SAN FRANCISCO (KCBS) — I created this sauce recently at a cooking class for aspiring chefs in Cuba. It caught them by surprise as the papaya is a fruit and is not traditionally used in savory recipes. They were also intrigued that I used the seeds. They have a slightly peppery flavor and add a complexity to the heat of the chili pepper.


1 lb. red papaya Yield 1 1/2 cups
1/4 cup white wine vinegar
1/4-1/2 tsp cayenne or chili pepper flakes
1/2 tsp salt


1. Peel the papaya—reserving the seeds—and cut it into small chunks.

2. Puree all the ingredients, including the papaya seeds in a blender or food processor.

3. Press though a fine sieve to create a smooth, creamy sauce.


This sauce can be served at the table with grilled or poached chicken or fish. I have used it a salad dressing by just thinning it out a little with vinegar. The texture is such that no oil is needed.


Consider adding one or two cloves of garlic when pureeing and experiment with the use of fresh chili peppers instead of dried ones

‘Narsai’s Sauce Cubana’ Copyright ©2014 Narsai M. David


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