Fish & Seafood

Spicy pompano and green papaya soup

Spicy pompano and green papaya soup |

Inspired by a chicken soup called halang-halang, this fish dish is great as a soup or as a main dish.

A single 800-gram pompano is enough for three persons. Add cubes of green papaya, chayote or upo (bottle gourd) to make it even more filling.

But wait! Isn’t the fish called pampano and not pompano? Whether you call it pompano or pampano, it’s the same fish species in the Trachinotus genus of the Carangidae family.

Spicy pompano and green papaya soup
Prep Time
10 mins
Cook Time
20 mins
Total Time
30 mins
Servings: 2 to 4
Author: Connie Veneracion
  • 1 whole whole pompano about 800 grams, cleaned and gutted
  • 1/2 small green papaya
  • 2 tablespoons cooking oil
  • 1 onion thinly sliced
  • 6 cloves of garlic crushed
  • 1 thumb-sized piece ginger finely sliced
  • 3 to 4 finger chilies cut into halves
  • 1 and 1/2 cups coconut milk
  • patis (fish sauce) to taste
  1. Cut the pompano into three portions.
  2. Cut off the skin of the green papaya, scrape off the seeds and cut the flesh into two-inch cubes.
  3. Heat the cooking oil in a pot. Saute the ginger, garlic, onion and finger chili until fragrant.
  4. Pour in about a cup and a half of water. Season with fish sauce.
  5. Add the green papaya and bring to the boil. Add the fish and bring to the boil once again. Lower the heat, cover and simmer for ten minutes. Pour in the coconut milk and boil, uncovered, for about a minute. Taste the broth and add more fish sauce, if necessary.
  6. Ladle into soup bowls. Sprinkle with toasted garlic bits and finely sliced onion leaves (or fried shallots), if you like.
  7. Serve at once.
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