuts and serve immediately.

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