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Apr 21, 2013 05:06 AM

Besides thai green papaya salad (som tum), what else can I do with green papayas?

We are moving to a new house soon, and there are three papaya trees there absolutely laden with fruit. Trouble is, the offspring and I hate the smell and flavour of them ripe! My partner likes them, but there is no way he is going to get through all of that fruit. It would be a shame for it to go to waste, especially as it's so good for you. I did a google search and am mostly coming up with green papaya salads and a couple of very simple green papaya curries. I'm sure there must be other culinary uses for them, but my searches don't seem to be picking them up.

Thanks in advance for any ideas you might have :)

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  1. Shredded/pulverized green papaya makes an excellent meat tenderizer. For a specific recipe, check out S Raiclen's book "Planet BBQ" Lucknow Lamb Chops.

    Also the green papaya curry in Iyer's "660 Curries" is very good.

    1 Reply
    1. re: qianning

      Awesome, thanks so much! I'll have to look up that curry :)

    2. I haven't tried it, but I came across a Panamanian version of green papaya salad that cooks it first. Still a salad though, haha. (It was in the cookbook Gran Cocina Latina)

      I also have heard of a Caribbean baked green papaya.

      It's strange that there aren't more recipes out there using papaya in its unripened form from countries where this is a native tree....

      4 Replies
      1. re: Allegra_K

        Thanks, I will look them up!
        I agree, it is strange... I'm wondering whether there is a search term I should be using - you know, like "green papaya" however it is referred to in its country of origin...

        1. re: ursy_ten

          With an alternate search with papaya verde, I found a Costa Rican green papaya hash--Picadillo de papaya verde
          There seem to be quite a few recipes out there for Green papaya picadillo....looks pretty good!

            1. re: Allegra_K

              that blogger with the papaya hash recipe has a good Facebook page.

        2. You can shred the papaya and use them in place of noodles.

          I also use green papaya to make a relish called achara with shredded carrots, peppers, chilies, ginger and raisins.

          4 Replies
          1. re: JungMann

            Sounds lovely, thanks for the suggestion!

            1. re: JungMann

              do you have a recipe for the relish?

              1. re: barney20

                1 cup white vinegar
                1 cup water
                1/2 cup sugar
                1 tsp. salt
                3-6 black peppercorns
                1 2-inch piece of ginger, peeled and sliced
                1.5 oz. raisins
                1 habanero chili
                4 cups green papaya, julienned
                1 shallot, julienned
                1 carrot, julienned
                1 red bell pepper, julienned

                Prepare your pickling brine by combining the first 6 ingredients and bringing them to a boil. Meanwhile, toss the remaining ingredients and pack them into clean, sterile jars. Pour the pickling brine over the julienned vegetables. Seal and store in the refrigerator. The green papaya atchara will be sweet and pickly in a week.

            2. Chicken and Papaya is a popular Filipino dish here in Hawaii. There are a lot of recipes for it out there. Here is a generic one I found:


              1 Reply
              1. re: wabi

                That looks really good - and easy too. Thanks!

              2. Many South Asian kababs are made using green papaya as a meat tenderizer. One uses it by grating it or blitzing it in the blender with the skin on. You mainly just put a tbs or so per pound of meat on in the marinade when using it. It is completely tasteless in the end result, but it causes the meat to become soft and almost pasty. Just imagine a kabab that is grilled/BBQed or pan seared (or even baked and broiled) which has a browned and ever so slightly charred outside and a tender, soft, almost silky inside. The papaya works magic. This can be done on whole kababs or ground meat kababs. Some recipes to look into would be: Bihari kabab, gola kabab, kakori kabab, pasanda kabab, dum ke kababs, and for an unusual ground meat dish, dum ka qeema. There are many more dishes, but that's just for a start. All of this can be served with cooling yoghurt raita and fluffy naan. I actually keep small portions of green papaya paste in the freezer and take it out as needed for meat tenderizing purposes.

                2 Replies
                1. re: luckyfatima

                  Thanks so much luckyfatima - I'll have to give it a try :)

                  1. re: luckyfatima

                    I've been looking up kabab recipes for the past hour or so. It's amazing how small an amount of green papaya paste is needed. I can't wait to try some, they look amazing. Thanks again luckyfatima.