Papaya fish soup (木瓜鱼片汤) - breastfeeding mothers and the family
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 2-3
A nourishing soup which is believed to boost breast milk supply (if green papaya is used).
  • fish bones from 3 red snapper tails (I think it should be about 500g) - you can use other fish bones such as threadfin
  • 1 slab of red snapper fillet (costs about $5 at the market) - usually present in this soup is shengyu
  • 1 small (green) papaya - use green papaya especially if you want to boost breast milk supply
  • 5 slices ginger
  • 6 cloves garlic (skin on), rinse
  • 2 bunches of scallions (cut into 2" segments)
  • 6 seedless red dates
  • 2.5-3L water
  • 1-2 teaspoons hua diao jiu
  • sesame oil
Seasoning for soup:
  • salt/ fish sauce (I used fish sauce)
  • ground white pepper to taste
Marinate fish with:
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • a couple of dashes of pepper
  • ½- 1 teaspoon cornflour or potato starch
  1. Skin the papaya, remove the seeds and cut into chunks.
  2. Scald the papaya briefly with boiling water to remove the sap. Drain and set aside.
  3. Add some sesame oil into the claypot and stir-fry the ginger till fragrant. Add the fish bones and fry for a short while. Remove from pot and place in a cloth soup bag - this is to ensure that there will be no bones in the soup and hence safe for consumption, especially for young children. Double check that there are no bones in the claypot after removing the fish bones.
  4. Add water into the claypot which you have just used (don't wash it) and bring it to a boil.
  5. Add the garlic, scallions, red dates, hua diao jiu, papaya and the bag of fish bones and bring the soup to a boil again.
  6. Simmer for about 1.5hours.
  7. Meanwhile, remove the skin from the fish fillet and slice the meat very thinly.
  8. Marinate the fish slices with salt, pepper and cornflour (prevents the fish from disintegrating). Set aside in the fridge.
  9. When soup is ready, remove the bag of bones, red dates, garlic, scallions and ginger, leaving only the papaya in the soup.
  10. Add seasoning to taste.
  11. Bring the soup to a boil again. Add the fish slices into the soup and turn off the fire. Cover the claypot and let the heat in the soup do the cooking of the fish.
  12. Dish and serve after a couple of minutes.
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