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Thai style papaya salad with protein peanut dressing

Thai Papaya salad 28

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.

Thai Papaya salad 8

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

Thai Papaya salad 2

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.

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Serves: 2 

Preparation: 20 mins



  • 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, pea or whey)
  • 1 tsp sweetener of choice; agave, honey, maple syrup, date syrup, fibre syrup or ½ tsp stevia
  • Pepper to taste

 To decorate:

  • 50g raw cashews, toasted
  • Sprinkle of black sesame seeds and/or chia seeds
  • 1 spring onion, sliced diagonally



  • 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.
  • In a large bowl mix together all the salad ingredients.
  • 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.

Thai Papaya 16 dressing

  • Dress the salad and garnish with the toasted cashews, sesame /chia seeds and sliced spring onion.
  • Enjoy!

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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: honey, 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 

    Don’t forget you can find my favourite recipes in my FREE eBook here.

Thai Papaya salad 5

Thai Papaya salad 10

Thai Papaya Salad 1




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