(Filipino ginger chicken soup with papaya)
4 to 6 servings
- Oil -- 2-3 tablespoons
- Chicken, bone in, cut into small pieces -- 2 to 3 pounds
- Onion, thinly sliced -- 1
- Garlic, minced -- 1 tablespoon
- Ginger, minced or julienne -- 2 tablespoons
- Water -- 3 to 4 cups
- Fish sauce (patis) -- 2 tablespoons
- Salt and pepper -- to taste
- Green papaya, peeled, seeded and cubed -- 2 cups
- Fresh spinach -- about 2 cups
- Heat the oil in a large pot over medium flame. Add the chicken pieces and sauté until lightly browned on all sides, 5-7 minutes.
- Add the onions and sauté until translucent, about 3 to 4 minutes. Next add the garlic and ginger and sauté for another 2 to 3 minutes.
- Stir in the water to cover, fish sauce, salt and pepper bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low, add back the browned chicken pieces and simmer for 25 to 30 minutes, stirring occasionally and skimming off any scum that rises to the surface.
- Add the cubed papaya and simmer for another 5 to 10 minutes, or until cooked through.
- Remove from heat, adjust seasoning and stir in the spinach. Serve hot.
- You really need to use unripe, green papaya to get the right texture and taste. Don't try using ripe papaya. If green papaya is unavailable where you live, use chayote squash (called sayote in the Philippines). It's very similar.
- In the Philippines, dahon ng sili, or chili leaves, a leafy green, are usually used instead of spinach.
- Eliminate the fish sauce and just use salt if you'd like.
- Remove the skin from the chicken after browning if you like. It makes a less fatty, clearer soup.