Papaya and Snow Fungus in a Pork Herbal Soup
Papaya and Snow Fungus in a Pork Herbal Soup
木瓜雪耳豬骨湯 (mù gua xuě ěr zhū gǔ tāng)
Nature: Warm and ideal for moisturizing the body and lungs, supporting digestion and soothing the stomach.
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I simply love snow fungus! And this combination is a beautiful one in that at times, you’ll find this a dessert and other times, a soup! I know, super strange. But the combination of papaya + snow fungus can swing both sweet and savory! Which makes it so amazingly diverse!
What makes this combination so amazing? It’s a combination of nourishing and lubricating the lung, stomach, and spleen with the papaya and the snow fungus. This soup can soothe and aid in digestion, heal the stomach and stomachaches, and support lung treatment in coughs and dryness. And of course, the added benefits of the plant collagen that is found in snow fungus (which, by the way can hold 500 times its weight in water!). Reference this interesting article in the National Library of Medicine regarding snow fungus and its composition of collagen.
This is an easy to make, nutritious soup that is packed full of Vitamin C and beta-carotene. It is deliciously sweet and refreshing and ideal for autumn or winter days. You can use chicken to make it more warm and also add a variety of other ingredients to make it a meal.
Regardless of weather, this soup is designed to be moisturizing (from the inside) and perfect if you’ve got dry skin, dry lips, dry tongue (this is one key indicator from a TCM perspective). In fact, some Chinese people claim that it’s part of their skin care regime to be consuming foods of this nature. Bird’s nest is another one of those delicacies that call into this category of “self care”. And you will often here Chinese ladies (and mothers) tell you how great this recipe is to stay looking “young”!
Cook time: 1 hour 30 mins
Total time: 1 hour 45 mins
Serves: 8 bowls of soup
- 1 pound fresh pork bones (any type)
- 1 large fresh papaya, cubed
- 2 whole dried snow fungus, cored and quartered
- 15 (or 33 g) pitted red dates
- 33 g of dried Chinese yam
- 15 g of dried scallops
- 2 L of water
- Rinse and soak dried snow fungus in a bowl of enough water to immerse it in for about an hour (or until soft)
- In a separate pot of boiling water, blanch pork bones for 5 minutes, set aside and cool
- Boil your soup water
- Wash and cut papaya into large edible cubes
- Using scissors, cut out the middle of the snow fungus (the hardest part) and cut the other portions into edibles pieces
- When your soup water boils, add in the pork bones, papaya and Chinese herbs. I made this soup in the morning and set it into the thermal pot for the whole day, coming back to the soup in the afternoon and then dropping in the snow fungus to cook for another 2 hours. Depending on how soft you want the snow fungus, I’d say at least an hour.
- Boil on high for 30 minutes and reduce to medium heat for another hour
- Serve and enjoy!
- Here’s a quick video on how to prepare snow fungus for Chinese soups
- Be sure to cut out the hard middle, or buy snow fungus that doesn’t have the middle and is broken up
- I like to use red papaya instead of green papaya for this version (green is more traditionally known to support milk production in post partum Chinese soups)
- You can opt to keep the skin on the papaya during soup boil so it doesn’t disintegrate and break down into the soup
- Snow fungus cooks and softens quite quickly. Depending on how soft you’d like it, you can drop it in about 30 minutes before you serve, although I like it super soft and some of it dissolved into the soup (for that collagen benefit), so I drop it along with all the other ingredients.
To answer your questions on what equipment I'm using, I've built a section here where you can find and explore what I'm using to make soups. Ingredients are a little harder, but I will do my best as I source them around. However, you can always message me on Instagram, TikTok, YouTube, or Facebook, and I will reply and try to point you in some direction!
A great help for fish or small bones in soups, including small ingredients such as barley, fox nuts, spices just to keep everything together.
A MUST HAVE in the kitchen! Energy saving, cost effective, and perfect for busy chefs! Check out my article here that explains it.
Another MUST HAVE in the kitchen for soups! It's so fine that it will scoop off the top oil and foam layer when using meats in your soup!
I use these types of stove top safe tea pots to make most of my herbal teas!