"Kusina" = Kitchen; "Manang" = older sister

A Filipina's unabashed chronicle of her adaptations in the American kitchen. Includes step-by-step photos on how to make pan de sal, ensaymada, pan de coco, siopao, hopia, pandelimon, pianono, atsara, crema de fruta,etc., and if you are lucky, you will find videos too!

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Saturday, November 26, 2011

Canning: Atsarang Papaya (Pickled Green Papaya) Revisited

Atsarang Papaya
I seldom get good green papayas in the Asian stores in my area, which take 2 hours to drive to.  So whenever I visit those stores and find them good (as in still fresh) green papayas, I make sure to get at least two or three of them to make into atsara.

When I first made atsarang papaya, I made use the the same brine recipe as its cucumber counterpart, Bread and Butter Pickles, because once I got a taste of these B&Bs, they reminded me so much of atsarang papaya. During that time, there was no foodblogger yet that I could find that gave a recipe for atsara.  However, my friend Ana did not really care for the mustard seeds (nakakatinga ba).  And as I also came to realize that turmeric powder is like ginger powder, this time, I opted to remove the turmeric powder in the B&B brine. I also opted to lessen the salt.

The kind of additional veggies depends on you...some like adding raisins, I don't. Some like ampalaya added, I don't. One person suggested adding jalapeño peppers...I will keep that in mind to try next time! But basically, it must include onions, bell peppers, ginger root, and carrots not only for the flavor but also for the colors.

I intend to keep some of these for myself. The others I plan to give as Christmas giveaways to Filipino friends.


12 cups cider vinegar
10 cups sugar
Note: This is a proportion only. You might need more or less of this amount to correspond to the amount of veggies you have. It is important that you have enough to cover all of your veggies when inside the jars already.

Green papaya (I used 2, which were probably about 3 lbs each), grated
Onions (I used 4 medium sized yellow onions), sliced
Red and/or Green Bell Peppers, cut in strips or diced (I used one red)
Carrots (I used two medium), sliced to look like flowers (or you can cut in strips)
Ginger root (I used about 2-3 thumb-sized pieces, sliced)

1/4 cup canning salt (I used Morton, the box is colored green)
ice cubes to cover top

After preparing the slices/grated veggies, make two layers of the papaya alternating with the other veggies (papaya-other veggies-papaya-other veggies) in a stainless steel stock pot. Sprinkle with the canning salt on top, top with ice cubes. Place the cover on, and let stand in room temperature for at least 3 hours.

Meanwhile, wash and sterilize your jars (I sterilize my jars in my steamer for at least 30 minutes). Boil water for scalding your lids and bands.  When the jars are almost ready, rinse the papaya mix with COLD water and drain.  Repeat three times.  (Note: Even if your jars are freshly bought from the store, you should still wash them, including the lids/bands/covers, with warm soapy water to remove manufacturing oil residue.)

Click on the photo to see a larger image.

Place in a thin cloth bag.  SECURELY close the bag using the handles. Bring this to the washing machine that is clean.  Place this on one side, and place a wet clean towel on the opposite side (this is to balance the weight so that the washing machine does not make a noisy sound, and this will also do your machine a favor).  Spin dry.  This method uses the centrifugal force of the spinner to remove most of the water in the veggie mix.  If you did not tie the bag securely, you might find your veggies scattered in the spinner. Not good. (If you don't have a spinner, you can use the cheesecloth to wrap around your veggies and squeeze out excess fluid, like I did in my first post on atsarang papaya.)

While spin drying your veggies,  start boiling the vinegar + sugar mixture in a different stainless steel pot, stirring occasionally. Once it starts boiling, boil for 5 minutes.  Add this brine to the veggies, lower the heat (I use #3) and simmer the veggies for about 5 minutes while stirring, then start packing.  (This ensures you are doing a hot pack, not a raw pack, which will increase the likelihood of sterilizing the mixture, aside from the preserving effect of sugar and vinegar. I also do not dilute the vinegar.  This high acidity further ensures the preservation effect. Even if the veggies themselves are low acid types, this acidic brine better ensures the safety of this mixture. I do not want to cause food poisoning, especially when I do not intend to process this pickle in a boiling water bath.) Make sure you put in enough brine into the jar to cover the veggies well.

Click on the photo to see a larger image.

Remove one jar from the steamer/sterilizer and fill one at a time.  Add veggies and enough brine to cover. Use a bubbler to release bubbles.  Add more brine if necessary. Leave a 1/2 inch headspace.  Wipe rims with paper towel to ensure no veggies are trapped that will prevent seal. Adjust lids and bands (or covers) and close tightly. Leave on the steamer upside down until you are ready to let them cool on the countertop. (Those last jars that you fill must also be upside down for about 30 minutes before you make them upright to cool completely.  This sort of sterilizes the upper part of the jar.).

