Papaya Seed Salad Dressing

 Papaya Seed Salad Dressing

June: National Papaya Month

For a healthy Hawaiian-style salad, pour on the papaya seed dressing! The leafy greens and other vegetables are already good for you, but the papaya seeds also aid in digestion and act as an anti-bacterial agent (however, eating too much may be toxic). No wonder it is a tradition of the native Hawaiians to eat a few seeds when they open a papaya—they knew how to appreciate the whole fruit! So save those seeds and add a mild peppery punch and tropical tang to your favorite salad by preparing papaya seed salad dressing during National Papaya Month.


(Adapted from The Honolulu Advertiser Taste of Hawaii by Mary Cooke)


  • 1 small, ripe papaya
  • 1 cup sugar (we used C&H brand, granulated white)
  • 1 tablespoon salt (we used 1 teaspoon Hawaiian black lava sea salt)
  • 1 teaspoon dry mustard
  • 1 cup vinegar (we used sugar cane vinegar)
  • 1 small onion (we recommend a sweet or Maui onion)
  • 1 cup salad oil (we used macadamia nut oil)
  • 3 tablespoons papaya seeds


Slice the papaya in half. Scoop out the seeds. Squeeze to pop the sacs and dry them out (optional).

Papaya Seed Salad Dressing

In a blender, mix the sugar, salt, mustard and vinegar. Gradually add the onions and oil. Finally blend in the papaya seeds until they resemble coarse pepper. Pour a bit to taste over a salad mix of choice. Garnish with fresh or dried papaya strips and roasted macadamia nut pieces (optional).

Papaya Seed Salad Dressing


  • Mahalo (thanks) to Sister Durie K. for the cookbook and to Auntie Maria B. for the macadamia nut oil.
  • For a pupule kine post, see our papaya macaron recipe.
  • Learn more about the uses and benefits of papain, the digestive enzyme extracted from papayas, from the Vitamins and Health Supplements Guide website.