How To Cook Filipino Best Ginataang Papaya Recipe

How awesome would it be to imagine two of the most refreshing fruits abundant throughout the country joined together in menus like this? Take note, not as a dessert, but the main course partnered in a bowl of hot steamed paddy and other cuisines as well. We are going to learn how to prepare Ginataang Pawpaw.

To play more with our imagination, we love to eat pawpaw as a lone fruit or shake or a sorbet flavor on the one side. On the other hand, we also like it as the only vegetable in some local recipes like Tinolang Manok (chicken soup with ginger). But to partner it with a sauce as the main ingredient of menus like this is something mind-boggling.

Likewise, coconut milk or “Gata” is delightful to blend with meat or fish menus. Its creamy texture offers some softness, sweetness, and smooth taste, which slides through your taste buds. However, the idea of blending it with fruit as a viand is quite surprising.

Hence, the day’s business highlights the excellent methods of how these two seemingly odd ingredients can be in one recipe. It also includes other variations you can take pleasure in. So, please scroll down and be amazed as we proceed.

What is the Ginataang Papaya Recipe?  

In the Philippines, “Ginataan” pertains to any serving being prepared or dressed in coco cream. It is usually the main course or a dessert overflowing with creaminess. It is a popular method in the country due to the abundance of Coco trees.

(Photo Credits to: Pinterest)

Specifically, Ginataang Pawpaw is unripe pawpaw or the green one, simmered with Coco cream. Menus like this are similar to a related menu, such as Ginataang Kalabasa (squash prepared with Coco cream). Nonetheless, they often partnered with fried chicken or fish for a well-balanced meal.

This cooking method has been a common way or prep style among Austronesian countries, located along the Pacific region’s coastline.

Why Should We Try This Dish?

The simplicity of this menu is quite unattractive compared to other menus. It appears to be of lesser appeal, so the question is, “why should we try this menu?”

In contrast to its superficial appeal, Pawpaw simmered in coco cream is highly nutritious, and everyone must try it. First, coco cream is an immune system booster, heart health promoter, and weight reducer. Secondly, pawpaw is an abundant supplier of fiber, which helps battle constipation. Hence, the combination of the two in one meal can optimize your health.

Meanwhile, even though this menu is healthy, the palatability is not disregarded if Kalabasa simmered in coco cream is pleasurable to dine, the same or even more excellent experience to nibble Pawpaw simmered in coco cream.

What is Ginataang Papaya made of?

To convince you to try menus like this, let’s deal with the most exciting part of deciphering what Pawpaw simmered in coco cream is made of. It’s time to look into the ingredients and ways on how to execute this menu listed down below.

(Photo Credits to: Panlasang Pinoy)
  • First, green pawpaws or the unripe ones are the appropriate kinds in this cooking because it’s more tender than the ripe version. Plus, the nutrients are more intact in the green than that of the yellow. Further, ripe pawpaws will just meltdown, wash away the nutrients, and it will mess up with the gata.
  • Secondly, another vital ingredient is Coco cream. Make sure you pick the fresh ones so that it won’t immediately spoil. Newly extracted Coco cream may last only for about 3-5 days. Concerning this, ensure to utilize the coco cream minutes right after extraction. 
  • There is ready-mixed or instant Coco cream available in supermarkets, those are in powder form, and it does not spoil right away when stored for long. But, when cooked and the leftovers are not refrigerated, it might also destroy faster.
  • Moreover, you may also include pork, shrimp, or chicken, to make your Ginataan recipes more interesting.
  • Lastly, let us put in spices such as chopped garlic, chopped onions, and long green chilies to give this recipe some intense flavors.

Variation of Ginataang Papaya

Like any other Pinoy cuisine, Pawpaw simmered in coco cream can be innovative and improvised depending on ingredients’ availability. The practicality and resourcefulness of locals result in this generous serving. So, what are the variations of this recipe?

Pawpaw cooked in Coco cream with good sardines

(Photo Credits to: Yummy Kitchen))

Have you stored so many canned products but are clueless on how to make it enticing? Then, it’s time for you to try Papaya simmered in coconut milk with sardines. Open a can or two of your favorite sardines brand in the stir-fried garlic and onion before putting in the pawpaw and Coco cream.

Due to being a typhoon-infested country, Pinoys have learned to adjust by storing food that will last and can be within reach when calamity strikes. For this reason, people tend to buy and store up canned products, especially sardines. So, in this situation, you can do something to play with your sardines and make it worth storing for the rainy days.

Papaya simmered in Coconut milk with shrimp

(Photo Credits to: Food Citations)

As mentioned previously, Pawpaw simmered in coco cream with shrimp recipe is a compatible match. For your information, shrimp, among others, is a perfect supplemental ingredient in Coco cream-based menu. 

Not only is it delicious, but shrimp also possesses health value as an abundant source of omega-3. This fatty acid helps reduce cholesterol and promote improved memory, which prevents the risks of Alzheimer’s disease.

Ginataang Papaya with dilis

(Photo Credits to: Mely’s Kitchen)

Speaking of seafood, why not try this recipe with “Dilis” (anchovies). Dilis is one of the Filipino breakfast stars, usually crispy-fried, dipped in vinegar, and paired with fried rice and brewed coffee. Nonetheless, an equally great variant for Pawpaw simmered in coco cream.

To cook this, separately fry your anchovies before plunging it into the stir-fried garlic and onion before putting in your green pawpaw and Coco cream. Crispy-fried anchovies suit entirely in the gata. Hence, you may increase the number of herb flavorings to make it even savory. 

More than that, anchovies consist of essential fatty acids like omega-3, which is common among seafood. Thus, it increases the health value that is contained by coco cream and pawpaw.

