This is another of the many somtams of Thailand which is believed to have originated in Laos. Most western people think of the somtam as being a green papaya salad but this is really only a type. Somtam refers to the style of preparation and to the dressing used for the salads. So Tampolamai is a specific somtam and truly a fruit salad with a difference. There is no added oil but it has elements of savoury, sweet , sour and spicy.

The edges between desert fruits and savoury fruits are quite blurred in Asia compared to western conventions. Both have the right idea and neither are wrong.


Firm fruits
  • Green papaya; julienned
  • Jack fruit: segments (pitted)
  • Lychees(pitted)
  • Rambutans(pitted)
  • Just ripened Honey tomatoes or some other cherry style tomato

Soft fruits:
  • tangerines,
  • Grapes,
  • Mango
  • Mangosteens (pitted)

Basically any fruits available may be used in this salad

Other fruits:
  • Bird's eye chillies (1 or 2)

Other ingredients;
  • Palm Sugar
  • Lime juice (of one or two small fruit)
  • Fish sauce

  1. Pound the chillie(s) in an earthenware mortar and a wooden pestle with a tablespoon of freshly squeezed lime juice
  2. Add some green papaya julienned and pound this to bruise it.
  3. Add a teaspoon of fish sauce. Add halved miniature tomatoes. Pound a few seconds more turning the contents with a spoon.
  4. Tip the contents into a larger bowl and add a tablespoon of sugar and mix.
  5. Add the other fruits and a teaspoon (max) of white vinegar.
  6. Mix and taste.
  7. Make adjustments with Juice/sugar/fish sauce to your own liking.