If for personal use, you do not have to process these. I have been doing this method for 6 years now and they last more than a year without spoiling. The crunchiness of the veggies might be lost after one year, though, but that does not mean they are spoiled. However, not processing them ensures that their crunchiness also will last longer.

However, for commercial purposes (if you plan to sell these in the US), process in boiling water bath for 10 minutes just to comply with USDA standards. (Although I doubt that Filipino buyers would even care about such standards.)

Store in dark cool place (the cellar would be ideal).

Pamamaraan sa Tag-lish:
Yung listahan ng ingredients, nandun yung kung pano dapat nahiwa ang mga gulay --- shredded or sliced, etc. Gawin muna yun. Pag handa na yung mga gulay, i-layer mo sila (papaya- ibang gulay- papaya- ibang gulay) sa stainless steel na pot. Budburan mo ng asin sa ibabaw, patungan mo ng ice cubes, takpan, at hayaan mo ng mga 3 oras bago mo banlawan ng malamig na tubig. (Yung asin ay nag-aalis ng konting tubig mula sa gulay, para kahit medyo maluto sa brine yung gulay, malutong pa rin.) Gawin ito ng 3 beses para siguradong hindi maalat yung gulay. Tikman rin, syempre.

Habang naghihintay ng tatlong oras bago banlawan, hugasan at i-sterilize mo yung mga jars at takip na hanggang 30 minuto. Tapos, banlawan yung mga gulay then i-drain. Ulitin ng 3 beses.  Kung me spinner ka or washing machine, mas madali i-drain nang husto yung gulay (kung wala, kumuha ka ng katsa, ibalot mo yung mga gulay, at pigain mo nang husto at ibalik mo sa stainless steel na pot).  Tapos, pakuluin mo na yung suka+asukal ng mga 5 minuto sa isa pang stainless steel pot, bago mo ibuhos ito sa mga gulay. Babaan mo ang apoy at halu-haluin mo pa ng mga limang minuto bago mo ilagay sa sterilized na mainit pa na jar, i-release yung bubbles, punasan ang bunganga ng jars, takpan nang mahigpit. Ibaliktad. Pagkaraan ng 30 minutes, itayo nang tuwid.

Habang binabasa ito ay tingnan ang mga pictures. 

Pwede na itong hindi ipakulo sa boiling water bath kung hindi pang-komersyal. Kung ibebenta at kelangan sumunod sa USDA regulation, kelangan iproseso nang 10 minuto sa boiling water bath.


  1. Ruth Parulan-Tuvilla11/26/2011 9:06 AM

    This recipe is a keeper. Your friends are so lucky to get this for Christmas because it is a lot of work and has to be a labour of love. We sampled my atsara with jalapeno rings and I highly recommend it-gives the atsara a definite kick without diminishing the original flavour.Happy holidays to you and your family. Keep on cooking!!!!

  2. Ruth, How much jalapeno would you suggest per papaya? You really got me excited about that, and makes me want to try also a "mildly hot" version of the bread and butters. Maybe that will make my husband like the sweet pickles I make (he did like the mildly hot dill pickles I made for the first time this year, with the addition of 1/2 tsp crushed red chili flakes per quart and even suggested I can sell those and the guys will love them.)

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  4. Ruth Parulan-Tuvilla12/16/2011 3:43 PM

    Sorry Manang, ngayon lang ako naka respond. I actually did not have a set amount of jalapenos per papaya. But i think for six papayas that i used this batch i had at least 15 medium jalapenos which were seeded and the white "veins" inside scrapped while wearing gloves. Careful not to touch your face or eyes while doing this. Mild ang labas. Next time i will try pickled jalapenos Filipino style so my son can use them in his vietnamese sandwiches that he's crazy about.

  5. Thanks for the tips, Ruth!

  6. panu mo po malalaman kapag panis na ang atsara?

    1. Hindi napapanis ang pickles kung tama ang amount ng vinegar at asukal. Both are natural preservatives. Yung nga lang, pag masyado na matagal, me tsansa na less crunchy.

    2. Hello Manang. Nilagay ko po sa plastic tapos saka sealed ang atsara pero after 3 days ay lumubo ang plastic na may atsara. Room temperature ko lang po inilagay... ANU PO ANG DAHILAN BAKIT LUMUBO ANG PLASTIC. Salamat

    3. nag-ferment sya kaya lumobo. Yung fermentation process generated carbon dioxide (air). Baka kulang sa asukal or suka. Baka masyadong marami ang papaya/veggies. Baka hindi enough ang pag-init mo. Kung na-process mo sa water bath, hindi mafe-ferment yan.

  7. Pwede pa po bang kainin ang atsara pag fermented na. Yung tipong lasang alak napo?


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