The pawpaw, relative to cherimoya, custard apple, and soursop, is the largest edible fruit native to North America. The most popular variety is the asimina triloba, which is often called wild banana or prairie banana because of its banana-like creamy texture and flavor.
According to historians, chilled pawpaw fruit was a favorite dessert of George Washington and Thomas Jefferson planted it at Monticello, his home in Virginia.
The fruit of the common pawpaw is a large edible berry, with numerous seeds. It is green when unripe, maturing to yellow or brown. It has a soft, creamy texture and a flavor somewhat similar to both banana and mango, and has more protein than most fruits. Research has shown that Pawpaws have cancer-fighting abilities, antioxidant properties, and help lower blood sugar.
Fresh pawpaws are typically eaten raw, either chilled or at room temperature. However, they can be kept only 2–3 days at room temperature, or about a week if refrigerated. The easily bruised pawpaw fruits do not ship well unless frozen.
The fruit pulp is often used locally in baked dessert recipes, as a substitute in banana-based recipes. Pawpaws may also be blended into ice cream or included in pancakes. It can also be used for juice-making, as either a fresh pawpaw drink or in drink mixtures, and for making country wine.
Coconut Lime Fish With a Paw Paw and Raspberry Salsa
2 tablespoons finely chopped palm sugar
400 ml coconut cream
2 tablespoons finely grated kaffir lime zest
2 birds eye chiles, chopped finely
4 thick snapper steaks
Paw Paw and Raspberry Salsa
2 tablespoons raspberry vinegar
250 g fresh raspberries
600 g pawpaw, chopped
1 tablespoon chopped fresh mint
Prep Time: 15 mins
Cook Time: 15 mins
Total Time: 30 mins
1. Combine sugar, cream, rind and chilies in small pan.
2. Simmer stirring occasionally for about 10 minutes; cool.
3. Poor the coconut mixture over the fish in a large bowl.
4. Leave at this stage for 3 hours or overnight.
5. Drain the fish over a small pan, reserving the marinade.
6. Cook the fish uncovered on a heated oiled bbq plate or frypan until browned both sides and just cooked through- approx 3-4 minutes each side.
7. Meanwhile place the reserved marinade on the bbq bring to the boil and simmer uncovered until thickened slightly.
8. Drizzle the marinade over the cooked fish and serve with the salsa.
9. SALSA- Combine all ingredients in a bowl and leave for approx 30 minutes.
Baked Paw Paw With Meat Filling
2 1/2-3 kg raw green pawpaw, cut in half length ways & de seeded
2 1/2 tablespoons cooking oil
2 ounces onions, finely chopped
1/2 teaspoon garlic, finely chopped
500 g lean ground beef
4 medium sized tomatoes, finely chopped
1/2 teaspoon pepper sauce
sweet chili sauce, to taste
salt & pepper
125 g grated parmesan cheese
Prep Time: 30 mins
Cook Time: 50 mins
Total Time: 1 hr 20 mins
1. Pre heat oven to 180oC (350oF).
2. Heat oil in large frypan, and sauté onions and garlic.
3. Stir in beef; cook to well done.
4. Add tomatoes and other seasonings.
5. Cook briskly stirring occasionally until liquid has reduced.
6. Taste for seasoning–adjust if needed.
7. Spoon meat mixture into pawpaw shells.
8. Place shells side by side in shallow pan.
9. Place pan in centre of oven.
10. Pour in enough boiling water to come up to approx 1″ of sides of pawpaw.
11. Sprinkle some grated cheese on top.
12. Bake for about 30 minutes until pawpaw shows no resistance when pierced with a skewer and top is delicately browned.
13. To serve, transfer the pawpaw shells to a large heated dish and top further with remaining cheese.
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