Our original recipe gets a new boost
Our original recipe has been so well received we had requests for a breastmilk booster version. In my original recipe I used old cucumber. Since old cucumber is considered ‘cooling’ in Chinese culture, it may not be suitable for those in confinement. So I decided to try making the same broth with green papaya and the results are yummy.
Confinement is the post partum period immediately after birth. Mummies stay ‘confined’ at home for an intense period of healing. Keeping ‘warm’ during this period is crucial. This assists in faster healing and protection against long term ailments like rheumatism. It is therefore important for mummies to have nutritious food for healing during this period. This recipe achieves that and more as is also a breastmilk booster.
This stock can be kept handy in the fridge for busy days when you need a quick simple nutritious meal. Mummies with new babies are the busiest ones who need all the immunity boosting they can get!
Green Papaya: Breastmilk Booster (among other health benefits)
Breastfeeding mummies in Chinese culture consume green (unripe) papaya fish soup to boost breastmilk production. Moreover, green (unripe) papaya offers many other health benefits worth a try. It contains papain (a protein-digesting enzyme) which is anti-inflammatory and a powerful antioxidant. In addition it aids in digestion and strengthens the immune system.
Besides, who would argue that a warm bowl of nutritious sweet broth won’t get those milk ducts flowing!
Preparation is almost identical to the original recipe. The difference is old cucumber has now been switched out for green (unripe) papaya. I have also modified the cooking method to an easier version. It still yields the same tasty rich flavourful stock.
As always, my favourite food taster Corey gets the first taste. He was pretty pleased with the result. Moreover, his skin continues to be good after taking this for a few weeks. Also, my 3 year old loves this with his favourite fishballs from Tiong Bahru Market.
Crucial tips to getting that perfect rich flavoured and nutritious stock
Do not skip the acid soak step
The acid helps to release important minerals from the bones into the broth. Minerals released through this step include calcium, potassium and magnesium all crucial for skin and bone health. Since Corey is allergic to milk (which is the standard recommended form of calcium intake), he gets additional calcium intake from this broth.
Apple cider vinegar or lemon juice can be used interchangeably in this step. I like the taste of the CoralTree organic apple cider vinegar. Plus it is readily available in all major supermarkets and I’m too lazy to squeeze my own fresh lemons.
Some people have asked me whether this makes the broth taste sour. Maybe slightly but not in a bad way. If the final product tastes too sour for your liking, you could change out half the water and top it with normal water before starting to boil. However, do note that some nutrients are lost in the water (although negligible) so it is best to weigh your preference of taste over nutrition.
To see the exact science behind this, try this experiment. Leave a small chicken bone to soak in vinegar for a few days, then try bending it. It is bendable and soft because the vinegar has removed some of the calcium. You can get help from your little ones and use this opportunity to teach them some simple sciences. I found this experiment page and am excited to try with my kids. Will update links and post up once we have a video of it 🙂
What should I do if my stock does not gel
Don’t panic! It is still usable just remember not to dilute further in the cooking process. Always remember that it is the taste that matters so if it tastes great I would just leave it.
If your stock looks soupy and tastes diluted, you can reboil it to reduce some of the water content. In fact, this process of reboiling resets its refrigeration shelf life! It is good again in the fridge for another 5 – 7 day after reboiling!
Chill the stock overnight before use
To get the most nutrition out of the stock, it must be chilled overnight. Skimmed the top layer of solidified fats before use. Chinese soups in restaurants do not typically go through this step. You might have had experience of drinking a commercially made soup with a dense layer of oil on top. This layer of oil is unhealthy and negates some positive nutrition found in that soup.
Of course home made is always the best, especially when made with love for our loved ones.
Do give it a try and comment on tasty ways to use this broth!!
We are constantly busy whipping up batches of this stock daily for private orders! Have a question or need help with making this? Leave a comment or email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- 2 fresh sakura chicken carcass (washed with feet and wing tips included)
- 6 sakura chicken chicken feet (can be bought from wet markets)
- 1 small brown onion
- 1 large carrot
- 300G green papaya
- 2 sticks of celery
- 4 cloves of garlic
- 2 litre of water
- 2 tbs of apple cider vinegar
Place all chicken parts into the stock pot and add the water and apple cider vinegar. Let it sit for 1 hour. The apple cider vinegar will leech important minerals from the bones.
After an hour, add all the vegetables and bring to a boil.
Bring down the fire and let the stock simmer for the next 3 hours, occasionally checking on the water level (which should nicely cover all ingredients) and top up if necessary. When your chicken bones have broken down which is approximately by the third hour, turn off the fire.
The cooking is essentially done. Carefully sieve out all the solids. I find that it helps to sieve a few times and use a cheesecloth together with a regular sieve. Take particular care with this step to avoid risking having any small bits which may be dangerous for young babies. Transfer to a glass jar and refrigerate overnight. A layer of fats would have risen to the top and harden by the next day. Skim off this layer and discard before using as it is unhealthy.
This homemade broth will tend to have a cloudy appearance. Even after making this hundreds of times and sieving it more than once it still has some particles. Its normal and because homemade broth has so much more ingredients than the store bought ones! Anyway it did bother me for a while so I just had to check it up, and i'm happy to report that it is the taste that matters! And more importantly, it is the prized gelatin that you want to aim for as that's how you know your stock is jammed packed with nutritious skin healing glycine.
I add one extra step as I have this Tiger non electric thermal cooker
I found that by placing the cooked stock immediately into the outer pot of the Tiger non electric thermal slow cooker for another 4 to 6 hours enhanced the flavour.
One crucial tip to getting a rich flavoured yummy stock is cooking time. If your simmering time is too short it might taste bland. One way of telling is by looking at the bones. If your bones have not broken down, continue simmering. To get the most nutrition out of the stock, it must be chilled overnight. And the top layer of saturated fats should be skimmed before use. Chinese soups in restaurants do not typically go through this step. You might have had experience of drinking a commercially made soup with a dense layer of oil on top. This layer of oil is unhealthy and negates the positive nutrition found in that soup.