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Lao Green Papaya Salad

Lao Green Papaya Salad aka Tam Som

Lao Green Papaya Salad

Lao Green Papaya Salad, known as “Tam Som,” is a popular and refreshing dish in Lao cuisine. It is a delicious and vibrant salad made primarily from green or unripe papaya, which is shredded and mixed with a blend of flavors to create a unique and appetizing taste.

Lao Green Papaya Salad is a delicious appetizer or side dish that’s loved for its vibrant flavors and textures. It’s a popular street food in Laos, and many restaurants also offer it on their menus. The combination of the sweet, sour, salty, and spicy elements in the dressing, along with the crunchy papaya and peanuts, makes it a refreshing and addictive dish for those who enjoy bold and zesty flavors.


In Luang Prabang, Laos, Lao Green Papaya Salad is a popular and readily available dish that you can find in local restaurants, street food stalls, and markets. As one of the country’s culinary highlights, it’s a must-try when visiting the city. The preparation and flavors of the salad in Luang Prabang may vary slightly from other regions in Laos, but the essence of the dish remains the same.

Here’s what you can expect when enjoying Lao Green Papaya Salad in Luang Prabang:

Authentic and Fresh Ingredients: Restaurants and food vendors in Luang Prabang take pride in using fresh and authentic ingredients for their dishes. You’ll likely find the salad made with locally sourced green papayas, ripe tomatoes, and other fresh vegetables and herbs.

Variations: While the classic version of Lao Green Papaya Salad is delicious on its own, some places in Luang Prabang may offer variations of the salad, such as adding additional herbs, different levels of spiciness, or varying the dressing ingredients slightly.

Street Food Experience: Luang Prabang is known for its vibrant night markets and street food scene. You can find vendors preparing and selling Lao Green Papaya Salad on the streets, providing an authentic and immersive dining experience.

Accompaniments: Lao Green Papaya Salad is often served with sticky rice, creating a delightful combination of flavors and textures. Sticky rice is a staple in Lao cuisine and complements the spicy and tangy notes of the salad.

Outdoor Seating: Many restaurants and street food vendors in Luang Prabang offer outdoor seating options, allowing you to enjoy your salad while soaking in the charming atmosphere of the city.

Affordable and Flavorful: Lao Green Papaya Salad is not only delicious but also an affordable option, making it a favorite among both locals and tourists.

When trying Lao Green Papaya Salad in Luang Prabang, you can expect a burst of flavors with each bite – the fresh crunch of the papaya, the tanginess of the lime juice, the spiciness of the chili peppers, and the unique umami taste of the fish sauce all combine to create a delightful culinary experience. Whether you’re exploring the night markets, dining at a local restaurant, or enjoying street food, Lao Green Papaya Salad is a dish not to be missed in Luang Prabang.

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