August 8, 2017

Ask A Chef: Pai’s Green Papaya Salad Recipe

Recipe: Nuit Regular

Chef Nuit Regular of Pai shares her recipe for Green Papaya Salad. 

chef nuitQ: I love Thai food and have followed chef Nuit Regular to all of her Toronto restaurants. Every dish at Pai was stunning, but her Green Papaya Salad (Som Tam) was fresh, bright, sweet, salty and sour — the best I’ve ever had. I would love that recipe. — Amanda, Toronto

A: The trick to making chef Nuit’s Som Tam is using the freshest possible ingredients and a mortar and pestle.
She begins with the elements of her dressing, pounding garlic and chilis together, and then gradually adds in every component, including lime juice, fish sauce and palm sugar — opening up the flavors and letting them absorb as she builds.


  • 1 clove garlic, peeled
  • 1 Thai red chili, or to taste
  • 2 tbsp palm sugar
  • 2 tbsp fish sauce
  • 1-2 fresh limes, to taste
  • 1 tbsp dried shrimp
  • 6 cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1 Thai eggplant, halved and thinly sliced
  • 200 g green papaya slivers (about one large handful)
  • 1 Asian long bean, cut into 2″ lengths


Yield: Serves 2

  1. Pound garlic and chili with a mortar and pestle until garlic is crushed and chili is broken into small pieces. Add palm sugar and fish sauce. Squeeze juice from limes into mortar.
  2. Mix and pound dressing in mortar until palm sugar is fully dissolved. Add dried shrimp, tomatoes and Thai eggplant to mortar. Lightly bruise with pestle for about 30 seconds.
  3. Add green papaya slivers and bean. Toss and lightly press down with spoon until evenly mixed and papaya is fully coated with dressing.
  4. Serve in mortar or on a plate, or in hollowed-out papaya.

Vanessa Toye


House & Home June 2017

Tags: pai Recipe Salad