10 Vietnamese Green Papaya Salad Recipes You Have To Try

Vietnamese Green Papaya Salad, known locally as Gỏi Đu Đủ, is a staple in the rich tapestry of Vietnamese cuisine.

This vibrant salad, with its roots deep in Vietnam’s culinary history, reflects the diverse flavors and cultural influences of this Southeast Asian nation.

Each region in Vietnam, from the bustling streets of Hanoi to the tranquil coasts of the South, imparts its unique twist to this beloved dish, resulting in a delightful array of variations.

In this article, we wanted to share some traditional recipes, modern interpretations, and regional specialties of Vietnamese Green Papaya Salad, showcasing its significance in Vietnamese food culture.

Vietnamese Green Papaya Salad Recipes

Let’s dig in.

Traditional Vietnamese Green Papaya Salad

These traditional recipes mirror the culinary traditions of Northern and Southern Vietnam.

The North, with its cooler climate and simpler culinary style, contrasts with the South’s tropical abundance and preference for sweeter flavors.

1. Classic Hanoi-style Papaya Salad

The traditional Hanoi-style Green Papaya Salad is a testament to the simplicity and elegance of Vietnamese cuisine.

The salad primarily features thinly shredded unripe papaya and carrots, creating a refreshing and crunchy base.

Fresh herbs like basil and mint add aromatic layers, while the dressing, a harmonious blend of fish sauce, lime juice, and sugar, offers a perfect balance of sweet, sour, and umami flavors.

This classic version is often garnished with roasted peanuts, adding a delightful crunch.

2. Southern Vietnamese Variation

The Southern Vietnamese variation of Green Papaya Salad, also known as Gỏi Đu Đủ Tôm Thịt, is a richer and more complex version compared to its Northern counterpart.

It typically features a mix of julienned green papaya, boiled pork belly, and shrimp, creating a blend of textures and flavors.

The dish is often enhanced with Vietnamese coriander and crushed roasted peanuts and dressed with nước mắm sauce, a staple in Southern Vietnamese cuisine.

This variation reflects the region’s affinity for combining seafood and meat and its preference for bold, well-rounded flavors.

Protein-Packed Green Papaya Salad Recipes

If you’re looking for a filling and delicious green papaya salad recipe, we’d recommend trying one of the below dishes, which are packed with fish and meat.

3. Vietnamese Prawn & Green Papaya Salad

This salad is a fusion of fresh and tangy flavors, starring green papaya and cooked small prawns as the main ingredients.

It incorporates a blend of mint leaves, Vietnamese mint, and Thai basil for a herbaceous touch.

The salad is enriched with textures from roasted peanuts and fried shallots and a hint of heat from chopped long red chili.

Its dressing is a traditional nuoc cham, made with fish sauce, white vinegar, sugar, lime juice, and chili.

The preparation involves shredding the papaya, mixing it with the prawns, herbs, and peanuts, and then dressing it generously before serving.

4. Vietnamese Papaya Salad With Roast Duck

This salad offers a hearty twist to the traditional Vietnamese papaya salad by incorporating shredded roast duck.

The salad base is made from shredded green papaya, enhanced with fresh rau răm and mint leaves.

The dressing is a simple yet flavorful combination of rice vinegar, fish sauce, lime juice, water, sugar, and Thai red chili for an optional spicy kick.

Optional toppings for the salad include fried shallots, roasted peanuts, Thai chilis, chopped mango, and prawn chips, allowing for customization according to taste preferences.

The salad is dressed and tossed just before serving, ensuring a fresh and crunchy texture.

Meat-Free And Low-Cal Alternatives

These modern interpretations showcase contemporary dietary preferences and the global influence on Vietnamese cuisine, reflecting the country’s openness to innovation while preserving traditional flavors.

5. Low-Calorie Green Papaya Salad

Aimed at health-conscious diners, this low-calorie version of the Green Papaya Salad emphasizes light, nourishing ingredients.

It uses a minimal amount of oil in the dressing, and if you’d like to sweeten the dressing without the brown sugar listed, you can opt for alternatives like honey or agave.

Add more greens like spinach or kale for extra nutritional value.

6. Vegan Green Papaya Salad With Thai Basil

This vegan version of the classic salad replaces beef jerky with brown pressed tofu, offering a meaty texture without the use of animal products.

The salad also features a green papaya and a small carrot, both shredded. Thai basil or regular basil leaves are cut into ribbons, adding a delicious aroma to the dish.

For a bit of crunch, coarsely chopped unsalted roasted peanuts are included. The dressing is soy-based, combining light and dark soy sauce with rice vinegar, sugar, and a homemade or store-bought chili garlic sauce.

