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Guamanian Pickled Papaya

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Why I Love This Recipe

When I was in the 5th grade, we lived in Guam for a short while. A friend of mine would always bring to school a small plastic baggie full of green papaya and red chilies that her mom made. I loved them!

Since moving back to the states I hadn't been able to find green papaya here in Az until recently.

So I tried my hand at recreating the recipe with the resources at hand, and it turned out just as I remembered.

Mind you, it's an acquired taste, but if you're up for a little adventure, you could try quartering the recipe.

Now you can jar these instead of bag them, but new-picklers don't often have jars. This is one of those recipes that can easily be done in bags, storage containers or jars and it won't violate the integrity of the dish, because this isn't pickled for long-term storage.

Ingredients You'll Need

1 medium green papaya
1 cup rice vinegar
2 cups hot water
2 tbsp salt
1.5 tbsp Thai red chili sauce


Cut papaya in half and discard the seeds. peel and thin slice papaya. Place papaya in a colander and place colander over a large bowl. Toss papaya with salt. Let sit for 30min to an hour.

This process softens the papaya a little.

For "pickle":

mix vinegar, water, and red chili sauce together until well blended. Set aside until papaya is tender.

Rinse as much salt off the papaya as possible and pat dry with a paper towel.

Place papaya in zip lock type bags and pour vinegar mixture over it. Seal bags and refrigerate overnight. Good for several weeks.

Serve as a garnish with Asian foods, fish dishes, or as a tangy snack.

Questions, Comments & Reviews

My father was in the Navy and we were stationed on Guam for over 2yrs. I remember the picked papaya we always had in school and I have found it on this website thank you so much...

I also lived on Guam for 6 years when my Navy dad was stationed there. I remember how popular pickled papaya was at all the bake sales. It always sold out first. We still make beef tatsuta and have on occasion made sio pao.

Sounds very interesting. I don't think I would have a source for green papaya though.

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