Atsara, also known as Pickled Green Papaya or Papaya Relish is a fresh-tasting side dish that is made of green papaya, carrots, and delicious spices!
Looking for more traditional Filipino dishes? Try my easy & delicious Laing, Heartwarming Misua Soup (Noodle Soup), Vegan Bistek or my savory Grilled Eggplant with Coconut Milk.
What is Atsara?
Atsara (also spelled achara or atchara depending on what region you’re from in the Philippines) is a Filipino fermented dish that is very popular in the Philippines. Filipinos love having Atsara as a side dish to foods like fried fish, grilled meat, grilled chicken, and even as a healthy snack.
Its main ingredient is the unripe green papaya that is shredded finely and then cooked in a pickling solution.
Filipinos make many versions of this recipe and some of the ways are mixing ampalaya slices or raisins.
Others add in thinly sliced red or white radish in their own version of Atsara.
Health benefits of papaya
- Great in lowering cholesterol. It is rich in fiber, Vitamin C, and antioxidants
- Aids in weight loss
- Boosts the immune system
- Great snacks for persons with diabetes
- Aids in good eye health
- Improves digestion with its fiber content
- Helps ease menstrual cramps
Tips on How to Make Atsara:
- It is best to use unripe green papaya for this Atsara recipe. The sweet and sour taste of the sugar and vinegar mixture will blend so well with the taste of the unripe papaya.
- If you have a sweet tooth, you can add raisins to this recipe. It will taste so good!
- For a more vibrant color, you can also add sliced green bell pepper to the Atsara
- After cooking and letting it cool for at least an hour, you can store them in airtight jars and chill them.
- Be careful not to overcook the papaya. Just follow the easy steps here in this recipe and you’ll never go wrong!
How to Make Atsara:
Listed below are all the ingredients you will need:
- unripe green papaya
- brown sugar
- coconut vinegar
- small carrot
- small onion
- black pepper
- annatto (atsuete) powder
Wash papaya, slice lengthwise, remove the seeds and gut using spoon or scraper:
Wash it again and grate the papaya:
Place the papaya in a large bowl with salt and set aside for 1 hour:
Squeeze the papaya, drain the liquid from the papaya, and rinse thoroughly:
Pre-heat pan or pot over medium heat, add 1 cup water and bring to a simmer. Then add sugar and stir until it is dissolved:
Add coconut vinegar and cover until it boils:
Then add carrots, garlic, onion, ginger to the pickling solution:
Now it’s time to add black pepper:
Then add the annatto powder:
Lastly, add the salt:
Add grated papaya, red bell pepper, mix and turn off the fire:
Allow it to cool and store in a sterilized airtight jam jar. Seal the jar and place inside the refrigerator for a week (or five days minimum to achieve the texture and flavor):
It is best to serve Atsara cold fried dishes.
Frequently Asked Questions for Atsara:
Q: What are the benefits of atsara?
A: The papaya itself is a great source of fiber. It cleanses our gut. So same with Atsara, it can help prevent us from getting constipated.
Q: How long can you store atsara?
A: You can keep atsara in the fridge for as long as two to three weeks. The vinegar helps keep the atsara from spoiling.
Q: Where can you find green papaya?
A: In the Philippines, they can plant papayas near their homes that’s why they have a lot of green papayas near them. But for us who don’t plant papaya near where we live, we can buy it in local Asian markets or grocery stores.
Q: Where container should I use when stocking up on atsara?
A: Use glass airtight containers when you stock on atsara in your fridge.
Here are more delicious recipes for you!
- Vegan Isaw
- Vegan Filipino Bola Bola
- Filipino Vegan Corned Beef Hash
- Vegan Tocino
- Vegan Bagoong
- Vegan Bopis
- Vegan Humba
- 1 small unripe green papaya grated
- 1 cup water
- ¾ cup brown sugar
- 1 cup coconut vinegar
- 1 small carrot peeled and chopped
- 4 cloves garlic peeled
- 1 small onion chopped
- 1 thumb size ginger peeled and chopped
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- ½ teaspoon annatto atsuete powder
- 1 tablespoon rock salt optional
- Wash papaya, slice lengthwise, remove the seeds and gut using spoon or scraper.
- Wash it again and grate the papaya and place the papaya in a large bowl with salt and set aside for 1 hour.
- Squeeze the papaya, drain the liquid from the papaya and rinse thoroughly.
- Pre-heat pan or pot over medium heat, add 1 cup water and bring to a simmer. Then add sugar and stir until it is dissolved.
- Add coconut vinegar and cover until it boils
- Then add carrots, garlic, onion, ginger, black pepper, annatto powder and salt.
- Add grated papaya, red bell pepper, mix and turn off the fire.
- Allow it to cool and sterilized airtight jam jar. Seal the jar and place inside the refrigerator for a week (or five days minimum to achieve the texture and flavor).
- Serve cold with fried dishes.
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