Pickled Green Papaya

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Achara

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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