Ingredient Name: Papaya

Traditional Chinese Name: 木瓜; (mù gua)
What is this?
  • A relatively large, tropical fruit (ripe papaya can weigh from 1 pound to over 5 pounds each).
  • The fruit is ripe when it feels soft and the skin has turned from green to an amber yellow-orange.
  • The flesh of the fruit is juicy and sweet with a texture similar to cantaloupe and a flavour cross between pineapple and peach, but less tart.
  • A ripe papaya can be eaten raw.
  • Green (less ripe) papaya are generally used for cooking, including in Chinese soups.
  • Ripe papayas are popular in Chinese desserts.

How do I prepare it?

  • Cut the papaya in half, scoop out the seeds and remove the skin.
  • For soups, cut green papayas into large cubes and add them into the boiling water.

Where can I buy this?

  • You can purchase fresh red papayas from most supermarkets
  • They come in a variety of sizes depending on the species of papaya

What is the cost?

  • Papaya can cost $1 – $4 CAD per fruit (depending on where you buy and size and seasonal fluctuations)

Any benefits?

  • The papaya fruit contains papain which may aid digestion
  • Papaya fish soup is very popular in Asia for new mothers and are believed to encourage breast milk production – although it is recommended to use GREEN papayas rather than RED papayas

Any precautions?

  • Papaya is a “cool” fruit and may cause diarrhea and stomach pain if eaten in excess

Additional Information?

  • To slow down the ripening process, keep papayas in the fridge
  • To speed up the ripening process, put papayas in a brown paper bag
  • Ground papaya seeds are a good substitute for pepper


Pictured below:  Green Papaya