Green Papaya Sauerkraut

SUBHEAD: A use for green papayas as a substitute for cabbage.

By Juan Wilson on 14 October 2009 for Island Breath -  

Image above: Green and yellowing papayas on tree in our garden. Photos by Juan Wilson.

Once you have a few papaya trees growing, you often have more fruit than you can use or give away. Back on the mainland this was true of zucchini. Roadside tables in rural NY would groan under the weight of giant zukes with desperate signs taped to them. "Free! - Please take!" We (Linda Pascatore and I) have been growing papaya trees from seed for years. It has been the easiest fruit bearing tree to have in regular productive rotation. They are short lived and quick to produce fruit - mere months rather than years.

As a result of having so many papayas, we have gotten picky about flavor, texture and ripeness. If it is not perfect it goes to our egg laying hens. We usually have our papaya for breakfast with yogurt, cottage cheese or just a squeeze of lime. We have also enjoyed papaya salad at Toi's Kitchen, our local Thai restaurant. It was during an attempt to make a Thai papaya salad that I stumbled on another use for the fruit... as a substitute for cabbage in sauerkraut.


Image above: Shredding a peeled green papaya. Note flesh is white, not yellow.

To make either Thai papaya salad, or papaya sauerkraut, use a fresh picked green papaya. Peel the skin off the papaya, revealing the white flesh. It should not be yellowish or turning orange to be useful as sauerkraut. It can be useful to leave some skin on for use as a hand grip.Course grate the papaya being careful not to include any of the seeded core of the fruit. The grated papaya should have the color and texture of cabbage sauerkraut. 

Image above: Shredded papaya in bowl mixed with apple cider vinegar and Hanapepe salt. 

Put the shredded papaya in a bowl and well moisten with apple cider vinegar. Add salt to taste. We use Hanapepe Salt Pond variety. That's about it. Unlike cabbage sauerkraut we do not ferment this mix. It is quick to mix up and makes a interesting condiment on a hotdog or other place you might use traditional sauerkraut.

Image above: Hotdogs for lunch served with papaya sauerkraut.

One way we serve green papaya sauerkraut is with Rodondo Arabiki Hot Dogs (course ground pork sausage which tastes like old fashioned hotdogs and not baloney). A good substitute, but more expensive, are Oscar-Meyers Smokies that are also course ground hotdogs.

 Other condiments we favor are Western Family's dijon mustard, and dill relish that are available at Big Save supermarkets on Kauai.

See also:
Ea O Ka Aina: Green Turtle Mango 10/13/09
Ea O Ka Aina: Freezing Plantain 9/23/09
Ea O Ka Aina: Peak Macadamia Nut 9/22/09
Ea O Ka Aina: Get out your ulu (breadfruit) 7/19/09
Island Breath: Backyard Taro 5/24/05

1 comment :

hannah bandies said...

I will try that recipe. The addition of a few caraway seeds might be good. Also, using a spiralizer to "shred" the papaya might add another interesting texture. Thanks for the idea. I love creating new, unusual recipes, especially those that are simple and come from your back yard. YUM!

Hannah Brandeis

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