I struggled with low milk supply when breastfeeding my first baby and was contemplating supplementing with formula. This soup recipe, passed down from previous generations of mothering know-how was a game changer. Initially, I drank this soup at every meal. Within a day or so my breasts felt heavier. Around day 4 and 5, I was producing more than my newborn could take in and was able to pump some to store. Eventually, when my baby and I had established a happy rhythm exclusively breastfeeding, I tapered off my soup intake to just the occasional boost.
I’ve taken culinary liberties and experimented with different versions of this soup to discover that the must-have ingredients that seem to have an effect on my milk supply is the green papaya and a protein source. This recipe calls for fish, but I’ve substituted the fish for pork and even peanuts to the same happy result.
1 Small Green (Unripe) Papaya
500g Sliced Fish or Fish Bones (any kind that you like in soup will be fine)
A handful of dried red dates
5 Cups Water
4 - 5 Slices Ginger (to taste)
- De-seed, peel and slice the papaya into chunks.
- Prepare and season the fish (I like to rub it with corn starch to keep the fish from breaking up during cooking)
- Fry the ginger in sesame oil until fragrant. Lightly pan-fry the fish (no need to fully cook). Add 5 cups of water and bring to a boil.
- Add papaya and red dates. Bring to boil and then lower the heat and simmer until papaya is soft.