Monday, 9 December 2013

Pork Ribs and Papaya Soup (木瓜排骨湯)

So on one of my sad Friday evening ambles to the supermarket, I spotted a couple of papaya for 39p and how could I resist? I swear it was Il Divo blaring "Oh Holy Night" over the loudspeakers that messed with my head.

Pretty much the only time I ever have papaya is after having a baby, as it's rumoured to be good for milk production - and my dad has a "bible" of all of the foods that a new mother can eat. Literally, meal by meal by meal for about six weeks post-birth! We usually come to blows by about week 4, but really Dad, I love and appreciate your efforts!

This soup is normally done with peanuts, but the youngest is starting to show signs of a peanut intolerance, so I've substituted with almonds. I've used "north" (bitter) and "south" (sweet) almonds in this soup, and the mix should be approx north:south 1:3. If you can't get the north and south almonds, then use raw peanuts (a small handful) or even maybe try normal almonds.

I cooked this soup in my 婆婆's 3 litre crockpot (probably older than I am). It could also be cooked in a pan, brought to the boil then simmered for a couple of hours, or in a vacuum cooker.



  • 350g pork ribs
  • 1 dried octopus (章魚幹)
  • A thumb-sized piece of ginger, peeled
  • 2 papaya, deseeded, peeled and cut into large chunks
  • 2 red dates (jujubes)
  • 1/2 tbsp north almonds
  • 1 1/2 tbsp south almonds
  • 2-3 tsp salt
Serves 6



  • Rinse the dried octopus and scrape off any sand or grit. Cut into 3 or 4 pieces
  • Place the ribs into a pan, pour over boiling water and boil for 5 minutes, to get rid of any scum and impurities. Drain and rinse under water
  • Place all of the ingredients except for the papaya into a 3 litre crockpot and pour over enough water to nearly fill the pot
  • Cook on high for 6-7 hours. 2 hours before the end, add the papaya to the pot
  • At the end of the cooking, add 2 tsp salt to the soup and taste. Add more salt if required, until you have achieved the required taste
Pork Ribs and Papaya Soup (木瓜排骨湯)

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