Techniques for Slicing a Papaya

Master slicing, whacking, and cubing a papaya. With my guidance, you can easily prepare this tropical fruit as a snack, salad, dessert, or drink.

how to cut a papaya
Outline of Materials

Do you ever wonder what the heck that oddly shaped papaya is when you see it in the grocery store? The fruit's flesh, which is soft and sweet like that of a mango, makes for a great snack on its own or an exotic addition to salads and drinks. I'll teach you how to easily prepare the fruit for year-round consumption by peeling and slicing it.

The papaya (Carica papaya) is a large berry that develops on trees and is known by a variety of common names. The weight of each spherical fruit can reach 10 pounds or more, so those branches must be sturdy. The skin is thin and yellowish green, making it easy to cut. A honeyed flavor and a ripe, almost musky aroma characterize the pinkish-orange flesh found inside. So the next time you're out shopping, pick one up to have fun with and hone your knife skills.


rinsing a papaya fruit in the sink under running water

Fruit should be rinsed under cold water before being cut. The elimination of dirt and contamination from the surface aids in preventing it from entering the body.

Trim the excess.

slicing the ends off with a knife

By removing the two extremities, you'll have a more stable cutting surface and an easier time peeling. If your papaya is an inch or more in diameter, trim off the top and bottom.  

The skin can be peeled off either before or after slicing. Wait to remove the skin until you're more confident in your grip, as the flesh can be a little slippery, especially when handling larger pieces. It's easier for me to peel first once I got the hang of it.

It's safe to eat with the skin on, but you should. In some cases, latex from the papaya plant may remain on the surface after harvesting and cause stomach irritation [Source].

Step one: Remove the outer layer of skin

  • removing the skin with a knife Possible Choice 1: a Knife
  • removing the skin with a peeler Substitute: a peeler

You can use a knife or a vegetable peeler, whichever makes you feel more at ease. Grass-sized papayas call for a sharp paring knife or chef's knife. Cut off one end, set the fruit upright on the board so the other end is facing up, and run the knife down the length of the fruit, following the natural curve. Maintaining a maximum amount of usable muscle tissue is the objective.  

Alternatively, a peeler's shallow blade is ideal for efficiency and throughput. Put the papaya in your hand or on a flat surface. To remove the skin completely, peel the fruit lengthwise and rotate it as you go. Dry the skin with a clean paper towel if it becomes slippery.

Remove the pulp and the pulpy seeds.

scooping black seeds out of a papaya

Papayas have shiny black seeds that are edible right in the middle. Simply remove them with a spoon and throw them away. Although the seeds have a slightly bitter, peppery taste, they are edible and make for a great high-fiber snack.

Prepare by slicing or cubing

  • cutting into wedges Slicing into squares
  • cutting into cubes Cube it up into little pieces.

Cut the cleaned halves in half lengthwise, and then each half into 1-inch wedges. With some fresh lime juice, each bite is a delectable treat. Tones down the strong, musty smell. If you want to make a fruit salad or a smoothie, you can cut the wedges into smaller pieces.

Divide into bite-sized pieces

cutting papaya into small slices

Thinly slice the peeled halves to a thickness of about 1/4 inch. To make the rainbow shapes, cut again across the narrowest part. If your papayas are on the smaller side, this method will work beautifully to showcase them on a fruit platter.

A Second Method: Slicing and Peeling

  • cutting a papaya in half
  • removing the seeds with a spoon
  • cutting lengthwise into wedges
  • separating the flesh from the skin

Just like when you're cutting a cantaloupe, you can peel the skin off afterward. Using this method, you can quickly and easily divide massive portions into smaller cubes or wedges.

Papaya should be halved lengthwise, and the black seeds removed by scooping. Once you've cut each half into the desired-width wedges, use a paring knife to remove the skin from the flesh. Cubes are an optional step if you'd like.

Both the time of year and the varieties

Papaya is at its best in the early summer and continues into the late fall. It's available all year because of imports and regional variations in growing seasons. The majority of the world's supply comes from places with warm, tropical climates like Hawaii, California, Florida, Mexico, Puerto Rico, Central America, and South America.  

You can find small ones that weigh around 1 pound, or larger ones like the Tainung that can reach 4 pounds in size. Weights of up to 10 pounds have been recorded for some Mexican varieties. Sugary Hawaiian cultivars include Sunset and Sunrise.

papaya cut into different shapes


To ensure the papayas survive the journey, farmers pick them while they're still green. Roughly halfway through its journey, the skin begins to turn a vibrant yellow. Find one with a yellow skin or at least some stripes before making your purchase. If it's not particularly tough to the touch, a slightly greenish hue is fine.

It is best to eat green Tainung papayas. In most cases, green skin means the fruit is immature and has a sour flavor. On the other hand, it works fine in a Thai papaya salad but falls short as a standalone snack. Try squeezing it gently. The ideal texture would be soft and pliable without being mushy. Don't buy fruit that looks or feels damaged.


Store at room temperature and out of direct sunlight if not ripe. Put it in a paper bag with a banana or apple to use their ethylene gas to speed up the ripening process, and check on it daily. For optimal flavor, consume within a few days of ripeness or refrigerate for up to three days. Fresh papaya can be kept in the fridge for up to three days if stored in an airtight container after being cut.

Methods of utilizing papaya


How does one determine whether or not a papaya is ready to be eaten?

When the outside of a papaya gives slightly when gently pressed, you know it's ready to eat. Aesthetically, the skin changes from green to yellow across most varieties. Unless the fruit is firm, a slight green tint is acceptable.

How healthy are papayas?

Yes Lycopene, carotenoids, fiber, carbohydrates, minerals like magnesium, iron, calcium, and potassium, and antioxidant vitamins A, C, and E are all concentrated in the pink flesh.

Is papaya fruit good for the stomach?

There is a protein-digesting enzyme called papain in the meat, which has positive effects on digestive health. Lower ripeness of fruit contains a higher concentration of the enzyme, which has been isolated for use as a meat tenderizer and nutritional supplement. If you are expecting, check with your doctor before using [Source].

cubes of papaya on a white plate

The papain enzyme found in the fruit is what gives it its distinctively sour flavor. With increasing ripeness, the enzyme in question produces a more intense and potentially unpleasant sensation. Squeezing some lime or lemon juice on top can help tone down the intensity of the flavor.

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65 Calories 9.0 Calories from Fat
**DV are based on a 2,000 calorie diet

Took a stab at this recipe and it turned out great!

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