Healthful Food Business Idea: Thai Papaya Salad

There’s an ongoing craze for healthful food nowadays. People are becoming more conscious about the food they eat. Thus, a lot of food businesses are going green and organic.

One famous healthful food among Asians is the Thai Papaya Salad also known as Som Tum or Pokpok. Filipinos in particular find this salad very appetizing because of its major ingredient, the green papaya, which is commonly used in famous Filipino dishes such as Atchara (Pickled Green Papaya), Tinola (Chicken Ginger Soup), and Ginataang Papaya (Papaya with Coconut Milk). Aside from its sweet taste and crunchy texture, green papaya is also packed with antioxidants and fiber.

Initial Investment

Selling healthful food such as Green Papaya Salad can be a profitable business. For an initial investment of PHP500, the profit can reach up to around PHP2,000, or about three to four times the capital. If you have your own papaya plant with unripe fruits, your profit can reach the upper limit.

To achieve the flavor of a good Som Tam, you have to taste an authentic salad first. Visit the nearest Thai restaurant in your area and taste the dish. Once you know the taste, it would be very easy for you to prepare the salad.

Thai Papaya Salad Recipe

papaya salad on plate
Photo Credit: Clement Dionglay


2 cups shredded green papaya

6 pcs Baguio beans

4 pcs tomatoes

1 clove garlic

2 tsp dried chili peppers

6 pcs calamansi

2 tbsp fish sauce

2 tablespoons brown sugar

2 tablespoons toasted peanuts


  1. Peel off the papaya skin. Cut (lengthwise) into four pieces and scrape of the immature seeds in the center. Shred the remaining light green flesh.
  2. Separate the pods of the beans and blanch to cook.
  3. Cut (lengthwise) each tomato into four.
  4. Mix the shredded papaya, beans, tomatoes and chili. Set aside.
  5. Skin and chop the garlic finely.
  6. For the dressing, mix the fish sauce, calamansi juice, chopped garlic, and brown sugar. Season to taste.

Serving: 3 to 4

Note: You may add dry shrimp for additional flavor.

Packaging and Shelf Life

salad on the go

To pack the salad, you can use disposable containers with tight lids from the supermarket. Place the dressing in a separate plastic container so that the green papaya would maintain its crispness. The shelf life of the salad depends on the condition of the tomatoes, which will expire first among all the ingredients.

If you have health-conscious friends or colleagues, this would be a good home-based business for you. You may also try out other green leafy salads and promote healthy lifestyle to your customers.

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