The ingredients are mixed together, ensuring even distribution of the dressing, and served as a tangly pile on a plate.

7. Vegan Green Papaya Salad

The Vegan Green Papaya Salad caters to the growing demand for plant-based options.

This variation substitutes fish sauce with soy sauce or tamari to maintain the umami depth.

For additional protein sources, you can add tofu or tempeh, ensuring the salad remains a fulfilling meal.

International Influences

The Vietnamese Green Papaya Salad has traveled beyond its borders, absorbing flavors and ingredients from around the world.

In this section, we explore how international cuisines have influenced and transformed this classic Vietnamese dish, creating unique fusion variations that cater to diverse palates.

8. Thai-Inspired Papaya Salad

This variant of the Green Papaya Salad draws inspiration from neighboring Thailand.

It incorporates elements like green beans, cherry tomatoes, and a more pronounced use of chili and garlic in the dressing.

The Thai-inspired version often includes a hint of tamarind paste and palm sugar in the dressing, offering a balance between sweet, sour, and spicy flavors.

9. Bangkok Street Food’s Green Papaya Salad

This Green Papaya Salad, inspired by Bangkok street food, is a lively blend of traditional Thai flavors.

It starts with shredded green papaya as the base, to which a combination of garlic, bird’s eye chiles, and a pinch of salt is added.

These ingredients, along with palm sugar, are gently pounded to release their flavors. The salad is then enriched with snake beans, roasted peanuts, cherry tomatoes, and dried baby shrimp, creating a delightful mix of textures.

Optionally, Thai eggplant can be included for added complexity.

The mixture is seasoned with fish sauce and lime juice, balancing the sweet, sour, and spicy elements.

The green papaya is then folded in, ensuring it’s well coated with the vibrant dressing.

The result is a refreshing and flavorful salad that captures the essence of Thai street cuisine, offering a perfect harmony of taste and texture.

10. Spicy Thai Green Papaya Salad

The Spicy Thai Green Papaya Salad is a vibrant dish that combines the fresh flavors of green papaya and carrots with the aromatic zest of herbs and spices.

The salad dressing, a crucial element of this recipe, is a blend of fresh lime juice, Thai fish sauce, minced shallot, finely chopped Thai bird or Serrano chiles, coconut palm sugar or golden cane sugar, and minced garlic.

This mixture is blended until smooth and set aside to allow the flavors to meld together.

The salad base is made from shredded or julienned green papayas and carrots, offering a crisp and refreshing texture.

Fresh mint leaves and chopped cilantro are added for a herby freshness, enhancing the overall flavor profile. The salad is then dressed with the prepared mixture, ensuring every ingredient is thoroughly coated.

For a final touch, the salad is garnished with cilantro leaves and finely chopped peanuts, adding an extra layer of flavor and a delightful crunch.

This dish is best served immediately, offering a taste that is both spicy and refreshing, embodying the essence of Thai cuisine.


Our culinary journey through the various styles of Vietnamese Green Papaya Salad underlines the dish’s adaptability and enduring popularity.

From the classic recipes of Hanoi to the innovative fusion versions, each variation of this salad tells a story of Vietnam’s rich cultural and culinary heritage.

This exploration serves as an invitation to readers to discover, experiment, and savor the diverse flavors of Vietnamese Green Papaya Salad.

Still hungry? How about these Vietnamese veggie dishes?

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the difference between Thai and Vietnamese papaya salad?

Thai papaya salad, known as Som Tam, is typically spicier and includes ingredients like peanuts, tomatoes, and dried shrimp, often with a more pronounced use of fish sauce and lime. Vietnamese papaya salad is generally milder, focusing on the freshness of green papaya and herbs, with a dressing that balances sweet, sour, and umami flavors.

Is Vietnamese papaya salad healthy?

Yes, Vietnamese papaya salad is healthy as it is low in calories and high in nutrients, featuring fresh, raw ingredients like green papaya, carrots, and herbs, and a light dressing typically made from lime juice, sugar, and fish sauce.

What is the difference between green papaya and papaya?

Green papaya is the unripe version of papaya, firm in texture and mild in taste, often used in salads and savory dishes in Southeast Asian cuisine. Ripe papaya is soft, sweet, and typically eaten raw or used in sweet dishes.

What country invented papaya salad?

Papaya salad is believed to have originated in Laos, but it has become a popular dish in many Southeast Asian countries, including Thailand and Vietnam, each creating their own distinct versions of the salad.

10 Vietnamese Green Papaya Salad Recipes You Have To Try

Recipe by Barbara HuntCourse: Other Recipes


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Barbara Hunt


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