Quick and Easy Vietnamese Pickled Green Papaya

Pickled Green Papaya (mắm đu đủ) is a familiar dish to almost all Vietnamese people. The dish usually appears on the dining table as a side dish, helping to enhance the flavor of the meal. In general, making this dish takes about 2 weeks or more. In case you˙ cannot wait that long, try this quick pickled green papaya that you can enjoy after just a few hours.

Quick Vietnamese pickled green papaya

What is Vietnamese Pickled Green Papaya?

Pickled Green Papaya, or Mắm đu đủ in Vietnamese, is a traditional dish popular across the country. Papaya is picked when it’s still unripe and green, which gives it a light green color and a crunchy texture. It’s then cut and pickled in a fish sauce mixture. Serve it with warm cooked rice in daily meals, or with bánh chưng during Tet holiday.

How does Pickled Green Papaya taste?

The flavor of pickled green papaya is balanced, full of sour, spicy, salty, and sweet flavors, with the saltiness from fish sauce being central. The julienned green papaya is very crunchy, which is favored by many people. I’m a big fan of green papaya, from green papaya salad and green papaya soup to pickled green papaya. Different from other green papaya dishes, the pickle can last up to 3 months. That makes me love the dish more because I am able to enjoy it for a longer time, especially when I don’t have time to cook.

How to Shorten the Pickling Time

Earlier this year when I made this dish, it was only 1 day prior to Lunar New Year. I was busy making traditional bánh chưng (Vietnamese Square Sticky Rice Cake) and forgot to make some pickles to enjoy along with it. That was the reason why I experimented with a quick pickle recipe so that I could enjoy the best of bánh chưng on the first day of Tet.

In fact, it normally takes 3 or more days to ferment vegetables, turning them into pickles. The characteristic tanginess of pickles comes from the fermentation process. Therefore, to shorten the pickling time, I use vinegar to add the tanginess to the green papaya. The original mixture to pickle green papaya doesn’t include vinegar, but only fish sauce, sugar, garlic, chili, and water.

Ingredients

The recipe for this dish is simple, and the making process is simple as well. Here’s what you need to make a jar of pickled green papaya:

  • Fish sauce: There are many types of fish sauce with varying levels of nitrogen and protein (degree N). I used fish sauce 35oN; if you use a type of fish sauce with a lower degree N, you should increase the amount of fish sauce accordingly.
  • Boiled water: To dilute the fish sauce.
  • Vinegar: Like fish sauce, vinegar comes in different concentrations such as 3%, 5%, 7%, or even 10%. Depending on the type of vinegar you use, you can adjust the amount based on the original recipe. For example, in the recipe, I used 50ml of 7% vinegar, so you can use 70-80ml of 5% vinegar instead.
  • Sugar: To balance the salty and tangy flavor from the vinegar and fish sauce.
  • Green papaya: Opt for new, fresh green papaya. It can be Thai or Vietnamese green papaya. Check for the ripeness of the green papaya by touching it; if it’s firm and heavy, it indicates that your green papaya is perfect for pickling.
green papaya
A green papaya
  • Garlic and chilies: The aroma from garlic and the spiciness of chilies are the perfect match for green papaya pickles. Bird’s eye chilies are the most popular option, but they are very spicy, so increase or decrease the number of chilies based on your preference.

Instructions

Julienning green papaya

  • Peel the skin of the green papaya, then cut it into 2 halves. Remove the seeds, then julienne them into strips.
julienne green papaya
  • Rinse the green papaya strips in salty water 2-3 times. Gently squeeze them to remove most of the water.
rinse green papaya strips to make pickled

Preparing fish sauce mixture

  • Mix fish sauce, boiled water, vinegar, and sugar together. If the water is hot, after mixing, let the mixture cool down completely. Then, add chopped garlic and chilies in.
  • Finally, add the green papaya strips to the mixture. You can store it in a jar and close the lid, or simply in a big bowl and wrap it with plastic wrap. Leave it at room temperature; after 3-4 hours, you can enjoy it.
quick vietnamese pickled green papaya

Other Vietnamese Green Papaya Recipes

quick vietnamese pickled green papaya

Quick and Easy Vietnamese Pickled Green Papaya

Pickled Green Papaya (mắm đu đủ) is a familiar dish to almost all Vietnamese people. The dish usually appears on the dining table as a side dish, helping to enhance the flavor of the meal.
5 from 1 vote
Print Pin Rate
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: Vietnamese
Keyword: mắm đu đủ cấp tốc, pickled green papaya, vietnamese pickled green papaya
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 5 minutes
Resting time: 3 hours
Servings: 4 people
Calories: 70kcal
Author: Mia Pham

Ingredients

  • 200g (7 oz) fish sauce 35oN
  • 200g (7 oz) boiled water (cooled down)
  • 50g (1.7 oz) vinegar 7%
  • 120g (1/2 cup) sugar
  • 400g (14 oz) green papaya

Instructions

  • Step 1. Julienning green papaya
  • Peel the skin of the green papaya, then cut it into 2 halves. Remove the seeds, then julienne them into strips.
    julienne green papaya
  • Rinse the green papaya strips in salty water 2-3 times. Gently squeeze them to remove most of the water.
    rinse green papaya strips to make pickled

Step 2. Preparing fish sauce mixture

  • Mix fish sauce, boiled water, vinegar, and sugar together. If the water is hot, after mixing, let the mixture cool down completely. Then, add chopped garlic and chilies in.
  • Finally, add the green papaya strips to the mixture. You can store it in a jar and close the lid, or simply in a big bowl and wrap it with plastic wrap. Leave it at room temperature; after 3-4 hours, you can enjoy it.
    quick vietnamese pickled green papaya

Nutrition

Serving: 100g | Calories: 70kcal

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1 Comment

  1. 5 stars
    Thanks for sharing, is it okay if I replace fish sauce by vegan fish sauce? I’m not familiar with the smell of fish sauce.

5 from 1 vote

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