Your heart will thank you for this Thai style papaya salad

Salad Ingredients

  • 1 large papaya (ripe or un-ripe), cut into chunks
  • 1 pepper (red orange or yellow), sliced into thin strips
  • 2 carrots, peeled and cut into thin strips
  • 80g rocket
  • 80g beansprouts
  • 24 cherry tomatoes, sliced in half
  • 2 spring onions, sliced diagonally
  • 20g fresh coriander, finely chopped

Creamy protein peanut ginger dressing

  • 8g root ginger, finely chopped
  • 1 plump garlic clove, crushed
  • 3 tbsp peanut butter
  • 1 tbsp soya sauce or tamari
  • 3 tbsp lime juice
  • 1/2 red chilli, finely chopped or ½ tsp chilli flakes (or double up if you like things hotter!)
  • 2-3 tbsp water (depending on how thick you like your dressing)
  • 1 tbsp protein powder (soya bean or pea)
  • 1 tsp sweetener of choice; agave, maple syrup, date syrup, fibre syrup or ½ tsp stevia
  • Pepper to taste

Salad has gone a long way from my childhood memory of a pile of lettuce surrounded by rounds of watery tomato and floppy cucumber! This salad is bursting with flavours from Thailand with a delicious balance of sweetness, heat, zesty zing, saltiness and fragrance. The variety of different textures makes this salad really satisfying too.

To boost the protein content, I have included some protein powder in the dressing, which makes it creamier, coating the vegetables nicely (soya bean and pea varieties are excellent choices).

This dish is inspired by my love for Thai green papaya salad, but as it is hard to source green un-ripe papayas in this country, I have adapted the recipe using ripe (orange) ones. However, if you do have a chance to buy green unripe ones (you can sometimes get them in oriental supermarkets), give them a go! Their sour flavour adds a tantalising dimension to this salad.



For a tart anti-oxidant boost, add a large handful of goldenberries. This recipe also works with mango instead of papaya.

For a peanut-butter free dressing:

  • 8g root ginger, finely chopped
  • 1 plump clove of garlic
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp sweetener of choice: maple syrup, date syrup, agave or 1/3 tsp stevia
  • 1 red chilli, finely chopped
  • 3 tbsp lime juice
  • 1 tbsp fish sauce (vegan if required)
  • 1 tbsp soya sauce or tamari
  • Pepper to taste


Thai Papaya salad 28


  1. In a dry large saucepan, toast the cashew nuts until they are lightly coloured. This helps release the cashew nut oils and makes them more fragrant. Set aside.
  2. In a large bowl mix together all the salad ingredients.
  3. In a small cup or small bowl, mix together all the salad dressing ingredients. I use the back of a spoon to mix the peanut butter in with the remaining ingredients. Season to taste, adding more chilli, sweetener and pepper as required.
  4. Dress the salad and garnish with the toasted cashews, sesame/chia seeds and sliced spring onion.
  5. Enjoy!