It can be difficult to weave in fruit and vegetables in our daily meals without disturbing the harmony of favors we’ve put together. But Filipinos have found a way to have something nutritious and flavorful with grilled dishes, and that would be Papaya Atchara! You may have already seen this colorful concoction in restaurants as a side dish. But you can easily make this on your own to make sure that the ingredients are fresh, and you are getting the best-tasting atchara for the family.
What is Papaya Atchara?
Is this your first time hearing about atchara? Well, you’re in for a pleasant surprise. This is an appetizer that’s known for its hints of sourness and sweetness due to a perfectly put together set of components. We work with the likes of ginger, white vinegar, and of course, green papaya for this. After all, this is pretty much your pickled green papaya made the local way.
This is something you can pair perfectly with salty food that is not too rich in flavor. That would include classics like fried chicken and calamari, as well as grilled squid. It also goes well with grilled pork belly. Yummy!
Let’s wrap this up by talking about our list of ingredients!
Ingredients for Papaya Atchara
Pick out 4 lbs. of green papaya for this recipe, and grate all of this. We will also need 1 carrot we will slice thinly, 1 red bell pepper we will julienne, and ¾ cup of raisins. And for a side dish that’s bursting with flavor, we would want 2 heads of garlic that we’ve sliced thinly, 4 thumbs of ginger that we’ve julienned, 2 cups of white vinegar, 1 ⅓ cups of granulated white sugar, 1 teaspoon of salt, and ½ teaspoon of ground black pepper.
We must also prepare 2 quarts of water, 3 cups of ice cubes, and 4 tablespoons of salt for our papaya.
How to Make Papaya Atchara
1. Making the brine
Pour your water into a pot. Apply heat, and wait for the liquid to boil. Then toss in ¼ cup of salt, and stir this in until it has dissolved into the water entirely. You can now turn your heat off, and put your ice cubes inside. We do this so the temperature can get lower.
2. Soaking the papaya in the brine solution
Grab your grated papaya, and add this to the cooking pot. We will just keep the fruit soaked completely for 2 days. Now this is up to you, but I would suggest refrigerating the papaya to make sure it remains fresh.
3. Preparing the papaya
After the 2 days are up, you can extract the liquid left in the papaya by wrapping it in cheesecloth. Now wring your cheesecloth until all of the water is out. Proceed to loosen the papaya, and place this in a large bowl. We will also place our garlic, ginger, raisin, bell pepper, and carrot inside. Toss everything together. Then just fill ¾ of your mason jars with your papaya mixture. Set them aside for now.
4. Creating the syrup
It’s time for us to heat 2 cups of white vinegar in a cooking pot. Then you should integrate 1 ½ cups of granulated white sugar, 1 teaspoon of salt, and your ground black pepper. Wait for this to boil. Once it does, just keep everything cooking for 2 minutes. Afterwards, carefully pour enough hot syrup into each mason jar to cover the papaya mixture. Then we can just cover the jars with plastic lids.
5. Refrigerating the atchara
You deserve a pat on the back for creating heaps of delicious Papaya Atchara! All there’s left to do is to wait for this to cool down to room temperature. Then you can keep them in the refrigerator for 3 days before serving.
How to Serve Papaya Atchara
Once your atchara’s spent enough time in the fridge, you can simply take the jars out, and arrange the mixture inside on a serving plate of choice. But keeping it in the jar, and placing this on the dinner table would also do, as this makes it easy for us to reach for more of this appetizer. Like I said earlier, this is a dish that is best enjoyed alongside the likes of grilled meat or fish.
How to Store Papaya Atchara
You might have noticed that this recipe makes quite a good amount of servings. That’s because making this in bigger batches is the practical way to create atchara. You will be able to enjoy this with such a wide range of dishes, and so I would recommend having a lot prepared. For storage, once you’ve opened your jars, you can actually keep the atchara refrigerated for about 2 months more! Luckily, our Papaya Atchara has quite a long shelf life.
If you’re curious about any other aspect of this speedy recipe, feel free to comment below!
- 4 lbs. green papaya grated
- 1 piece carrot thinly sliced
- 1 piece red bell pepper julienne
- 3/4 cups raisins
- 2 heads garlic thinly sliced
- 4 thumbs ginger julienne
- 2 cups white vinegar
- 1 1/3 cups granulated white sugar
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 2 quarts water
- 3 cups ice cubes
- 4 tablespoons salt
- Make the brine by boiling 2 quarts of water in a pot. Add ¼ cup salt. Stir until it dissolves completely. Turn the heat off and then add ice to lower the temperature.2 quarts water, 4 tablespoons salt, 3 cups ice cubes
- Put the grated papaya into the cooking pot with brine solution. Soak it for 2 days. Note: it is best to refrigerate it to ensure freshness.4 lbs. green papaya
- Extract all the liquid from the papaya. Do this by wrapping the grated papaya in cheesecloth. Wring until all the liquid comes out.
- Loosen the papaya and arrange in a large bowl. Add garlic, ginger, raisin, bell pepper, and carrot. Toss until well blended.1 piece red bell pepper, 3/4 cups raisins, 2 heads garlic, 4 thumbs ginger, 1 piece carrot
- Fill ¾ of your mason jars with the papaya mixture. Set aside.
- Make the syrup by heating 2 cups of white vinegar in a cooking pot. Add 1 ½ cups granulated white sugar, 1 teaspoon salt, and ½ teaspoon ground black pepper. Let it boil and cook for 2 minutes.2 cups white vinegar, 1 1/3 cups granulated white sugar, 1 teaspoon salt, 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
- Gently pour the enough hot syrup in each mason jar to cover the mixture. Cover the jars with plastic lids.
- Let it cool down to room temperature then put these inside the fridge.
- Use it after 3 days. Serve with your favorite fried or grilled meat and fish.
- Share and enjoy!