How to cut and eat a papaya can be a whole new world to some of you. As papaya is soft and mushy, you always need to do it carefully. Pay attention because I’ll introduce you to a comprehensive look at cutting papaya and making some delicious dishes.
In this post, you also learn useful ways to choose good papaya, signs of ripe papaya, and how to store it properly. I promise after reading this post, you’ll master dealing with papaya. Now, take your notebook and write down these tips.
Fascinating Info You Should Know About Papaya
Papaya is a fruit originating in Mexico and Central America. Now you can see it grown in most tropical regions such as India, Australia, and South America. There are several papaya varieties, of which Hawaiian papaya and Mexican papaya are the 2 most common types. (1)
Hawaiian papaya has bright yellow skin and a pear-like shape. Its flesh is yellow-orange and sweet. Mexican papaya turns yellow or orange when it ripens. This papaya cultivar has a sweet and musky flavor with a dense texture.
Papaya is a good source of vitamin C and antioxidants, which help keep your heart healthy. It also contains a digestive enzyme called papain, boosting your immunity. Besides, eating papaya prevents your body from cancer and inflammation. (2)
Clever Hacks To Pick Good Papaya
Papaya is one of these flavorsome fruit varieties that can be found year-round. You can easily purchase good papaya in supermarkets and grocery stores surrounding your neighborhood.
Selecting papaya is an important step in making your dishes more flavorful. It depends on the dishes to decide whether you should buy ripe papaya or green one. Green papaya is perfect for salad or side dishes, while ripe papaya goes well with smoothies, ice cream, etc.
Good green papaya should be hard, so when you press your fingers, it won’t give. It also has a deep green color and a crispy texture with white flesh and seeds. If you see pale green or partially yellow on the skin, it seems that this fruit starts ripening.
If you want to choose ripe papaya, pay attention to its skin color. Ripe papaya often turns from green to bright yellow or orange-red color and can give when you press it with your thumb. Ripe papaya has a distinctive scent that smells sweet and slightly musky.
You also can select almost ripe papaya, which has more yellow than green on its skin. Besides, when you see papaya with dark brown or black spots with deep blemishes, this fruit is overly ripe and starts going bad.
How To Prepare Papaya Before Cutting
Cutting papaya seems not to be challenging but if you want to have a perfect cutting process, here are compulsory tasks you need to complete before taking your knife.
Step 1: Wash Papaya
Before cutting papaya, you should wash it under water to remove any dirt, contaminants, or latex. If you cut unwashed papaya, your hands will be exposed to unwanted germs and dirt. Then when you touch the flesh, the fruit is not safe enough to eat.
Step 2: Dry The Papaya
After washing, use paper or a towel to dry the papaya. Or you can let it dry naturally, but it can take a bit longer.
Step 3: Trim Off The Ends
Cut off both ends about ½ inch or up to 1 inch for large papaya. This step helps create a stable and flat surface so that the fruits won’t move while you peel and cut.
How To Peel Papaya So That It Looks Perfect
Unlike the seeds, papaya skin is inedible as it contains latex. Therefore, you should always get rid of all the skin before consuming papaya. Let me tell you 2 simple ways so that you can get through this step easily.
Using A Vegetable Peeler
Put the papaya on the cutting board vertically. Hold it tightly, and then simply peel the whole fruit as usual. If you find it slippery while peeling, stick a fork in to keep it in place, then continue your job.
Using A Paring Knife
Although the definition of paring knife and how to use it are still quite strange to some people, let’s get one ready to peel your papaya! This knife will reduce the chance of hurting yourself and losing some papaya flesh.
After placing the papaya on the cutting board vertically, run your knife from the top to the bottom to remove the skin from the flesh. You should do it gently to ensure you won’t cut through the edible part.
A useful tip when peeling papaya with a paring knife is to leave a line of skin at the top so that you can hold the fruit easily. You may also use a fork to control the fruit the same as using a vegetable peeler.
Learn Simple Ways To Cut Papaya
Cut papaya is as easy as pie. You can do it in many ways. In this section, you will learn the most popular methods, and whatever you apply, I can confirm it will always work well.
Regular Method To Cut Papaya
This method follows the preparation and peeling section in the very last part. Now, read this step-by-step instruction carefully and take it into practice at the same time if you want.
Step 1: Slice Your Papaya In Half
After peeling, stand up the papaya on the cutting board. Place your sharp knife in the middle of the fruit’s top and slowly run it down to cut the papaya in half lengthwise. Then you separate the papaya into 2 parts and move to the next step.
