ATCHARA RECIPE FROM Chef Rene
As you're munching on your Banh Mi or Thank Que Bowl from Thank Que Grill, you might notice the tasty pickled item among the tasty BBQ chicken and fresh cilantro. In the Philippines, it's know as Atchara. It's pickled papaya that is generally used as a topping or condiment to many delicious dishes. The sour & sweet flavors tend to pair well with the smokey BBQ or crispy fried fish dishes.
With its importance to Filipino cuisine, we decide to chat with Chef Rene to learn how to make it from home!
1 green papaya
1 red bell pepper
1 green bell pepper
2 cloves of garlic
1/2 teaspoon of ginger
1 teaspoon of whole black peppers
1 tablespoon of raisins
1/2 red or yellow onion
1 cup of Sugarcane Vinegar or Distilled White Vinegar
3/4 cup of sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 sealed jar (32oz)
PREPARATION Day One
The first steps to preparing Atchara involves peeling and then thinly slicing the papaya. It should have a shredded-like texture (julienne).
Place the papaya in a bowl, sprinkle and toss with salt (one teaspoon per cup of papaya), cover, and put in the refrigerator for over night. Adding the salt draws the water out of the papaya to help it with soaking up as much vinegar as possible.
PREPARATION Day Two
The next morning, take the papaya out of the refrigerator and rinse off the salt with water, and squeeze as much liquid and moisture from it as possible. Chef Rene recommends using paper towels or hand towels to lightly press the papaya to soak up any liquid. Once the papaya is dry, place it in a bowl and set aside for the moment.
Slice the bell peppers, onions, garlic cloves, ginger, and shred the carrots.
Combine the vegetables with the papaya, raisins, and whole black peppercorns in a bowl and set aside in an airtight jar.
In a saucepan, add vinegar, sugar, and salt, and cook until it boils. It should resemble a syrupy texture when ready. Let it cool and reach room temperature.
Once the vinegar mixture is cooled, pour it over the produce in the jar.
EXPERT TIP: place the cooked vinegar mixture in the fridge or freezer to cool it down faster if you need to finish this sooner.
Let the Atchara ferment for at least three days before opening the jar.
Once you open, make sure to refrigerate. Chef Rene says it can last for several months. He recommends preparing in bulk because once your friends and family try the Atchara, it won't last very long in your home!