Papaya Kimchi

Green Papayas Makes a Stunning Ferment

Around the globe many cultures figured a way to eat fruit before it turns sweet. You may think this is counterintuitive, but when tropical fruits, like papaya and mango turn sweet on the branch, Nature comes to feast on the fruits of your labor.

Papaya Kimchi is like making lemonade out of lemons; green papayas taste like zucchini, and are perfect as a fermented kimchi.

Green Papayas in My Yard

Green papaya is labeled as such in Asian markets. For some of us living in the subtropics, they grow in our yards and are generously shared. The pulp is white and the seeds are white in this state. The pulp is firm and takes to grating easily.

INGREDIENTS: To Make One Quart

  • filtered water – 2 cups
  • sea salt – 1 TBS, or Himalayan pink salt [or use 1 tsp salt and 1 TBS fish sauce]
  • green papaya – 1 medium, about 3 cups, grated
  • onion – 1 cup, thin slices [or scallions]
  • garlic – 1 TBS, minced
  • Korean chili flakes – 2 TBS [gochugaru*]
  • sugar – 1 tsp

Gochugaru is the traditional chili for kimchi. It has a milder spice profile than cayenne. You can substitute, but using high-heat chilies are not the intent for this kimchi, so use less

INSTRUCTIONS: Lacto-fermentation is an easy entry method. I developed the Perfect Pickler Fermentation Kit that uses an airlock-canning jar system. There are a number of ways to lacto-ferment safely

  1. Dissolve the salt in the water to make a brine
  2. Combine all the remaining ingredients in a bowl then pack into a clean one quart mason jar
  3. Pour in the brine up to just below the jar lip. Seal the jar for lacto-fermenting using an airlock or other style
  4. Place on a saucer and leave in a cool area, away from direct sunlight for 4 days to complete the fermentation
  5. Taste the kimchi and adjust to if needed
  6. Refrigerate and enjoy

(L): Green Papaya (Upper R): Jay Starr Demoing Kimchi Making (Lower R): Papaya Kimchi with Welsh Rarebit Toast

Recipe adapted, original by Mark Fowler

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