Postpartum Recipe | Green Papaya Fish Soup

A staple Chinese confinement postpartum dish after giving birth. It is believed that these traditional confinement dishes will support milk supply for mothers that are breastfeeding. Easy to make with fresh fish, green papaya, and ginger for comforting warmth and flavor. Perfect for your postpartum recovery.


  • Fish head or fish meat (500 g)
  • 1 small green papaya (I used half of one green papaya) - about 400g
  • 4 dried red dates
  • 60 g ginger - cut into slices
  • 1 tbsp of wolfberry seeds
  • 1 tbsp of sesame oil
  • 5 cups of water


1. Clean the fish well. If you're using the head, make sure to clean out the inside thoroughly. Cut it into large pieces (ask the fishmonger to cut the head if needed). Dry it with paper towels and sprinkle salt on all sides. Then, set it aside.

2. Heat water in a big pot until it boils. 

3. While you're waiting for the water to boil, use a vegetable peeler to remove the skin from the papaya. Take out all the seeds and cut it into small, bite-sized pieces.

4. Warm sesame oil in another pan or pot. Fry half of the ginger for about a minute, then add the fish to fry. Cook the fish until it's golden brown on both sides and fully cooked. 

5. Once the water is boiling, add the red dates, fried fish, green papaya chunks, and the remaining ginger into a clay pot or any suitable soup pot. Don't stir the soup to avoid breaking the fish. Let it simmer for about 30 minutes.

6. Season with salt if necessary. Optional: Pour ⅛ tsp of sesame oil into the soup if desired. Serve hot.

Cooking Notes:

  • Use fresh fish for the best flavor; otherwise, the soup may taste fishy.
  • If you can't find green papayas, half-ripe papayas can be used, but green papayas are preferred during confinement.
  • If serving to children, use a soup bag to boil the fish in a deep pot.
  • Consider pounding the ginger for extra ginger flavor, especially if making this soup for confinement.



See Instagram post here

    Leave a comment

    Please note, comments must be approved before they are published