Fried Green Papaya

Fried green papaya recipe

If you have been reading the past few weeks, I’ve been posting a lot of green papaya recipes. My beautiful tree broke in half under the weight of 30 or so green fruit and I had to get creative. Luckily, a seedling sprouted under the mother plant just after we pulled it out of the ground. With any luck, I’ll have more fruit from this prolific tree in a few months.

Papaya tree

Green papaya is much more versatile than I thought, lending itself to savory dishes and cooking well, with a texture similar to a firm sweet potato. So far, I’ve roasted papaya and curried papaya and now I’ve fried it. Fried green papaya  is my favorite preparation so far. It’s fun, unique and delicious. Served with a smoked paprika, cilantro remoulade, it’s a tropical spin on Southern favorite: fried green tomatoes.

It took a little experimentation to get this one right. Green papayas are too firm and need to be blanched before you fry them. I also tried green papayas at different levels of ripeness. The completely white ones (white flesh, white seeds) were good, but lacked any flavor. I found the best ones to fry were just blushing on the inside, with gray seeds. They stayed firm, and the sweetness intensified just enough.

Perfect green papaya recipe for frying To choose a papaya perfect for frying, the outside should be green, with a touch of yellow near the stem end. Peel of the skin with a vegetable peeler. At this point, you can slice ½” — 1’ rounds, or cut  in half lengthwise, to make approximately ½” — 1’ thick sticks. Remove the seeds before you move onto the next step.

Recipe Green Papaya Fried

Fried green papaya recipe

Fried Green Papaya Recipe

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 15 minutes

Total Time: 30 minutes

Yield: Serves 4

Papaya recipe adapted from Best Fried Green Tomatoes.


    Fried Green Papaya:
  • 1 large green papaya, prepared as above
  • 2 eggs
  • ½ cup whole milk
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • ½ cup cornmeal
  • ½ cup dry breadcrumbs
  • 1 tablespoon Cajun seasoning (optional)
  • Salt and pepper
  • ½ - 1 cup vegetable oil
  • Smoked paprika, cilantro remoulade:
  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • 3 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • 1 tablespoon smoked sweet paprika
  • 1 teaspoon Cajun seasoning
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
  • 1 tablespoon shallots or green onion, minced
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 2-3 tablespoons fresh cilantro leaves, chopped
  • 2 teaspoons capers with caper juice, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon hot sauce
  • 1/8 teaspoon fresh black pepper


To make the papaya:

Bring a pot of water to a boil over medium-high heat. Add the cut papaya to the water. Cover and cook until just tender, about 5-8 minutes. Remove the papaya from the pot and cool under cold water.

Whisk together eggs and milk in a shallow bowl. Place the flour onto a plate, season with salt and pepper. Mix together cornmeal, breadcrumbs and Cajun seasoning on another plate or shallow bowl. Line up your mixtures in order: flour, eggs and cornmeal/breadcrumbs.

Dip the papaya in the flour until coated. Dip the papaya in the egg mixture, then into the cornmeal mixture, turning to coat. It helps to use separate hands for this, one for wet, one for dry. Place each coated piece aside, sprinkled with some extra cornmeal.

Using a large skillet, heat oil over medium heat. There should be about ½” of oil in the pan. Fry the papaya in batches, 3-5 minutes per side until golden brown and crispy. Drain on paper towels. Serve with smoked paprika, cilantro remoulade.

To make the remoulade:

In a small bowl, mix together all of the ingredients. Allow to chill in the refrigerator 1 hour for the flavors to meld.


  • Tammy Anders

    Love this recipe! My husband has 30 plus papaya trees and we are always searching for recipes and happily stumbled upon this one. The entire family loved it and is already asking for it again. I made it exactly as directed, except we are having a bug issue with our papaya that are ripening so we used a green one but parboiled it in lightly sugared water and used Jif corn muffin mix mixed with bread crumbs. The remounted sauce was to die for!!
    Thank u for this delicious recipe

  • Sam and Stephen

    Greetings from Singapore, our papaya tree is bearing an incredible amount of fruit and we are looking forward to this twist 🙂

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