You can also add small pieces of beef for something soft to munch. By the way, beef and anchovies are also a great pair. 

Ginataang papaya with ground pork

Finally, Pawpaw simmered in coco cream with ground pork is the heavyweight among the variants. You include measuring ground pork in the sauteed garlic and onion before placing the pawpaw and Coco cream. Kidding aside, the presence of pork makes it heavy in one’s appetite.

More than that, the purpose of including pork is that Pinoys are not fond of eating purely vegetable recipes simmered in coconut milk. For instance, vegetables with gata may eat with fried fish/chicken or meat. Likewise, cook the fish, meat, or seafood together with pawpaw and coconut milk.

Although pork is high cholesterol when you have eaten so much, it is still an excellent protein source. It makes the Ginataan recipes a perfectly balanced meal. Therefore, it is indeed a must-try.

If you don’t eat pig meat, you can use beef as an alternative. Just follow the same method and ingredients on this menu. For a change, only use beef as the main meat. Just ensure that the beef is tender enough before adding the pawpaw. The beef has a more pungent taste than pig meat so ensure to adjust the flavorings.  

Troubleshooting Filipino Gata Recipes

Gata-based food seems sensitive or complicated to prepare for some. It is because people keep asking how they can balance the taste, such as its saltiness, creaminess, or even bitterness) in this recipe. Besides, the answer here is simple. If it turns salty or bitter, add enough sugar to contain the taste. If sugar is not available, use chili powder instead.

Do you also know that coco cream can be used in baked foods like cakes? As shocking it may be, baked menus with Coco cream appear to be moist. Just follow the bake tips in preparing the typical cake to avoid any mishaps. 

Getting the right balanced taste of Ginataang Papaya in terms of its creaminess and saltiness will result in a superb recipe. Enough coconut milk in this recipe makes it satisfying. 

Cooking Tips 

Many are afraid to prepare gata-based food because they think that they will not make it taste great. Furthermore, nothing to worry about if you follow these simple preparing tips that we will share with you. 

  • A Papaya simmered in coco cream dish uses fresh coco cream and not ready-mixed or instant coco cream.
  • We have to ensure that it is freshly bought from the market and prepared on the same day. 
  • The creaminess depends on the time the coco cream simmers. 
  • Likewise, make sure of the freshness of the papaya because it is our main dish. Failure to prepare it while fresh may ruin your preparation at all. 
  • Lastly, do whatever it takes to avoid overcooking your pawpaw because it is excellent as it is as firm as possible while eating. Plus, you don’t simmer away its nutrients.

Best Served With

Ginataang recipes are one of the oldest food recipes in the Philippines. Likewise, these are the foods generally served with the Pawpaw dish since then. 

  • Rice – With a great menu to share with, we will forever partner it with hot paddy. This recipe is perfect for your lunch.
  • Soft Drinks or fruit extracts – after eating, you can satisfy your stomach more by drinking fruit extracts or soft drinks.
  • Chili sauce – eating Pawpaw simmered in coco cream with chili sauce is more astonishing, especially for those chili lovers. Also, chili sauce can boost your appetite more.
  • Fried Fish – this is the original partner of any dish prepared out of veggies or fruits.
  • Fried chicken – the menu’s creamy taste will give a different layer of flavor to the chicken. Also, chicken and Coco cream is a match created in heaven. On The other hand, chicken and pawpaw is another heavenly tandem, just like in tinolang manok. 
  • Tuyo / dried fish – its salty taste compliments the creamy taste of pawpaw simmered in Coco cream.
  • Fish sauce/ Patis – Like chili sauce, others like to partner it with Patis to neglect gata’s greasy-taste. 


Significantly, this Ginataan-based dish is also a champion in the kitchen. It is creamy, sweet, and perfectly paired with great partner ingredients. It can be paired with any meat like chicken, beef, and more. Plus, the fact that it is of high health value for someone to try.

Now, with this menu guide, we hope that we have not merely amazed you. Instead, we believed that you had taken note of important things. As you have seen, Ginataan-based menus are somewhat complicated to prepare.

Nevertheless, we are confident that you have gained confidence in learning how to prepare Pawpaw simmered in coco cream. With the knowledge that you were able to get here, indeed, you have something to show. Happy and healthy cooking!

For more delicious recipe, visit Eat Like Pinoy!

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Best Ginataang Papaya Recipe

Looking for something creamy and healthy at the same time? Then, this menu is perfect for you. The creaminess of the Coco cream and the healthy benefits of pawpaw will surely fill your craving tummy.
Course Main Course
Cuisine Filipino
Keyword Vegetable recipes
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 10 minutes
Servings 4
Calories 201kcal
Cost 5-$20


  • 1 lb Papaya sliced
  • 4 cloves Garlic minced
  • 1 pc Onion big size, diced
  • 1/4 cup Ground Pork
  • 1/4 cup Fresh Shrimp
  • 2 tbsp Cooking Oil
  • 2 tbsp Fish Sauce
  • 2 tbsp Coconut cream
  • 2 pcs Long Green Chilies


  • Heat oil in a pan. Sauté garlic and onions until lightly browned.
  • Put the ground pork and add the fish sauce. Cover and simmer for 5 minutes.
  • Toss in the shrimp and papaya. Cook for 5 minutes.
  • Then pour 1 cup of coconut cream. Cover and simmer for 15 minutes.
  • Put the long green chilies and another cup of coconut cream. Cover the pan until cook.
  • Serve while hot!


Calories: 201kcal | Carbohydrates: 22g | Protein: 5g | Fat: 11g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Cholesterol: 30mg | Sodium: 797mg | Potassium: 285mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 16g | Vitamin A: 1077IU | Vitamin C: 70mg | Calcium: 44mg | Iron: 1mg
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