My Mum’s Recipe: Green Papaya Milky Fish Soup

papaya fish soup

OMG finally a recipe post! Sorry for the lack of cooking-related posts. I function nowadays on a 3-hour block directly dependent on how long Chua Bee Bee sleeps, and generally, she’s been waking up pretty consistently every 3 hours. She’s also quite a sweet baby who can lie down next to me and do her own thing as I pump. She also loves to coo at my soft toys and go ‘Aber Aber’ like she’s calling her own name. LOL. I’m damn exhausted but my day is now manageable, I think. And they say things really do get better. I hope I don’t jinx myself!

But on days when she has her growth spurts (which is like NOW, week 6!) and/or can’t poop, then my life gets turned upside down.. sometimes when she wanna latch she jumps on my boob, other times she scrunches her face and xian qi my nipple.. what does she want? I’ve never played a bigger guessing game in my life. Oh and she is SUCH A light sleeper, every one in the household is like treading on thin ice all the time. She can be woken up by the crinkling of potato chip wrappers (yes I eat them). How to deal with this? Suck it up?

So forgive me when cooking is the last thing I wanna do right now. I did cook this soup at 4am today but that’s because I got up earlier to pump and I figured there’s no way I would have to cook this otherwise. I pestered my mum for her recipe and she texted me the works in Chinese. But you know ‘old people’, they don’t do specifics. Like her instructions called for ‘a bag of fish bones’ (Me: ‘How big your bag? Can agar how many grams? What kind of fish bones?’) and ‘one onion and garlic each’ (Me: ‘What you mean by one garlic? One whole bulb? One clove?’) and ‘add how many pax water’ (Me: ‘Uh-huh and that means….’)

This recipe is reproduced after my yong xin liang ku back-and-forth messages with my mum to get the instructions cleared up. Use garoupa fish bones cos they’re not fishy. The soup’s really yummy. Although I hope that this will help boost my milk supply, you don’t actually need a reason to cook it!

My Mum’s Green Papaya Milky Fish Soup (budgetpantry.com)
Serves 3-4

What you need:

3 pieces garoupa fish bones (石斑), cleaned
400g fish slices or chunks (of your choice. mum used garoupa fish. you can use sheng yu aka ikan haruan/snakehead)
300g green papaya (about half), chopped into chunks
300g pork ribs (blanched) or chicken breast (cut into pieces)
1 red onion, chopped into chunks
5 cloves garlic, smashed
5-6 slices ginger
1 teaspoon white peppercorns, crushed
50ml evaporated milk (about 3 tablespoons)
5-6 pieces red dates
1 tablespoon olive oil
Mushroom seasoning, to taste (click here for pic. substitute with salt if you must)
2.5 litres water

Steps:

In a large pot, heat up the oil and fry onion, ginger, garlic and peppercorns until fragrant. Add the fish bones on high heat and fry for one minute. Follow with water, and pork or chicken, and continue cooking on high flame, uncovered, for 20 minutes. When 20 minutes is up, lower flame and simmer, covered, for 30 minutes.

When time is up, strain the soup to remove impurities and fish bones. Reserve the clear soup and pork or chicken.

Add the green papaya and red dates into the soup and cook till soft, before adding fish slices and evaporated milk. Season with mushroom seasoning or salt to taste. Enjoy!

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