Perk Up Your Meals with Papaya
When ripe, potassium-rich papaya cuts like butter. “Papaya can usually substitute for mango, peaches or other tropical fruits,” says Mark Bittman, former New York Times columnist and co-founder of vegan meal-delivery service The Purple Carrot. For more, see markbittman.com.
GRILLED PAPAYA SKEWERS WITH GINGER SYRUP
Serve as dessert.
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup water
2-3cm piece of ginger, peeled and sliced
2 yellow ripe bananas, unpeeled
2 apples, pears or other firm fruit
1 small pineapple
1 firm, ripe papaya
Combine first 3 ingredients in saucepan over medium heat. Bring to boil and simmer for 3 minutes. Remove from heat, cool to room temperature and strain. Cut unpeeled bananas into 5cm chunks and make a small slit in the peel for easier serving. Cut apples and pears into 2-centimetre-thick slices. Peel and core pineapple, and cut into 5cm chunks. Peel and cut papaya in half, discard seeds, and cut into 5cm chunks. Place fruit on 6 skewers and brush lightly with ginger syrup. Grill over high heat until lightly browned, about 2 minutes per side. Brush again with syrup and serve warm or at room temperature. Makes 6 skewers.
PAPAYA AND RED ONION SALSA
Serve with fish or chicken.
2 cups 1-2cm diced firm, ripe papaya
1/2 cup diced red onion
1/2 cup diced red capsicum
1 Tbsp. minced fresh jalapeño or chopped chilli
1/4 cup or more chopped fresh coriander leaves
3 Tbsp. freshly squeezed lime juice, plus more to taste
1 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
Add ingredients in bowl and stir to combine. Let sit for 5 minutes. Taste and adjust seasoning, adding more chillies, lime or salt as needed. Serve immediately or refrigerate for up to 2 hours. (Bring back to room temperature before serving.) Makes 2 1/2 cups (1/4 cup per serving).
RICE VERMICELLI NOODLES WITH SHRIMP AND PAPAYA
150g rice vermicelli noodles
3 Tbsp. rice wine vinegar
1 tsp. sugar
¼ tsp. salt
450g cooked shrimp
2 cups diced ripe papaya (about 450g)
¼ cup basil leaves, sliced
3 spring onions, sliced
1 Thai bird chilli, sliced (optional)
Chopped peanuts, coriander, mint and basil for garnish
Soak noodles in boiling water until tender, 20 minutes. Rinse, drain, and set aside. In a large bowl, combine rice vinegar, sugar, and salt, and stir until sugar is dissolved. Toss noodles in vinegar mixture, then add shrimp, papaya, basil, scallions, and chili, and toss to coat. Serve garnished with chopped peanuts, and cilantro, mint or basil. Makes 4 to 6 servings.
3 cups fresh papaya chunks
½ frozen banana
1 cup plain yoghurt or non-dairy milk (try coconut)
½ cup apple juice or other juice; more if needed
Maple syrup or honey to taste (optional)
Put all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth. If the machine is not pureeing, add a little more apple juice, as needed. Serve immediately. Makes 2 3½-cup servings.