Pickled Green Papaya



green papaya achara

The pickled green papaya recipe below is adapted from the book Memories of Philippine Kitchens by Amy Besa and Romy Dorotan, published by Stewart, Tabori & Chang.

green papaya recipesYield: Approx. 8 cups, depending on papaya size

Prep Time: 3 days (includes marinating overnight twice)

Ingredients for the pickling mix:

  • 4 c. rice vinegar
  • 1 1/2 c. sugar
  • 1 Tbsp. kosher salt
  • 4 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • 2” piece of fresh ginger, peeled and cut into matchsticks
  • 1 tsp. fresh ground black pepper, or to taste

Ingredients for the salad:

  • 1 1/2 lb. grated green papaya
  • 2 Tbsp. kosher salt
  • 3 carrots, peeled and grated
  • 3 red or green long chile peppers, cored, seeded and thinly sliced
  • 2 Maui onions, cut in half lengthwise and thinly sliced

Method: In a nonreactive saucepan, combine vinegar, sugar, 1 Tbsp. salt, garlic and ginger. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 15 minutes. Add the black pepper and cool to room temperature; cover and refrigerate overnight.

In a large, nonreactive bowl, toss papaya with the remaining salt, carrots, onions and peppers. Cover and refrigerate overnight.

Next day, place half the papaya mixture in a cheesecloth-lined strainer and rinse under running water. Squeeze to remove excess moisture. Place into a clean bowl and repeat with the rest of the papaya mixture. Toss in a clean bowl with vinegar mixture, to taste. Refrigerate overnight, and enjoy the next day.

Achara keeps for up to 6 months in jars in the refrigerator. I also use it as a relish on sandwiches, or add it to lettuce wraps. The extra vinegar mixture can be used as a base in marinades, salad dressings, or as a lumpia (fried spring roll) dip.

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