KitchenTigress: Pickled Green Papaya

Pickled Green Papaya

When life gives you green papayas, pickle them! Pickling is a great way to add flavour. Green papayas are bland and tasteless but they become sour and spicy after they're pickled. They also have a lovely crunch.

The world is divided into two groups: those who love pickles, and those who hate pickles.

If you're a pickle fan, thinly sliced green papayas that are crunchy, sour and spicy would be right up your alley.

Pots, bowls and jars used should be non-reactive, such as glass, stainless steel, enamel, and ceramic. Use only green, unripe papayas. Otherwise pickle would be soft, not crunchy. If your papaya is too ripe for pickling but too green for eating, proceed to plan B: buah paya masak titek (Nyonya peppery papaya soup).

Pickled Green Papaya
  • 300 g sugar (1½ cups)
  • 300 g white vinegar (1¼ cups)
  • 1.2 kg firm, unripe papaya with green skin that has a hint of yellow
  • 2 tbsp salt
  • 3 bird's eye chillies – rinse, slice thinly

  1. Heat and stir sugar with vinegar until dissolved. Leave till cool.

  2. Peel papaya. Cut lengthwise into 4-5 pieces. Remove seeds. Trim head and end to yield 1 kg. Rinse thoroughly. Slice crosswise as thinly as possible, with a mandolin if available. Sprinkle with salt. Mix thoroughly. Leave till limb and soft, 5-10 minutes depending on thickness of sliced papaya.

  3. Rinse papaya. Drain. Mix with vinegar mixture and chillies. Cover and refrigerate.

  4. Pickle may be served after turning translucent. This may take 12 hours if papaya is paper thin and not too green. If totally green and thick, you'll have to wait 1-2 days. After papaya is ready for eating, taste and if necessary adjust seasoning. After adjusting, wait at least 3-4 hours before serving.