Laotian Spicy Green Papaya Salad (Tum Mark Hoong)

A staple salad in Laos that hits all the notes that Southeast Asian cuisine is famous for. 

Course Salad
Cuisine Laotian
Prep Time 20 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Servings 4
Calories 53 kcal
Author International Cuisine


  • 1 green papaya
  • 1 to 10 Thai chilies depending on your heat tolerance
  • 12 cherry or grape tomatoes halved
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 1 lime
  • 2 Tablespoons fish sauce
  • 2 teaspoons shrimp paste
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 2 teaspoons salt start with one and add second if needed to taste


  1. Wash and peel the green papaya, cut in half and remove the seeds, Shred it using a shredding tool or julienne it with a knife, being very careful.
  2. Peel the garlic cloves, wash the chilies remove tops, slice the lime into wedges and halve the tomatoes.
  3. With a large mortar and pestle start pounding the garlic, chilies, salt, sugar and shrimp paste together.
  4. Add a handful of the papaya and then the halved cherry tomatoes into the mortar, and gently pound them into the mixture. Use a spoon to fold over the mixture and continue to pound them together. Don't pound the cherry tomatoes too much you want to remain in tact.
  5. Add the remaining shredded papaya, fish sauce and squeeze the lime juice. Continue to pound and mix everything together turning often.
  6. Taste the salad and add whatever you feel in necessary to get that balance of spicy, salty, sour, sweet and umami flavors.
  7. Transfer to a bowl and serve.
  8. It is fine to make ahead and refrigerate to let the flavors meld together, it actually gets a little better with time.
Nutrition Facts
Laotian Spicy Green Papaya Salad (Tum Mark Hoong)
Amount Per Serving
Calories 53
% Daily Value*
Cholesterol 28mg 9%
Sodium 1966mg 82%
Potassium 232mg 7%
Total Carbohydrates 11g 4%
Dietary Fiber 1g 4%
Sugars 6g
Protein 3g 6%
Vitamin A 11.9%
Vitamin C 47.9%
Calcium 3.8%
Iron 4.7%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.