Pickled Green Papaya

Pickled young (green) papaya was a favorite snack growing up on Guam.  In fact, it still is a favorite snack, and I make some whenever I find the young, green (unripe) papayas at my local Asian market.

I still remember walking to the village stores for milk or whatever my mom sent me there for.  I’d always use the change to buy a small baggie full of pickled papaya and snack on it on the walk back home.  My mouth is watering just thinking about it.

Here’s how to make it:

Thoroughly wash one medium sized young, green (unripe) papaya.  You can also pickle a papaya that’s just turning ripe.

Peel the skin off the papaya.  Cut the papaya in half and scrape out all of the seeds.

Thinly slice the papaya.  I like to use a mandolin to do this; it makes for evenly cut slices and it’s quick!

Place the sliced papaya in a mixing bowl.  Add the vinegar, salt (to taste), and as much hot chili peppers as you like.  Other optional items you can add are sliced fresh garlic and onions.  Let the papaya marinate in the mixture for a couple of ours then enjoy!

Pickled Green Papaya
  • 1 medium young (green, unripe) papaya
  • Distilled white vinegar, enough to cover the papaya
  • Salt, to taste
  • Chopped hot chili peppers, as much as you like
  • Optional: sliced or chopped garlic and sliced onions
  1. Wash and peel the papaya; cut in half and remove the seeds.
  2. Thinly slice the papaya and place into a mixing bowl.
  3. Add the vinegar, salt, hot chili peppers, and other optional ingredients. Stir to mix well.
  4. Allow the papaya to marinate in the vinegar mixture for a couple of hours then enjoy!


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  1. Alyssa says:

    I just made this yesterday. I used about 4 large cloves of fresh minced garlic, and quite a bit of both fresh diced donn’e pepper (4) and some boonie pepper paste (about 2 Tbsp.) I got from my Chamorro friend. I also added about a Tbsp. or so of sugar to help balance the spice a bit. It’s been 24 hours, and the papaya is really nice and crunchy, a little sweet, nice and hot/spice and really quite garlicky. I had some with breakfast and it went really great with some kimchee fried rice and hom bao this morning.

  2. John G Kidwell says:

    I remember attending school in the mid 70’s and fell in love with the pickled papaya that was being sold on campus. Thank you for the recipe and will comment later after my experience. Hafa Dai!

  3. Walter Chaboude says:

    I experienced this in Guam from 1971-1975. Been trying to duplicate. Seems like what I had, had some soy or teriyaki sauce. Any clues. And ours was maid by locals.
    Benito Perez’s

  4. Richard T. D. Gámez, CAPT. USAF (RET) says:

    I use Chile pequin’s that I grow in my back yard. Very similar to the peppers of different colors I found on Guam 69-74. I have been lucky to find green Papaya at my local 99¢ store on occasion. 99¢@lb. Still works for me! That savory mouth-watering flavor, still to this day keeps sayin Hafa Adai!

  5. Jan says:

    Thank you for this recipe! I just made a batch! It’s so good! I add my own chilies salt! Yum!

  6. Tiffany C says:

    Does this need to be refrigerated?

  7. Susan Scofield says:


    What kind of peppers do you use for pickled papaya? What type? Dried or fresh?

    Thank you!

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