Thursday, April 08, 2010

Canh Du Du (Vietnamese Papaya Soup)

Canh Du Du (Vietnamese Papaya Soup) 1

This is another of those recipes that sat in the queue too long because I didn't like the photos so I never blogged it. Or maybe it was more because there was no story attached, until now. I last made this soup almost exactly a year ago. Then upon review, the original photos weren't as horrible as I remembered, but these are much better. I just like how the color of the papaya pops out at me.

Along with the Ga Kho Gung (Vietnamese Braised Chicken with Ginger) I made for my brother and his wife, I also made Canh Du Du (Vietnamese Papaya Soup). Vietnamese believe that ripe papaya helps with lactation if you're breastfeeding. Evidently it's not just Vietnamese superstition since my sister-in-law's mother has been bringing over lots of papaya too. Whether there's any truth to this superstition has been much debated. Nonetheless, an extra boost of beta carotene and vitamin A is always a good thing whether you're lactating or not.

You'll want to use a ripe papaya for this. For that beta carotene and vitamin A, you see. Save the green papaya for Goi Du Du Kho Bo (Vietnamese Papaya Salad with Beef Jerky). I splurged (Actually, momma told me to.) and used pork spare ribs because they produce a sweeter broth. You don't need much, just a pound will do. It won't even be much meat since the weight is all in the bones.

Canh Du Du (Vietnamese Papaya Soup) 2

Canh Du Du (Vietnamese Papaya Soup)

For a 3-quart pot, you'll need:

1 lb pork spare ribs, cut into sections
3 cups papaya, cut into 1-inch chunks
1/2 tsp salt
1 tblsp Nuoc Mam (Vietnamese Fish Sauce), or more according to taste

Cut the pork spare ribs into sections and make Canh (Vietnamese Soup Broth).

Bun Rieu Cua Tom Oc (Vietnamese Crab and Shrimp Rice Vermicelli Noodle Soup with Snails) 9

When the water boils, add the pork, turn the heat down to medium, and let simmer for 15 minutes. Skim the scum until the broth is clear. Flavor with salt and fish sauce until it's to your liking.

Add the papaya and let simmer for another 15 minutes.

Canh Du Du (Vietnamese Papaya Soup) 3


What do you serve to new mothers? And why?

Similar light Vietnamese soups:
Canh Bap Cai Bac Thao (Vietnamese Napa Cabbage Soup)
Canh Bap Cai Nhoi Thit (Vietnamese Stuffed Cabbage Soup)
Canh Bi Voi Tom (Winter Melon Soup with Shrimp)
Canh Bi/Bau Nhoi Thit (Vietnamese Pork-Stuffed Winter Melon Soup)
Canh Chua Ca (Vietnamese Sour Fish Soup)
Canh Chua Tom (Vietnamese Sour Shrimp Soup)
Canh Cu Sen (Vietnamese Lotus Root Soup)
Canh O/Kho Qua Nhoi Thit (Vietnamese Stuffed Bitter Melon Soup)
Canh Rau Cuu Ky (Vietnamese (Chinese) Boxthorn Soup)
Canh Tao/Rong Bien (Vietnamese Seaweed Soup)

1 year ago today, Blood Orange Shortbread Bars.
2 years ago today, Angkor Wat - Cambodia.
3 years ago today, Southern Fried Chicken, Sour Cream Mashed Potatoes, and Cream Gravy.


  1. you know, when I was pregnant with my first, my family forbade me from eating papaya b/c they said it causes miscarriages. I think it is interesting that this so opposite to that.

  2. I've never heard of this before. I usually make dessert soup with papaya though, although I just eat it straight up most of the time!

  3. I just LOVE papaya soup!! I grew up eating it regularly b/c my mom made it all the time. I'll have to make it myself now. :)

  4. Aaaaaah! I was just THINKING about papaya soup - I've had the unripe papaya version from the Philippines, but this looks wonderful (and ripe papayas are easier to find too right now.)

    Have been loving the food place posts and the braised chicken and stuff! Just haven't had a lot of time to reply with life being so evil. I think I'm going to give this a try after I finish off the saffron-tomato-and-olive salt cod done bouillabasse style.

  5. That said, we serve chicken wine to our new mothers - it's this substantial chicken broth made with lots of meaty chicken pieces, lots of ginger, wood-ear fungus and a hearty dose of good Chinese wine (usually Shaoxing, but my mother's friends have been known to use Hua Tiao Jiu or even Dom.) They say it's good for getting rid of wind, and for nourishing depleted elements in the new mother's body.

  6. Interesting. I've never had ripe papaya in soup before. I've heard that new mothers are supposed to drink rice wine soup.

  7. It looks yummy, always wanted to cook soup with ribs but never dare. Now, I might just take that chance seeing how good yours look. :-)

  8. Maybelle's Mom,
    I've never heard of that! I wonder why? Although, this is for after the baby's already come so I don't know if that makes a difference.

    I've had ripe papaya with tapioca balls. And Brazilian papaya cream.

    There's a lot of foods that my mom makes that seems to be pretty common too.

    Your boullaibaise sounds lovely! My sister-in-law's mother brought over lots of chicken wine made from black chickens.

    Kirbie Cravings,
    Rice wine soup sounds like what Shuku was describing.

    Self Sagacity,
    The pork spare ribs are quite a luxury for me since they're $4/lb, but every once in a while, I splurge.

  9. I've never had the ripen papaya either. I used to have the green papaya stewed with pork spare rib. This is a nice strange combination but I guess more difficult to cook compared to the green one because the ripen is too soft and too sweet.

  10. Chau,
    How funny. I've never had green papaya in a stew, only in a salad. I love papaya so any way to eat it is good to me. :) But, there's not added sugar, so it's just enough to sweeten the broth.


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