Pickled green papaya

Pickled green papaya

Atcharang Papaya

7000 Islands
3-4 cups
Jana Liebenstein

Served alongside the roasted, grilled and deep-fried meat classics of the Philippines, there’s sweet, tart, pickled atchara. Shredded green papaya and vinegar alone constitute atchara, but carrot, capsicum, ginger and even raisins and pineapple frequently find their way into this pickled condiment to add colour and zing. Atchara is my personal favourite sawsawan.


Quantity Ingredient
1 green papaya, peeled and seeded
1 small carrot, peeled
1/2 small red capsicum, seeded and very thinly sliced
1/2 small red onion, very thinly sliced
2 tablespoons fine salt
750ml nipa or apple cider vinegar
165g dark brown sugar
170ml pineapple juice
10cm piece ginger, peeled, halved and cut into fine matchsticks


  1. Using a mandoline, julienne the green papaya and carrot, then cut the carrot in half. Place in a bowl with the capsicum, onion and salt, and toss well to combine. Set aside for 15 minutes for the salt to extract the liquid.
  2. Place the vinegar, sugar, pineapple juice and ginger in a large saucepan and bring to the boil over high heat, stirring until the sugar dissolves.
  3. Meanwhile, place the papaya mixture in a sieve and squeeze to extract the excess liquid. Add the papaya mixture to the vinegar mixture, return to the boil, then remove from the heat.
  4. Pour into a large sterilised airtight jar and seal with a tight-fitting lid. Refrigerate for 3 days before serving. Once opened, atchara will keep in the refrigerator for up to 3 months.

Where does it come from?

  • The name atchara (also achara and atsara) is derived from achaar, the Hindu term for ‘pickle’. Similar pickled fruits and vegetables can be found in nearby countries, such as the Indonesian acar.
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