Three colorful plates of Thai Apple Salad on a black background, with a wooden serving spoon and a bowl of crushed peanuts for topping

Thai Apple Salad – Vegan and Omnivore Options

carnivore, egg free, get your vegetables in!, low sugar, plant-based, reducetarian, side, vegan, vegetarian

This Thai Apple Salad recipe is loosely based off a well-known Thai dish called Som Tam, which is a spicy salad traditionally made with green papaya, dried shrimp, and peanut. Green papaya isn’t always easy to find so I substituted green apples instead, and I wanted it vegan, so no shrimp! And I’m allergic to peanuts, so they’re off the list, or at least my list! Hmm…that’s a lot of substitutions, you’re probably thinking by this point! But, don’t panic, it’s Thai in spirit – with that groovy sweet, salty, spicy thing going on. And it’s 100% plant-based!

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Thai Apple Salad on a white plate on a black background

Thai Apple Salad

Let’s Do It! Thai Apple Salad…Here We Come!

Thai Apple Salad
Prep Time
10 mins
Marinating Time
15 mins

Loosely based on a Thai dish called Som Tam, this salad is Thai in spirit, sweet, salty, spicy, and garlicky. Plant-based. Gluten-free. Easy prep. 

Course: Salad, side
Cuisine: Thai
Keyword: carrot and apple salad, easy salad, som tom, spicy apple salad, spicy carrot salad, spicy thai salad, thai salad
Diet: flexitarian, omnivore, reducetarian, vegan
Servings: 6 side salads
Calories: 56 kcal
Author: Sylvia Eastman
  • 1 green apple
  • 2-3 medium-sized carrots {Use rainbow carrots for a colourful presentation{
  • 1 Thai chili, seeds removed, finely minced
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely micned
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons lime juice
  • 1 tablespoon sweetener {palm sugar is traditional. You can also uses coconut syrup or just plain sugar.}
  • 1 teaspoon {vegan} fish sauce {See Recipe Notes for substitution}
  • 1/4 cup peanuts or cashews, finely chopped
  1. Slice the apples and carrots, as thinly as possible. If you have a mandoline, now’s a good time to use it! Watch your fingers! Put the sliced apples and carrots in the serving dish.

  2. In a small bowl, combine the chili, garlic, lime juice, sweetener, and {vegan} fish sauce, or black bean paste. Taste and adjust seasonings as desired.

  3. Pour the dressing over the apples and carrots, toss together, and place in the fridge to marinate for 15 minutes or so.

  4. Serve with the chopped peanuts or cashews.

Recipe Notes
If You Can't Find Vegan Fish Sauce

In a pinch, you can mix together 1/2 teaspoon of black bean sauce, 2 tablespoons of water, and 1/4 teaspoon of salt. It won't exactly taste like fish sauce but it does offer that funky, fermented flavour inherent in regular fish sauce. 


This will keep in the fridge for several days but the apples will start to look like fresh. The flavours will also intensify so be aware of that. 

Nutrition Facts
Thai Apple Salad
Amount Per Serving
Calories 56 Calories from Fat 18
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 2g 3%
Sodium 54mg 2%
Potassium 132mg 4%
Total Carbohydrates 10g 3%
Dietary Fiber 1g 4%
Sugars 4g
Protein 1g 2%
Vitamin A 68.3%
Vitamin C 6.4%
Calcium 1.2%
Iron 2.5%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Three colorful plates of Thai Apple Salad on a black background, with a wooden serving spoon and a bowl of crushed peanuts for topping

Thai Apple Salad

Make it a Meal

This Thai Apple Salad is part of not not’s Make it a Meal series, where I make a meal made of plant-based recipes with vegetarian and omnivore-friendly options. The other recipes in this Meal, called Thai One On, are Butternut Squash Green Curry and Papaya Ice with Pomegranate Reduction.

PIN Thai Apple Salad for Later

Thai apple salad on a white plate

Thai Apple Salad


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3 thoughts on “Thai Apple Salad – Vegan and Omnivore Options”

  1. Pingback: If you need a reason to get out of bed in the morning…this is a good one! [Blood Orange Breakfast Salad] | not not nutritious

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