Get creative in the kitchen and try adding a little papaw

AUSTRALIANS are being encouraged to think outside the box and try tropical delights, red papaya and yellow papaw, in new ways as the fruits come into season.

MasterChef Series Two contestant, Alvin Quah, has partnered with local growers for a second year to show Aussies more ways to use the red and yellow fruits.

"Red papaya and yellow papaw are perfect ingredients in a variety of recipes," he said.

"Their sweet tropical flesh works beautifully in desserts and cakes, but they're equally lovely in savoury dishes.

They add colour and flavour to fresh salads and, due to an enzyme they contain, they can be used to tenderise meats such as chicken and pork."

Although red papaya and yellow papaw are typically eaten for breakfast on their own or in a fruit salad, Quah suggests trying different savoury flavour combinations to make the versatile fruits work for all meals.

"I grew up eating papaya, we had a tree in our garden in Malaysia and the flavour is unique," he said.

Available all year round, the Australian season will have its first peak this month and then again in September and October.

The red papaya and yellow papaw industry has created new simple recipes with Sarah Hobbs to show Australian home cooks more ways to enjoy the sweet and summery fruit.


Papaw fennel and asparagus salad with hot smoked salmon 

Serves 4

Prep: 15 minutes

Cooking: 5 minutes 



  • 2 bunches asparagus, woody ends trimmed, diagonally sliced into 5cm lengths
  • 2 baby fennel, ends trimmed, fronds reserved
  • ½ papaw, deseeded, peeled, thinly sliced
  • 100g baby rocket leaves
  • 2 x 125g portions hot smoked salmon, coarsely flaked
  • 1 lemon, zested, juiced
  • ¼ cup (60ml) olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped chives


1. Cook asparagus in a large saucepan of salted boiling water for 2 minutes or until bright green and tender crisp. Refresh under cold running water. Drain well. Place in a large bowl.

2. Use a vegetable peeler or mandolin to thinly slice fennel lengthways. Add to asparagus with papaw, rocket, salmon and lemon zest.

3. Combine lemon juice, oil, mustard and chives in a screw-top jar and shake until well combined.

Taste and season with salt and pepper. Drizzle over pawpaw mixture and gently toss to combine. Divide among serving plates and sprinkle with reserved fennel fronds.

Serve immediately.


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