Fish Tail & Papaya Soup

This is a ‘classic’ recipe that even the hospital LC will recommend to you. A lot of breastfeeding mothers here know this recipe. It is more common for our local mothers to use threadfin fish instead. Threadfin is also known as “ngor hur” in hokkien, or “wu yu” in mandarin.


1 white fish tail, approx. 1 Kg

100g raw peanuts

1 half-ripe papaya, approx. 1kg

1 pc tangerine peel (“chenpi”)

2 slices old ginger

1.5l water

2 tbs oil

1 tsp salt

1 tsp light soya sauce


Soak peanuts in water overnight. Drain before use

Skin and halve papaya. Remove seeds, rinse and cut into big wedges. Rinse tangerine peel.

Clean and scale fish tail. Rinse, drain and pat dry thoroughly.

Heat 2 tablespoons of oil in a wok. When the oil is smoking, add the ginger and fry until fragrant. Now include the fish tail and fry both sides until light golden brown.

Bring 1.5l of water to a boil. include all the ingredients, cover pot and leave to boil for 15 minutes over high flame. Lower flame and simmer for 2½ hours. Season to taste.


** This recipe is taken from Chinese Pregnancy & Confinement Cookbook by Ng Siong Mui.  An excellent recipe book that I love and used for my own confinement.  It has plenty of delicious recipes that are good even for a normal day’s meal.  I haven’t been able to find it in bookshops these days but it is available in the National Library.