Step 2: Remove The Seeds
Use a spoon and scrape out all the seeds. Try not to scoop too deep as you can lose the flesh. Papaya seeds are edible, although they taste quite bitter. You can throw away the seeds or keep them for other purposes, such as growing or making pepper alternatives.
Step 3: Cut The Papaya Into Long Strips
To do this step, you need to turn each halved papaya down first. Again, put your knife on the top and slice it into long strips. Some people may prefer to cut it into crescent wedges.
Step 4: Chop Into Cubes And Enjoy
Now, chop each strip or each wedge into bite-sized cubes. Your papaya is ready to serve.
This is how you cut your papaya in the right way.
Special Case 1: Peel Before Slicing
Regarding this method, you will peel the whole papaya first, then do the rest of the cutting process. In this case, you need to put the papaya straight up on the cut board and run the knife down.
Make sure you use a shallow blade to avoid cutting into the flesh too much. Peel and rotate your papaya until no skin’s left. If the skin is too slippery for you to hold, wipe the moisture with a paper towel.
Special Case 2: Slice Before Peeling
This method is opposite to the case above. You will cut your papaya into long strips first, then remove all the skin from the flesh of each wedge with a paring knife.
To do this method, I highly recommend using a knife for your comfort level. Due to the small area of skin and the soft flesh of each strip, the peeler can be hard to work well.
5-minute tutorial shows you how to cut papaya perfectly.
Easy Homemade Papaya Recipes For Summertime
Papaya is one of the greatest picks for summer days. This list below will show you easy-to-make papaya recipes, including cakes, drinks, and salad. Here’s the deal:
Since sorbet is among other amazing ice creams varieties, you should get this papaya lemon sorbet on your must-try list.
Place papaya flesh, water, and lemon in the blender and blend the mixture until smooth. Such a healthy and juicy sorbet would be perfect for a post-dinner dessert.
Don’t miss this cool papaya lemon sorbet as it will refresh you on summer days.
This is a super easy recipe for papaya salsa lovers. Mix papaya with red onion, cilantro leaves, lime, and a bit of pepper, then you will have a juicy tropical salsa. It has a unique crunchy and tart flavor.
How about trying a chilly papaya ice cream on sunny days in summer? I bet it will cool you down in every bite. With just a few ingredients, you can make a refreshing dessert with a subtle aroma and a tasty flavor.
Now, even vegans can enjoy one of the tastiest papaya ice creams.
Learn how to make a savory Mexican recipe for vegetarians right at home! This dish has a complex flavor profile with the tastes of papaya, red onions, and cucumbers. It is a wonderful and healthy choice in your diet.
This papaya cake tasted so delicious. With simple ingredients, including papaya and coconut, you will have the moistest and most fluffy cake ever. It also has a sweet aroma and melts in every bite.
A moist and fluffy papaya cake is so great that you should have a try with your friends.
Clever Storage Ideas To Help You Preserve Papaya
Don’t you know that proper storage of papaya depends on whether they are ripe or not? Choosing the right method for each type of papaya not only keeps the fruits at their best quality but also helps them extend shelf life further.
Store Unripe Papaya
Sometimes, you accidentally buy unripe papaya and don’t have a plan to use your unripe. If you are under this circumstance, storing papaya is a good idea. You can store your papaya in several ways.
On The Counter
The simplest way is to leave them on the counter. If you don’t want to cook green papaya and want it to be ripe, just let your unripe papaya sit on the counter. At room temperature, the papaya can ripen itself. A few days after, you will have full ripe papaya.
The time of ripening depends on the greenish color and the temperature. The hotter the room is, the faster the papaya ripens. Generally, almost ripe papaya takes about 1 day to be fully ripe, and partially ripe papaya needs 2-3 days. Green papaya spends more time ripening.
Using A Paper Bag
Another way to store your unripe papaya is by putting them in a paper bag. Doing this can also speed up the ripening process. So if you are in a rush to use the papaya, this method will meet your expectations. But check your papaya once a day, or they can become overripe.
Store Ripe Papaya
Once the papaya is fully ripe, it can go bad quickly if you don’t use it within a few days. Leaving the papaya on the counter is not a smart way as the fruit can overripe in a short time. Instead, you should refrigerate or freeze the papaya to keep them longer.
Keeping papaya in the fridge can maintain its freshness along with flavor. This method also increases the time your fruit is safe to consume. Therefore, when you see the papaya turn completely ripe, put it in the fridge immediately.
