my atsara

I love anything pickled: from the pink ginger of japanese cuisine, meditarreanean olives to the american bottled cucumber/vegetable ones. it is that sweet-sour taste i like. i share this love with my father. he would have bottled american pickled cucumber chips or olives with his meals, especially at lunch. i would snack on them. i still do.

so i made some this week. i started 6 days ago. this is my version of this atsara (pickled papaya) recipe from the kapampangan gourmet. the papaya is usually grated or julienned. i cut mine into chips.

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1 medium-sized papaya cut into chips
1/2 cup salt
1 cup vinegar
2 small carrots
1 green & 1 red bell pepper, cut into strips, keep some of the seeds

pickling solution:
2 cups white vinegar
1 tsp salt
1 cup white refined sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
4 tbsp. ginger, finely minced
1/2 cup finely minced shallots
10 cloves garlic, finely minced

Combine papaya & 1/2 cup salt and enough boiling water to cover mixture. Let stand for 2 minutes. Drain.

Soak papaya in 1 cup vinegar overnight. (mine stayed in the ‘frigde for 5 nights as it took me a while to find mason jars in my neighborhood: i found some at a houseware/hardware store near the 74th street/roosevelt ave. station).Drain papaya.

Combine all ingredients for pickling solution in a (stainless steel or pyrex) saucepan. Place over moderate heat, stir until sugar is dissolved. Bring to a boil. Lower heat and simmer for a few minutes. Remove from heat and let cool slightly.

Combine papaya with rest of ingredients.

Pack in sterilized jars and pour hot pickling solution over the vegetables. Let cool at room temperature. When cool, cover jars tightly and refrigerate.

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