Papaya with Lime Recipe

This recipe is a super delicious tropical treat. Like plantains, persimmon and starfruit, papaya is a practical fruit on our boat because it is one of the fruits we can buy under-ripe at the grocery store, and then hold onto for a couple weeks until it’s ripe.

Identifying a Ripe Papaya

Here’s how to tell when a papaya is ripe, in pictures. The leftmost photo is from LeeAnn on SV Longer Days (HoboSailor.com), who texted me this morning to ask about her papaya. The other two are papayas I had aboard.

There are plenty of recipes for green papaya salad and other dishes that work best with the more mild flavor of a firm green papaya, but I like papaya best when it is extra sweet and it’s flesh is salmon colored.

Caution: Don’t throw out a papaya that gets spotty. What looks like a bad papaya is actually quite tasty! If you remove the bad spots, you are left with really sweet pieces. This is my favorite time to eat them.

The Perfect(ly Easy) Papaya Recipe

This recipe was introduced to me on our 2016 Bahamas cruise trip by Ben and Sylvia Olson (who live aboard a really cool aluminum sailboat named Whisper). I had had papaya before, but it was sticky and musky, and not very pleasant. But when they served it to me cubed and soaked in lime juice, it was wonderful, like a bowl of sunshine. It’s great for breakfast or for a light fruity dessert, and a great food to bring to potlucks because it only gets better as it sits on the lime juice.

The recipe is easy:

Ingredients

  • 1 ripe papaya
  • 1 lime

(You’ll need equal numbers of papayas and limes. 1 papaya and 1 lime, or half of each, or 3 papayas and 3 limes, if you’re making this for a big group)

Directions

  1. Cut the papaya in half and scoop out the seeds. I often eat only half of a papaya at a time, so I cut mine shortwise, so I can store the rest flesh-side-down on a cutting board in the kitchen. (Note: If you live on land in a subtropical or tropical area, like we do in Florida, plant the seeds in the ground and in a year or so, you’ll have papaya trees and small papayas!)
  2. Cut the skin off of the papaya. You can use a vegetable peeler or a knife.
  3. Cut the papaya into cubes. Place the cubes in a bowl or Tupperware.
  4. Juice the lime over the top of the papaya, and mix gently to coat each piece. We use a Mexican lime squeezer like this one
  5. Serve and eat! This recipe is best served fresh, but you can also store the pieces in a Tupperware in the fridge for a couple days.

Video instructions:

Variations and Serving Suggestions

Although it is perfect as-is, I’m looking forward to trying variations on this recipe, perhaps adding some chili powder or other spice to make it both spicy and sweet.

Check out meals we have made with papaya: (link coming soon).

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Lionfish Vera Cruz

This is one of three lionfish recipes we tested before our 2018 Bahamas cruise. We don’t normally eat fish, but lionfish are SO easy to find in the Bahamas that we thought we should see if we could stomach it.

This was our favorite recipe by far. As people who don’t like that “fishy” taste, we thought this was delicious. The tomatoes, onions, and capers brightened up the fish. See all three lionfish recipes we tried.

Butter Lemon Lionfish

This is one of three lionfish recipes we tested before our 2018 Bahamas cruise. We don’t normally eat fish, but lionfish are SO easy to find in the Bahamas that we thought we should see if we could stomach it.

This tasted a lot like any other butter lemon recipe for white fish. It was flaky and mild. We would eat it again, but we like the other two recipes better. See all three lionfish recipes we tried.

Lionfish Ceviche

This is one of three lionfish recipes we tested before our 2018 Bahamas cruise. We don’t normally eat fish, but lionfish are SO easy to find in the Bahamas that we thought we should see if we could stomach it.

We didn’t let the ceviche “cook” quite long enough on this one, but it was good enough that we thought we would want to eat it in the future, so we’re adding it to our “keepers” list. There are likely many combinations involving mangos, pineapples and other fruit. See all three lionfish recipes we tried.

3 Lionfish Recipes We Tried at Home

We experimented with lionfish recipes tonight. Here’s what we came up with:

None of these were very challenging recipes, although they required a few ingredients we had to buy special, such as canned mangos and capers. The Lemon Butter Lionfish was nothing special, but the others are definitely going on our “keepers” list!

Here’s the post and reactions on facebook.