How to deal with leftover papaya? Place them in an airtight container and keep them in the fridge. You can eat cool papaya cubes later. Remember that you should remove all the seeds before storing the papaya.
The most ideal option to preserve ripe papaya is freezing it. Frozen papaya can last for a long time, and then you can make plenty of delicious foods from it. You can place whole ripe papaya in the freezer, but I suggest cutting it into small cubes before freezing.
The Ideal Storing Time For Different Types Of Papaya
You’ve read about tips to store papaya, I guess you may think about how long papaya can stay safe. This section will provide you with the necessary knowledge to address your question.
The table below will demonstrate an overview of the papaya.
|Whole papaya (unripe)||5-7 days||2 weeks||Not recommended|
|Whole papaya (ripe)||2-3 days||5-7 days||10-12 months|
|Cut papaya||1-2 hours||2-3 days||10-12 months|
Whole Unripe Papaya
Unripe papaya can last for up to a week when put at room temperature. Remember that its shelf life can be affected by the temperature. The hotter the temperature is, the shorter it can stay safe.
Keeping in the fridge can keep for a longer period. Unripe papaya will last for 2 weeks. This way also slows down the ripening process, then helps you to use papaya for the long term.
On the other hand, you shouldn’t store the whole papaya in the freezer as the too low temperature can prevent it from ripening. Plus, papaya, after thawing, becomes extremely mushy and tasteless. In this case, it’s hard to use papaya for any purpose.
Whole Ripe Papaya
At room temperature, ripe papaya keeps safe for 2-3 days. As mentioned before, the temperature will determine the shelf life of ripe papaya. Therefore, after this time, if you don’t eat the papaya, it will become overripe and then go bad.
If you keep ripe papaya in the fridge, you should eat it within 5-7 days. If you don’t think you can eat it after this timeline, it’s better to put it in the freezer. Frozen papaya can last 10-12 months with proper storage.
Leftover papaya will stay safe for about 1-2 hours at room temperature. Don’t let the papaya stay at a hot temperature. Doing this can make it melt and go stale.
If you have plenty of leftovers, keep them in the fridge where they can last for 2-3 days. Freezing the leftovers also maximizes their shelf life by up to 12 months.
Visible Signs Of Stale Papaya You Should Know
Have you ever wondered if papaya will go bad? Although you follow the shelf life of papaya, it sometimes may rot faster. Here are some useful ways to tell you how your papaya has gone bad.
Good ripe papaya should be bright yellow or orange-red on the skin. If there is a little dark spot on the surface, you can still eat the papaya without worrying. On the contrary, dark spots covering all its surface means that your fruit is not safe to consume anymore.
You also should notice the mold growing on its skin. A small mold area won’t be a problem if your papaya is still sweet and firm. Once the mold spreads widely, and the flesh has a sour odor, you know it’s time to discard the papaya.
You also can identify the quality of the papaya through its texture. Ripe papaya has a soft but creamy texture, while stale one will be mushy and disintegrating. If it’s the case, you should throw your papaya away.
Smell And Taste
Besides appearance, changes in smell and taste can represent that your papaya has been spoiled. Weirdly fermented, foil smell and bitter taste are clear signs to prove that you need to remove the papaya as soon as possible.
There are some common questions that many people ask me when it comes to papaya. I hope these answers below will help you out.
You’ve finished your lessons on cutting papaya as a pro. It’s time to apply all comprehensive instructions in your kitchen. I believe you will succeed on the first try. And remember to make mouth-watering papaya recipes with your family and friends.
If you have any hacks or tips regarding cutting papaya, feel free to comment on this post. I’m also eager to see papaya desserts and recipes from you. Don’t forget to share this informative article so that more and more people can learn new things. Thanks for reading.
- En.wikipedia.org. 2022. Papaya – Wikipedia.
- Healthline. 2018. 8 Evidence-Based Health Benefits of Papaya.
Table of Contents
- Fascinating Info You Should Know About Papaya
- Clever Hacks To Pick Good Papaya
- How To Prepare Papaya Before Cutting
- How To Peel Papaya So That It Looks Perfect
- Learn Simple Ways To Cut Papaya
- Easy Homemade Papaya Recipes For Summertime
- Clever Storage Ideas To Help You Preserve Papaya
- The Ideal Storing Time For Different Types Of Papaya
- Visible Signs Of Stale Papaya You Should Know
- Sharpen Your Knife And Slice Papaya