Go Back
+ servings
a bowl of Thai green papaya sour curry
Print Recipe
5 from 18 votes

Thai Green Papaya Sour Curry | Kaeng Som Recipe

Healthy and delicious Thai sour curry with green papaya and shrimp. So good with rice!
Prep Time30 mins
Cook Time15 mins
Cuisine: Thai
Servings: 2 -3 bowls
Author: Nart


For the paste

  • 15 dried chilies 5 large and 10 small, or 10 large
  • 3 shallots peeled
  • 3 fingers fingerroot grachai, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon fermented shrimp paste gapi
  • 1 shrimp peeled and deveined

For the curry

  • 1.25 liter water
  • 4-5 dried tamarind pods or 6 tablespoons tamarind juice
  • 1 green papaya about 0.4-0.5 kg, peeled and sliced
  • 5 tablespoons fish sauce
  • 4 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 2 shrimp peeled and deveined


  • Add 11⁄4 liter of water to a pot and bring to a simmer.
  • Cook 1 shimp in the water. Remove the shrimp from the pot with a slotted spoon and turn off the heat for now.
  • To the blender, add dried chillies, shallots, fingerroot, fermented shrim paste, cooked shrimp, about 1⁄4 cup of water and blend until a little coarse. Set aside.
  • Make tamarind juice by placing dried tamarind pods in a bowl and adding about ½ cup of water to it. Massage the tamarind pods in the water until you get tamarind juice. Note that the tamarind juice shouldn't be runny.
  • Turn the heat back on and bring the pot to a boil.
  • To the pot, add the curry paste, 6 tablespoons of tamarind juice, fish sauce, sugar, and stir to dissolve.
  • Add the green papaya and cook for about 5-10 minutes.
  • Add the shrimp and cook until done. Taste the curry and adjust seasoning as needed.
  • Remove from heat and serve with rice.


You can make this curry as hot or sour as you like by adjusting the amount of chillies or tamarind juice to your preference.