Monday, January 23, 2012

Green Papayas as a Vegetable Dish

I've never cooked green papayas before, so I wanted to start with something really easy.  I decided to just peel, cube, and boil/simmer till cooked, about 20-30 minutes.  We have an excess of papayas right now and they have not been quick to ripen indoors, so it was time to experiment.

I chose one and peeled it easily.  There were bead-like white immature seeds inside this one, and I removed those with a spoon.  The texture of the fruit when cubed was something like a butternut squash, but easier to cut through.  The chunks were very firm, with no stringy-ness.

It cooked up really nicely, and has a mild neutral flavor leaning slightly towards a winter squash without the sweetness, and somewhat like potato but without the granular starchiness.  I served it with sauteed garlic, a pinch of sea salt, a dab of butter, and served it instead of rice as the base for some sauteed/stewed onion, thinly-sliced steak, peppers and garlic.    At least that was Jack's.  I had mine by itself with a side of greens.  The next night, it found its way into some curry, and was just as good that way, too.

Next time, maybe I'll try shredding it raw and making a kosher version of Som Tam, a Thai fresh salad, and substituting my own anchovy/garlic/soy blend for the fish sauce and omitting the shrimp.

I'm delighted to find a "veggie" use for a green fruit we can grow!

I think a lot of folks who don't exactly love the musky flavor of ripe papaya fruits would find a way to love the cooked green fruit because of its vegetable-ish attributes and its very mild and completely different (than the fruit) flavor.

Does anyone out here have any other way to use green papayas?   



Shreela said...

Did you grow it from seed from purchased fruit? Or did you order the trees?

I haven't tried this yet, since I haven't found green papaya locally (it's probably at an Asian grocer, but I forget to look for it when I go LOL).

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How to Extract Papain From Papaya

Robbyn said...

Shreela, we just sow the seeds from ripe papayas we get at the store, after cleaning and eating them. Since these plants survived, we'll use their seeds now instead :) You have to be careful not to get the white sap from the stem directly on your skin or it will burn it...

Anonymous said...

Cut the raw papaya into chunks, sauté them in some oil, once it is 75 percent done, add some grated coconut and season it when done.