Papaya Ketchup Recipe

By Marcus Samuelsson |

With any resolution, it’s not uncommon to find January’s promises dissipated one month later.  If your new year’s resolution was to throw away less food, you might be lagging now that February has arrived.  However, there’s no reason to abandon your goal to waste less food.  With homemade condiments, you can make those leftovers and second day meals more exciting.

In my pantry, I rely on homemade sauces and condiments to liven leftover food.  Perhaps last night’s roast chicken and potatoes doesn’t have the spark of the new food truck down the street.  Instead of paying for your lunch, bring your leftovers from the day before and a small container of your own homemade condiment.  Easy to make, and long lasting, many homemade sauces and spreads elevate second day meals beyond their original states.  I improve many meals of leftovers with a dollop of my Papaya Ketchup, or tossed a helping of day-old roasted veggies and a fresh batch of noodles with my recipe for Sambal Oelek.

If you keep one or two of these homemade condiments in your fridge, you will be much more likely to eat your leftovers, and therefore less likely to throw food out.

Try this recipe, and tweak it to find your own perfect blend!  I dare you to throw out your leftovers, because I bet you won’t even consider that once you’ve tried how good homemade condiments and sauces can be.


Try these condiments and add-on ideas with your next sandwich:

Pili Pili Mayo

Bread and Butter Pickles

5 Healthy Sandwich Spreads

Prep Details

Servings: Makes 2 cups


2 tsp olive oil

1 garlic clove, minced

2 tomatoes, seeded and roughly chopped, or 1 cup chopped canned tomatoes

1 serrano chili, seeds and ribs removed, finely chopped

1/2 tsp sugar

1 tbsp rice wine vinegar

1 1/2 tsp soy sauce

1/2 tsp ground ginger

1/2 tsp Asian sesame oil

1 ripe papaya, peeled, seeded, and roughly chopped (about 1 cup)

Juice of 1 lime


1. Heat the olive oil in a large saute pan over medium-high heat. Add the garlic and saute for 2 to 3 minutes, until softened. Add the tomatoes, chili, sugar, and rice wine vinegar, reduce the heat to medium, and cook, stirring frequently, until the tomatoes are very soft, about 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and let cool slightly.

2. Transfer the tomato mixture to a blender. Add the soy sauce, ginger, sesame oil, papaya, and lime juice, and puree until smooth.

Store in a tightly covered container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.