Annie’s Chamorro Kitchen: Pickled Green Papaya

Annie’s Chamorro Kitchen: Pickled Green Papaya

by Army Lt. Col. (Ret.) Annette Merfalen
Annie's Chamorro Kitchen

“My name is Annie. Food and I get along so well! Cooking and baking are more than a hobby for me – they’re a passion. I come from the beautiful island of Guam, U.S.A. The recipes you’ll find here are my creations, or those of my children, who are also budding foodies. I hope you like them. Drop me a comment or two to let me know how you like our island and other delicacies. Enjoy!”

- Army Lt. Col. (Ret.) Annette Merfalen 

Pickled young (green) papaya was a favorite snack growing up on Guam. In fact, it still is a favorite snack, and I make some whenever I find the young, green (unripe) papayas at my local Asian market.

I still remember walking to the village stores for milk or whatever my mom sent me there for. I’d always use the change to buy a small baggie full of pickled papaya and snack on it on the walk back home. My mouth is watering just thinking about it.

Here’s how to make it:

Thoroughly wash one medium sized young, green (unripe) papaya. You can also pickle a papaya that’s just turning ripe.

Peel the skin off the papaya. Cut the papaya in half and scrape out all of the seeds.

Thinly slice the papaya. I like to use a mandolin to do this; it makes for evenly cut slices and it’s quick!

Place the sliced papaya in a mixing bowl. Add the vinegar, salt (to taste), and as much hot chili peppers as you like. Other optional items you can add are sliced fresh garlic and onions. Let the papaya marinate in the mixture for a couple of ours then enjoy!


  • 1 medium young (green, unripe) papaya
  • Distilled white vinegar, enough to cover the papaya
  • Salt, to taste
  • Chopped hot chili peppers, as much as you like
  • Optional: sliced or chopped garlic and sliced onions


  1. Wash and peel the papaya; cut in half and remove the seeds.
  2. Thinly slice the papaya and place into a mixing bowl.
  3. Add the vinegar, salt, hot chili peppers, and other optional ingredients. Stir to mix well.
  4. Allow the papaya to marinate in the vinegar mixture for a couple of hours then enjoy!

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