Ultimate Papaya Cutting Guide!

You’ve likely enjoyed papaya in a fruit salad or seen it in the produce aisle of your grocery store. But maybe you’ve never purchased one to bring home. Perhaps it was because you weren’t sure how to select or felt unsure on how to cut it. But don’t let those insecurities prevent you from grabbing this delicious fruit the next time you’re at the store. 

Choosing a flavorful papaya can be tricky, but not impossible. The fruit is harvested early to accommodate travel, so many arrive green and unripe. Unripened papaya is crisp with a subtle cucumber-esque flavor, and often used in salads, such as Som Tum.

Papaya will continue to ripen after it’s harvested, so sit the papaya on your countertop for a few days for a perfectly ripe slice.

If you need a ripe papaya for tonight’s dinner, choose one with mostly yellow skin that gives slightly when pressed. It should be heavy for its size and free of soft spots, dents or cuts. Finally, don’t toss over ripened (identified by its bland flavor and mealy texture) papaya! Instead, cut it into bite-size pieces and freeze to use in smoothies for an added boost of nutrition and creaminess.

Ready to cut a papaya? Use these simple steps for success:

How to Cut a Papaya

Step 1: Wash the papaya under cool, running water and pat dry with a clean towel or paper towels. 

Step 2: Place a damp paper towel on your work surface then cover with your cutting board. This creates a stable surface for cutting.

Step 3: Trim off both ends of the papaya using a chef’s knife.

Step 4: Slice in half lengthwise.

Step 5: Use a large spoon to scoop out the seeds. Discard or compost seeds.

Step 6: Place halves, cut-side down, on the cutting board and use a vegetable peeler (a Y-peeler works well) or paring knife to remove the skin. Discard or compost skin.

Step 7: Cut into slices or cubes.

Store cut papaya in the refrigerator and enjoy within 5 days or freeze and use within 3 months.

Now that you’ve cut your papaya, it’s time to find a good recipe. Need a place to start? We’ve got you covered with this list of over 30 papaya recipes!


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