Atchara (Pickled Green Papaya)

Atchara - featured image

Craving for ‘tapsilog’ or ‘longsilog’? You definitely have to have ‘atchara’ to go with it.

Since making the real deal is a bit tedious, one always settles for the bottled kind. But let me tell you that once you have made this, you won’t settle for less. The trick is to make a batch and store it; the atchara lasts for some months thereby saving you time every time you crave for fried pork or chicken, for breakfast or dinner.

I learned how to make this from the nurse of my paternal grandmother, Eufrasia Gino. Miss Gino is now in heaven but if one believes in ghosts, I can swear that she used to haunt her old room, where the shower would be found running.

Atchara (Picked Green Papaya)

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By Marianne de Leon Serves: 2 bottles
Prep Time: 2 days Cooking Time: 15 minutes Total Time: 2 days

Craving for ‘tapsilog’ or ‘longsilog’? You definitely have to have this pickled green papaya condiment to go along with it.

Ingredients

  • 4 cups thickly grated green papaya
  • 1/4 cup sea salt
  • 1/4 cup carrots - be creative and slice them like flowers, 1/8-inch thick rounds
  • 4 long green chili/lady finger (siling mahaba) - split chili lengthwise, remove seeds and slice into thin strips crosswise
  • 2 cups white radish (labanos) - peel and slice into half moons, thinly - place in a bowl and place 1 tablespoon salt and mix
  • 5 cloves garlic - slice thinly into rounds (optional, I don’t like it)
  • ½ cup small red onions (marble sized) (sibuyas Tagalog or pickling onions) - slice in half if small and into three if bigger - soak in salted water 1 tablespoon salt with 1 cup water
  • 1 small red bell pepper (Capsicum) - cut in half, seed, remove vein, and slice into long strips or into diamond shape
  • 1 small green bell pepper (Capsicum) - do the same as the red bell pepper
  • 1 tablespoon ginger - peel, slice into rounds and then into julienne strips (matchstick size)
  • Pickling Sauce:
  • 1 cup red vinegar
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt (optional)

Instructions

Prepare the green papaya

1

Mix the papaya and salt well.

2

Let stand overnight or for six hours.

3

With hands or using katcha (muslin cloth), squeeze the liquid out of the papaya.

4

Using a ‘bilao’ (rice winnower) spread the papaya and sun-dry till the papaya is about 1/4 it’s original size. Depending on how hot the sun is, this can take from 2 to 6 hours.

5

You can also use a fruit dryer to do this. You know that it’s rightly dried when the papaya turns whitish.

Prepare the pickle solution

6

In a non corrosive pot ( I use a ceramic glazed pot), boil vinegar with sugar and salt till the sugar dissolves; make sure you stir the pot till the sugar dissolves

7

Let cool.

Assemble:

8

In a large glass bowl, pour the cooled pickling sauce.

9

Then place all the different kinds of spices and vegetables and let sit for about 1 hour.

10

Then mix the dried papaya with the other vegetables in the pickling sauce.

11

Mix well.

12

Bottle in sterilized jars.

13

Seal and refrigerate.

Notes

It takes a week before it is good to serve. The flavors infuse and the vinegar mellows.
Lasts for a few months in refrigerator.
To make sure you have enough pickling sauce, make extra vinegar/sugar mixture so that you can top up just in case it’s lacking.

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