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Cambodian Papaya Salad - Bok Lahong

We all want to have simple, healthy dishes to cook for our loved ones. This tried and true recipe is one of my families favorites! Try it!

Green Papaya Salad

Pass the Papayas!

There are as many ways to make Green Papaya Salad (Bok Lahong) as there are stars in the sky. Each family has their own recipe that mixes these salty, sweet and spicy flavors to create a refreshing and healthy side to any meal. Pair this salad with Lemon Chicken or your favorite Grilled Kabob. Take this basic recipe and make it your own by adding different vegetables and sauces to create your family recipe.

Bok Lahong - Green Papaya Salad

Bok Lahong - Green Papaya Salad

Cook Time

Prep timeReady inYields

30 min

30 min

Serves 4 people

Green (Unripened) Papaya

Green Papaya

Green Papaya


  • 1 Small Green Papaya, Shredded
  • 1 Medium Carrot, Shredded
  • 1 Pint Cherry Tomatoes, Quartered
  • 3 Tablespoons Sugar
  • 5 Cloves Garlic, Minced
  • 2 Medium Limes, Juice Squeezed
  • 2 Tablespoons Fish Sauce
  • 3 Teaspoons Salt
  • 1-5 Bird's Eye Chili, Chopped
  • 5 oz Dried Shrimp, Re-hydrated
  • 1/2 Cup Chopped Peanuts, optional
  • 1 Handful Chopped Fresh Basil, optional
  • 1 Handful Chopped Cilantro, optional
  • 1/2 Cup Salty Crab, optional


  1. Rinse and peel your Green Papaya. Rinse again.
  2. Cut the green papaya in half, exposing the seedy center. Remove and discard the seeds using a spoon.
  3. Julian the papaya using a grater or vegetable peeler. Place into a large bowl.
  4. Peel and Rinse your carrot. Julian the carrot using the same size grater or vegetable peeler. Add to the papaya in the large bowl.
  5. Rinse and quarter the Cherry tomatoes. Add to the papaya and carrot.
  6. In a separate bowl, combine salt, sugar, lime juice, and fish sauce. Whisk until dry ingredients are dissolved.
  7. Add Bird's Eye chilies, and minced garlic, to the dressing. Whisk until mixed. *If using Salty Crab, add now and mix until combined.*
  8. Pour dressing over the green papaya, carrot and tomato. Toss gently to coat.
  9. Add in re-hydrated shrimp, and gently mix until all ingredients are fully incorporated. If you desire a different texture you can use a mortar and pestle to reduce the size of the salty crab pieces and release some of the juices in the other ingredients.
  10. Serve salad. Garnish with Basil, Cilantro, and Chopped Peanuts if desired.

Mix and Match

This is the basic recipe for Green Papaya Salad. You can and should adjust the flavors to your individual taste. Try using a vinaigrette instead of fish sauce, or honey or palm sugar instead of regular white granulated sugar. Mix up the heat by adding pepper, red chili flakes, or chili powder. Add another texture by adding red and green cabbage or eggplant. The possibilities are endless. Try a few out and comment below!

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© 2012 Teresa Gabbiani

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