Achara- Green Papaya Pickles
The Filipino Achara-Green Papaya Pickles is the perfect pairing for anything grilled, fried, roasted meat, seafood or vegetable. Even if it isn't Filipino food you're serving, serve a bowl of achara next to anything and watch everyone enjoy the meal. What makes the achara so special ? The achara is made of very firm, extremely green papayas, carrots, ginger, onions, red peppers, in a brine of rice vinegar, sugar, salt, garlic and peppers.The Filipino achara is not just a pickle relish. It is a great side. In just a few tablespoons you’ll find the combined flavors of tart, sweet, salty and spicy. This recipe was inspired by the second edition of Memories of Philippine Kitchens by Amy Besa and Romy Dorotan. This makes about 2 quarts or 2 large jars.
Servings: 4 people
- 4 cups rice vinegar
- 1 1/2 cups sugar
- 3 Tablespoons salt
- 4 cloves garlic thinly sliced
- 1 knob fresh ginger about 2-inch piece,peeled, cut into matchstick-sizes
- 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 2 pounds green papaya peeled, seeded and grated
- 1 whole carrot grated
- 2 whole long chile peppers cored, seeded and thinly sliced
- 1 whole red onion sliced thinly
In a large nonreactive saucepan, over high heat, combine the vinegar, sugar, 1 Tablespoon of the salt, the garlic, and ginger. Bring to a boil, stirring to dissolve the sugar and salt.
Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer until the flavors are well combined, 15 to 20 minutes.
Add the ground black pepper. Cool to room temperature, cover and refrigerate overnight.
In large nonreactive bowl, toss together the papaya, carrots, peppers, and onion with the remaining 2 tablespoons salt. Cover and refrigerate overnight.
Line a colander with a double layer of rinsed cheese-cloth. Place the papaya mixture in the coriander and rinse well under running water. Pull up the ends of the cloth and squeeze to remove excess moisture. As Amy suggested “You may need to do this in two batches”.
Transfer the papaya mixture to a bowl and pour enough of the pickling solution over to cover it. (Reserve any excess solution for marinades, dipping sauces, or similar uses.) Achara keeps for up to 6 months stored in an air-tight container in the refrigerator.
COOKBOOK AUTHOR’S NOTE: Look for green (completely green and unripe) papaya in Southeast Asian markets.
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Serving: 1g | Calories: 440kcal | Carbohydrates: 101g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 1g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 5257mg | Potassium: 425mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 93g | Vitamin A: 2195IU | Vitamin C: 139.1mg | Calcium: 69mg | Iron: 0.7mg