Wondering how to slice a papaya that you’ve bought? They’re a delicious fruit but, if you don’t prepare them carefully, a lot of the flesh will be wasted. There is a simple technique to getting the most out of your papaya, and if you follow these steps you’ll have no trouble preparing one.
How to slice a papaya in four simple steps
- Cut off the ends of the papaya, then slice it in half
You should cut the papaya lengthways. Use a sharp knife, as you don’t want to be sawing too much – a clean cut will make the next step much easier.There is a simple technique to getting the most out of your papaya, and if you follow these steps you’ll have no trouble preparing one.
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- Using a small spoon, scoop out the papaya seeds.
There will be some flesh amongst the seeds but not much – just scoop everything out and discard it, leaving two hollowed-out halves.
- Remove the skin
You could use a vegetable peeler for this step, but it’s normally easier to stick with a sharp knife. A smaller knife will be easier to use, as you can neatly trim away the skin. Discard it when you’re done.
- Slice the flesh
The flesh is now ready to serve. The easiest way to cut it here is to dice it – cut lengthways, and then cut again into small chunks. Or, cut across the width of each halve to get handy slices.
Watch this video on how to slice a papaya here:
When should you cut a papaya?
You can tell when a papaya is ripe by the color of the skin and how soft it feels. Papayas are ripe and ready to cut when the green skin has started to turn yellow, and looks almost bruised. If you aren’t sure, try pressing your thumb into the papaya – if it feels firm, it isn’t ready to cut yet. If you can easily push your thumb into the flesh then it’s ripe.
How to cut a papaya for papaya salad:
If you’re preparing a papaya salad, you will want to julienne the fruit to create finely shredded pieces. The easiest way to do this is with a julienne peeler, but if you don’t have one, a knife will do. Once you’ve hollowed out the papaya, turn it flat-side down and make several long cuts into the flesh, without completely cutting through.
Then, using either the same knife or a regular vegetable peeler, shave off strands from the slices you’ve made. You should get long, thin slices ideal for a papaya salad.
If you intend to make a Thai salad with papaya, most recipes will call for the papaya to be green, so make sure you prepare it before the fruit ripens. It’ll be slightly tougher when it isn’t ripe, but a peeler or sharpened knife will work fine.
How to cut papaya for a fruit platter:
Following the steps above for slicing a papaya, you can easily cut a papaya into chunks or spears that can be arranged in an attractive way on a fruit platter. However, with the size of papaya, these fruits also make a great base for other fruits on the platter.
Once you’ve halved your papaya, hollowed out the seeds and trimmed the skin, cut the papaya in half again, so you’re left with four long quarters.
Arrange these almost as compass points on your platter as miniature bowls, adding berries or smaller fruit chunks on top. Prepare and place another tropical fruit neatly between each quarter for a simple yet effective platter that will wow at parties.Following these steps for slicing a papaya, you can easily cut a papaya into chunks or spears that can be arranged in an attractive way on a fruit platter.
How to slice and eat a papaya:
Once you’ve halved and hollowed a papaya, slicing it is simple. Use a small sharp knife and run it across the width of your papaya halves to get crescent slices. Papaya’s a soft fruit, and so you can easily slice it thinly if you want, although thicker slices are easier to hold and eat.
Can you grow papaya from cuttings?
You can grow papaya from cuttings, but it is normally done from the seeds. To propagate from a cutting, prune a mature tree to around 12 inches from the ground, and then carefully remove the new shoots once they’ve appeared.
Papaya trees are tropical fruits and need plenty of warmth and the right amount of watering. They are relatively easy to grow but they are prone to dying in youth before they bear fruit, so plant multiple trees to avoid disappointment.
How do you keep a cut papaya fresh without a refrigerator?
If you’ve cut your papaya and don’t intend to eat it all immediately, then ideally you would store it in a refrigerator. If you don’t have that option, the best thing to do is to dry it out.
You’ll likely need a dehydrator as you need to essentially cook the papaya at a very low temperature that’s below many oven’s working range – around 135 °F for 12 hours to fully dry it out and make it safe. Store dried papaya in a cool, air-tight container and it should keep for anything between four months and a year.
Why is papaya wrapped in paper?
Papaya is often wrapped in paper to help hasten the ripening process.
Fruits release a gas called Ethylene Oxide, which normally dissipates in the air. When you wrap or place fruit such as papaya in a paper bag, that gas is instead trapped. The presence of the gas helps to speed up the ripening process, so your fruit is ready to eat faster – often within a day or two depending on how ripe the fruit was when placed in the paper originally.
To sum up, there are a number of ways you can prepare your papaya. When it comes to how to slice a papaya, it depends on whether you intend to eat it as a snack, present it on a platter or create a papaya salad. How do you prepare your papaya? Leave a comment with your preferred method.