A Better Way To: Peel and Serve Papaya | Fresh P
How to Peel Papaya
Papaya is both delicious and good for you. In addition to providing a healthy source of fiber, this tropical fruit is high in vitamins A, C, and K, along with several antioxidants.If you’ve never prepared a papaya, you may not be sure how to remove the outer skin. By preparing a ripe papaya and using either a vegetable peeler or a kitchen knife, you can easily peel off this skin and enjoy the tasty fruit inside!
Preparing a Ripe Papaya
Select a ripe papaya.Check the papaya’s color, fragrance, and softness to determine if it is ripe. A ripe papaya will have a yellow-orange color all around and a sweet fragrance coming from the stem at the top. You should be able to press the skin in a little with your finger, but it should still be relatively firm.
- If your papaya is not yet ripe, you may try putting it in a brown paper bag on a room temperature kitchen shelf, next to bananas.This tends to quicken the ripening process by a day or two.
- If the fragrance is overpowering and/or the skin is too soft, the papaya is overripe, and you should discard it.
Rinse the papaya with cold water.Even organic fruits can have residual dirt and pesticides on them after purchase.Rinsing your papaya in cold, running water for 10-15 seconds, rubbing your fingers over the wet skin. This rinse should effectively wash the fruit. When completed, pat it dry with a towel.
- Even though you won’t be eating the skin, it’s still a good idea to rinse it, in order to prevent rubbing dirt and pesticides onto the inner fruit.
- Some people suggest rinsing fruits in a salt or vinegar solution.While studies have shown this to be an effective method of cleaning of pesticides, it also increases the risk of affecting fruits’ taste.
Place the papaya on a cutting board.Place the papaya horizontally on a clean cutting board. When set, the papaya’s length should be greater than its height. You will need to hold the papaya in place as you cut, to prevent it from rolling off the side of the board.
Cut the ends off the papaya.The top (stem) and bottom of the papaya are inedible. Before peeling, you will need to these parts off using a large kitchen knife.With your hand safely away from the blade, hold the fruit onto your cutting board, and cut off the top and bottom of the papaya.
Using a Vegetable Peeler
Peel off the outer skin.Hold the papaya horizontally, with the bottom end closer to you. Hold the peeler perpendicular to the papaya. Press the peeler away from your body, towards the other end of the papaya, until you have peeled off a long, thin, strip of skin.
- Repeat this process around the papaya until all of the skin is peeled off.
Slice in half lengthwise.When all of the skin is peeled off, place the papaya horizontally on the cutting board, as you did to cut off the ends. Use your knife to slice it into equal halves lengthwise. You will now have two halves, each filled with small black seeds.
Scoop out the seeds.Use a spoon or scoop to take out the seeds from the two papaya halves. If you wish, you may keep the seeds. They are edible, and have a strong peppery taste.
Using a Kitchen Knife
Slice the washed papaya in half.If you don’t have a vegetable peeler, you can still peel papaya with a kitchen knife. After you cut off the ends, slice the papaya into equal halves lengthwise while the skin is still on. Each of these halves should be approximately equal in size.
Remove the seeds.Papaya seeds have a strong flavor, much like peppercorn. You will want to remove them before enjoying your papaya fruit. Holding the papaya halves on the side that still has skin, use a spoon or scoop to take out the black seeds on the inside. Since they’re edible, you may hold on to the seeds for future use.
Slice each half into wedges.Make long, thin wedges of papaya by slicing each half in half lengthwise, then slicing each quarter in half.You will have a total of eight wedges.
Peel the skin off the wedges.With the same knife, slice off the skin from each of the wedges. In order to get the maximum amount of papaya fruit, make your cut just above the papaya’s rine.Push the knife all they way through, making sure there are no leftover bits of skin left on the wedges.
- After peeling, you can preserve leftover papaya for an extra day or two by covering it in cling-wrap or placing it in a sealable container, and storing it in your refrigerator.
- Papaya seeds offer a number of health benefits.Try making a peppery sauce with them.
Video: 3 ways to julienne papaya ( For Papaya Salad )
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