Here's the best way to cut a papaya, plus ideas for using it in recipes.

Joy Howard
September 15, 2020
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Joy Howard

A tropical fruit with sweet, deep-orange flesh, papaya has a mild and musky flavor similar to cantaloupe, and a pleasantly buttery texture reminiscent of mango. It's a common ingredient in many Asian and Caribbean cuisines and makes a great addition to dishes—both sweet and savory. (Think smoothies, salads or even stir-fries!) In addition to being delicious, papaya is packed with vitamins and nutrients including vitamins A and C, folate and fiber.

Related: Check out all of our healthy papaya recipes.

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You'll most likely find fresh papayas at your local international food market, but they've become more commonplace in conventional grocery stores—especially when they're in season during summer and fall. When choosing your fruit, look for ones that have some yellow tones in their skin and give slightly when pressed. Your papaya will be ready to cut once it's become more soft and yellow.

How to Cut a Papaya

Cutting the fruit is quite easy and requires just a few tools and steps. Here's how you do it:

1. Use a sharp knife to trim the ends off the fruit.

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2. Halve the fruit lengthwise.

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3. Use a spoon to scrape away the seeds and pulp from each half. Be careful not to scoop too deeply into the fruit or you'll lose some of the flesh.

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4. Use a vegetable peeler to remove the skin. (See our picks for the best vegetable peelers.)

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5. Cut each half lengthwise into long strips. 

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6. Chop into bite-size cubes and enjoy!

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To brighten its flavor, sprinkle the papaya with a bit of lime juice before eating. You can enjoy the fruit on its own, or add it to a fruit smoothie or anywhere you might use a melon or mango. It's also delicious simply topped with toasted coconut.

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