2-3 smaller papayas or one larger papaya cut into pieces. (you can use the green papaya)
1 inch piece of ginger in large slices
handful of peanuts (the amount can vary based on how much you like peanuts)
3 or 4 dried jujubes for some added sweetness
Rinse the jujubes well and soak for about 30 minutes
Cut pork butt shoulder into cubes. I generally cut into 1 inch cubes. The cubes need not be perfect and can be cut into any size you prefer.
Peel the papaya, cut into halves, and scoop out the seeds. Then cut the papaya into pieces.
Combine all ingredients, except the papaya, in a pot
Bring to a boil
Turn down the heat and simmer for an hour
Add the papaya and simmer for another hour
Notes, hints, and substitutions:
This recipe can be doubled.
Feel free to substitute pork for other meat. The idea is to cook the papaya in a meat broth. Others use fish, chicken, and beef. You can also mix two meats for a richer broth.
Jujubes are also sold as chinese dates. In place of jujubes, you can probably use other types of dried fruit that are used as a sweetener, such as dried plums (aka prunes).
You can use either ripe (yellow) or green papaya, or a mix. I prefer using both ripe and green papaya.
If you add in fresh mushrooms, add them in the last 30 minutes or so. Shitake and oyster mushrooms are both great additions to this soup.
Note: this dish is commonly served to nursing mothers. You might wish to avoid it if you are pregnant. I was told green papaya helps contract the uterus and lessen water retention after child birth. On the other hand, if you are nursing (or cooking for a nursing mother), you might wish to try this.
4 or 5 large, fresh tomatoes. The sweeter, more ripe, and softer, the better.
Thumbsize piece of young ginger.
small chunk of rock sugar
About two tablespoons of cooking oil. I use canola or olive oil.
I use a wok when preparing this dish. If you don’t have one, try this in a pot you’d prepare marinara sauce in.
Cut the ginger into thick cross sections. Crush a little with the back of your knife to bring out some more flavor.
Put the tomatoes into boiling water for about two minutes or until the skin breaks on one of them. You might find it easier to do two or three batches.
Immediately after you pull the tomatoes out of the boiling water, rinse them in cold tap water. This will stop the boiling.
Peel the skin from the tomatoes, then quarter them. Put them in a bowl.
Season the wok using the ginger. To do this, put the oil in the wok and turn the heat on high. When you see small bubbles in the oil, add the ginger. Stir the ginger around every 10 seconds or so for about two or three minutes.
Pour in the tomatoes and any juices collected in the bowl. Mix them around a little bit in the wok to disperse the ginger. Stir every 30 seconds, or so. After about three minutes, if the tomatoes haven’t broken down and the mixture isn’t too liquidy, add 1/2 cup of water. Stir some more.
Turn down to medium heat once the liquid starts to boil. The goal is to keep it at a high simmer but to not boil.
Add in the sugar after you turn down the heat. Stir.
Cook 5 minutes, then turn heat down to low, cover and cook for five more minutes.
Remove to heat resistant bowl.
Rinse wok (no need to clean it, yet) then reheat it.
Start to scramble the egg on medium. Pour in the tomato stew when the egg is half done. By half done, I mean it is half solid and half runny. Stir the mixture some more.
Notes, hints, and substitutions:
You can substitute the young ginger with regular ginger which is generally more pungent with a stronger flavor. If you do use regular ginger, use a smaller piece. I will use 1/3 less regular ginger. Prepare the same way. You can also shred the ginger if you like.
When seasoning the wok, you can also throw in some garlic.
I’ve never used regular sugar but that would probably work, particularly if you use the brown molasses type sugar.
You can skip the fried egg step altogether by adding the egg in step 6 before covering or by frying the egg completely in another pan. I’ve done it each way.
Like most stews, this tastes better the next day. The ginger has more time to share its flavor.