Gluten-Free Green Papaya Salad (Som Tam) for a Low FODMAP Diet

Gluten-Free Green Papaya Salad (Som Tam) for a Low FODMAP Diet

Published on Friday, June 28, 2024
Taylor Janulewicz

Jump to Recipe

How to Make Gluten-Free and Low FODMAP Som Tam (Green Papaya Salad)

Som Tam, also known as Green Papaya Salad, comes from northeast Thailand and is now a popular Thai food dish. This refreshing salad caters to various dietary needs and is naturally gluten-free and Low FODMAP. Som Tam is easily adaptable to vegan diets and contains bold flavors, ranging from spicy to tangy, along with its crisp texture, making it a flavorful and satisfying dish enjoyed worldwide. 

Making it Gluten-Free and Low FODMAP

Som Tam is naturally a gluten-free dish due to its primary ingredient, green papaya. However, traditional recipes frequently include high FODMAP elements like garlic and an abundance of chilies, which may pose challenges for individuals with sensitive digestive systems. Low FODMAP substitutions can be easily integrated to craft a gut-friendly rendition and ensure a delicious yet gut-friendly experience. 

Low FODMAP Swaps

Swapping garlic for garlic-infused oil, for example, allows for the infusion of flavor without the FODMAP content. Similarly, while traditional recipes call for fish sauce, which can be high in FODMAPs if used more than the Monash-approved serving amount, consider using a Low FODMAP substitute like coconut aminos. High FODMAP sweeteners like honey or agave nectar can be replaced with palm sugar or brown sugar in moderation. 

When selecting vegetables, choose Low FODMAP options such as cherry tomatoes, green beans, asparagus, and green bell peppers while steering clear of high FODMAP choices like onions. Finally, to manage spice levels, use chilies sparingly or offer them as a separate garnish, ensuring individuals can customize their Som Tam to suit their preferences without compromising their digestive well-being.

Building Your Low FODMAP Som Tam

Crafting a delicious Low FODMAP version of Som Tam focuses on a few key elements for both flavor and gut-friendliness. 

  1. Begin with the base: unripe green papaya, naturally Low FODMAP and offering a delightful crunchy texture. 
  2. Now for the veggies! When choosing veggies, prioritize Low FODMAP options like the ones mentioned above. 
  3. Elevate the dish with fresh herbs such as cilantro and mint, adding a refreshing taste while remaining Low FODMAP friendly. 
  4. For the dressing, combine tangy lime juice with the Monash-approved serving of fish sauce or a Low FODMAP fish sauce substitute, such as coconut aminos, and a touch of sweetness from palm sugar or brown sugar, ensuring a perfect balance of flavors without compromising digestive comfort. 

With these carefully selected ingredients, a delicious Low FODMAP Som Tam is within reach, offering both satisfaction and peace of mind for sensitive stomachs.

Tips & Variations

If you want to customize your Som Tam dish further, there are many ways to do it that are still gluten-free and Low FODMAP. You can add different ingredients to make it taste good and feel just right without upsetting your stomach. Approach spice levels with caution, incorporating chilies sparingly or presenting them separately.

Explore protein alternatives such as grilled shrimp or tofu, both of which are Low FODMAP friendly and contribute a satisfying element to the salad. While a mortar and pestle can add a traditional touch to the preparation process, a spoon is equally effective for mixing and mashing ingredients. By embracing these additional customization ideas, individuals can tailor their Som Tam experience to suit their tastes and dietary requirements, ensuring a delightful and gut-friendly dish every time.


With a few simple ingredient swaps, Som Tam can be transformed into a Low FODMAP and gluten-free dish. By opting for Low FODMAP alternatives and naturally gluten-free ingredients, individuals can indulge in this flavorful Thai salad without sacrificing their dietary restrictions.

[[ recipeID=recipe-8lwqj7jqq, title=Gluten-Free Green Papaya Salad (Som Tam) ]]


Join The Conversation...

Expert Contributor

Taylor Janulewicz


Related Content

Latest Recipes

Summer Berry Salad with Lemon Chia Seed Dressing Summer Berry Salad with Lemon Chia Seed Dressing

Summer Berry Salad with Lemon Chia Seed Dressing


Jessie Hulsey


Whipped Ricotta Bruschetta Dip Whipped Ricotta Bruschetta Dip

Whipped Ricotta Bruschetta Dip


Jessie Hulsey


Low FODMAP Smoothie Recipe with Papaya and Banana Low FODMAP Smoothie Recipe with Papaya and Banana

Low FODMAP Smoothie Recipe with Papaya and Banana

Acid Reflux

Taylor Janulewicz


Explore More

Gluten-Free Green Papaya Salad (Som Tam)

Servings: 6


  • Prep Time: 10 mins
  • Cook Time: 0 mins
  • Total Time: 10 mins




  • 3 cups unripened (green) papaya, grated
  • 1 cup carrots, julienne
  • 1 cup green beans
  • ½ cup cherry tomatoes, sliced into halves
  • ½ bell pepper
  • ½ cup bean sprouts
  • 2 tablespoons roasted peanuts, chopped


  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon lime zest
  • ¼ cup lime juice
  • 1 tablespoon coconut aminos
  • 2 tablespoons fish sauce 
  • Black pepper to taste


  1. Mix dressing ingredients into a bowl and set aside as you assemble the salad. 
  2. Peel the green papaya, slice it in half, and scoop the seeds.
  3. Grate the papaya.
  4. Place papaya in a bowl. 
  5. Slice carrots, bell peppers, and tomatoes. Place into the bowl with the papaya. 
  6. Add bean sprouts to the papaya mixture.
  7. Pour dressing over the papaya salad.
  8. Top with crushed peanuts. 
  9. Serve alone or on top of rice. 

Nutrition Facts

Serving Size: 1

Serving Per Recipe: 6

Amount Per Serving
Calories 162
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 8.4g 12%
Saturated Fat 1.2g 6%
Trans Fat 0g
Sodium 493mg 20%
Total Carbohydrate 17.2g 5%
Dietary Fiber 3.1g 12%
Sugars 7.8g
Protein 5.9g

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs:


If you like a spicy dressing, consider adding Thai red peppers.

If bell peppers are a trigger, omit them from the recipe.