{from the archives} Harumi Kurihara’s ‘Baked’ Papaya in Coconut Milk

Harumi Kurihara’s recipes are simple, wholesome and hold great promises of flavour. Here her ‘baked papaya’ with coconut milk ambushes my intrigue.

This was posted in August 2008, before I accidentally dropped the sql database for my old food blog and obliterated the archives. Short of reposting every single recipe, I will upload some of my favourites in the coming weeks.

This year’s Exclusive Books’ sale yielded little fiction of the type I’d spend even petty cash on. However, what I did come home with were two armfuls of cooking books. One of these was Harumi Kurihara’s Japanese Home Cooking. It takes no huge leap of imagination to realise why she’s punted as Japan’s answer to Martha Stewart. Her recipes are simple, wholesome and hold great promises of flavour.
Her ‘baked’ papaya with coconut milk immediately ambushed my intrigue.
The recipe called for a whole papaya, 100ml coconut milk, 50ml double cream and 4 tablespoons condensed milk.

The assembly was easy enough:

  • Take a whole papaya and keep it stable on it’s side on your work counter. If it’s a bit wobbly, cut a small piece off of the bottom to balance.
  • Cut a thick slice off the upperside of the fruit, this will be used as a lid.
  • Scoop out the seeds from the rest of the fruit. What you’ll essentially have now, is a sort of papaya bowl.
    In a separate container, mix the coconut milk, double cream and condensed milk.
  • Pour the mixture into the papaya (take care not to overfill, as the liquid does rise up when it boils). Pop the lid back on and cover the entire fruit with heat-resistant plastic cling wrap.
    Cook in the microwave on high power for about five minutes.
  • Uncover the papaya, scoop out the fruit along with the flavoured milk and serve immediately.

In my reproduction of the recipe, I used a can of coconut milk, a packet of Orley Whip (beaten up with a few grindings of vanilla-butterscotch candy sugar), cardamom, chopped pistachios, sliced
almonds, chopped dates and the condensed milk.
This makes for a superb dessert on speed. The minimal effort yields maximum flavour and a great conversation piece.

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