Bok l’hong (a photo recipe of papaya salad)

Khmer spicy green papaya salad. I miss so many things from Southeast Asia, and this is one of them. In Khmer it’s pronounced ɓok lhoŋ: បុកល្ហុង. You can order sôm tām, or ส้มตำ, in a Thai restaurant. In Laos it is tam maak hoong, or ຕໍາ ຫມາກ ຫຸ່ງ. And I didn’t realize they also have it in Vietnam, gỏi đu đủ (pronounced guy dodo). The premise is the same but each has its own distinct flavor.

Thankfully the ingredients are locally available. Here we visit a Khmer friend who just whips everything out of her pantry like it’s the simplest thing, and in 5 minutes she has some on a plate for me.

Besides the ingredients we used, you can add others: yardlong beans (cut in small pieces), grated carrots, crab meat, finely chopped lemongrass, palm sugar. If you add bean sprouts don’t smash it too much – add it at the end.

Garlic cloves, Thai chillies, sliced cherry tomatoes, baby eggplant, grated green papaya , sugar, prahok, fish sauce
You can get a bottle of prahok in any Thai grocery store (Chinese stores likely won’t have it)
She’s adding fish sauce.


  1. […] here we are. We visited friends and it is so nice to have some Khmer food. Devy again made her famous bok l’hong – Som Tam in Thai, or Papaya Salad in English. And because we miss those days sitting in our […]

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