In Memory Of Karen Nicole Smith, 1972 - 2016

Juicy Caribbean Papaya Salad.


In the Caribbean we’re blessed with tons of fresh juicy fruit and though it’s not something commonly made, papaya salad is a great way to enjoy this wonderful topical delight. I recall watching the trees laden with papaya in our back yard as a youth and it was always a competition of who could spot the ripe one between my brother and I and birds. Cool slices of ripe papaya on a hot day is almost as refreshing as watermelon… and we were not about to have the birds win.

If you’re a fan of Thai cuisine as I am, I’m sure you’ve had one of their delicious shredded papaya salads made from green papaya. So it was only natural for me to put together this salad to represent the vitality of the Caribbean.

You’ll Need…

1 ripe papaya (2-3lbs)
2 tablespoon cilantro (or shado beni)
juice of a lime
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon grated ginger
pinch salt
1 tablespoon olive oil
3 bird pepper (chili pepper)
red onion (optional)

Notes: Use any sort of spicy pepper you have or like and remember that the majority of heat when it comes to peppers are in the seeds and the membrane surrounding the seeds (avoid using if you’re concerned about the heat). A half-ripe papaya will work best, especially for holding it’s shape and working with in general.

The first step is to cut, seed and peel the papaya (in the video below I’ll show you how simple this is). Basically all you have to do is trim off the stem area, then cut in half length-wise. Then use a spoon to scrape off all the seeds and discard. Now cut into segments and peel. I used a sharp pairing knife, but  a potato peeler will work just as well. Give it a rinse with cool water and cut into 1 inch pieces (cube).

Put the pieces of papaya in a bowl and chop the pepper and cilantro (I didn’t have any red onion, but it’s a good addition to this papaya salad).

It’s now time to assemble everything. In the bowl with the papaya, add the chopped pepper and cilantro, squeeze in the fresh lime juice as well as the other ingredients… don’t forget to grate the ginger into the mix as well.  Now (be gentle if your papaya is fully ripe) toss and serve. Works great if you can leave it in the fridge for 10-15 minutes to marinate a bit and chill.

I’m sure if you’d like to get a bit more creative you can always add a pinch of brown sugar and a few drops of honey to the mix. I do hope you give this papaya salad a try as it’s very simple to make and it’s a great way to use a fruit we hardly consider using… don’t let the birds get it! BTW if you live in North America, you can easily source papayas at any Asian, Latin or West Indian market/store. Most of the bigger chain groceries now stock them as well.

Before you go, don’t forget to check out the latest cooking videos, connect with me on twitter and join our community on facebook. oh yea! leave me a comment below – it’s appreciated.





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  1. Gail Roberts
    June 30, 2019 / 6:38 am

    I really enjoy the fact that your recipes are so comprehensive and easy to follow. I live in Trinidad & Tobago and is easily my go to source for any new West Indian/Caribbean recipe that I want to try. Keep up the excellent work Chris!

  2. Phylicia
    June 2, 2019 / 5:35 am

    This looks really good I’ll definitely try this

  3. Leslianne.
    January 3, 2019 / 9:35 pm

    This looks really good, will try it.

  4. Leslianne.
    January 3, 2019 / 9:33 pm

    This looks really good , will try it.

  5. Mike
    August 25, 2018 / 11:43 am

    Our caterer made this as a side salad this week. However he added avocado! Wow! Made me search for a recipe. Found your site. Thank you.

  6. Pat
    August 31, 2017 / 11:49 pm

    Heard an ad from WestJet travel to Barbados with you for the rum and food, in November.
    Should be great. I love pawpaw always just peel and eat I am going to try this.

  7. meriama
    May 26, 2015 / 5:01 pm

    I love it it’s very delicious and healthy, I add some walnut and that makes it perfect for me.
    Thanks forsharing your recipe



  8. cheryl bacchus
    August 22, 2012 / 7:21 am

    chris this looks delicious…never knew we can do this with papa…pls don't laugh.will try this weekend..and hey i love the fact that all your recipes is accompanied with pics….thanks again

  9. allison young
    May 30, 2012 / 5:45 pm

    allison here chris am just loving your homemade hops and as a trini i feel great trying this one. thanks for taking the time to do this and keep up the good work you are doing. i just tried the barbque chicken and what i loved about it is that there is not too much seasoning like we do i trinidad here. laters an what about the recipe for allo pies

  10. Sonjar
    March 28, 2012 / 7:16 pm

    I will be trying this very soon…it looks delicious.

    March 28, 2012 / 12:20 pm

    I love the way you go through everything step by step. from where to find the products, how to choose the produce how to clean it, how to cut it and prepare it for cooking and then how to cook it in slow easy steps. you stand out above the rest. loving it !!!

  12. westamber
    March 18, 2012 / 1:27 pm

    This salad looks fantastic, tasty, and very healthy! Thank you for sharing the recipe!

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