Vietnamese Pork Bone and Green Papaya Soup (Canh Du Du)

Vietnamese Pork Bone and Green Papaya Soup

Connie Veneracion

Prep: 10 mins
Cook: 8 hrs
Total: 8 hrs 10 mins
Servings: 4 servings
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
746 Calories
41g Fat
37g Carbs
57g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 4
Amount per serving
Calories 746
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 41g 53%
Saturated Fat 11g 55%
Cholesterol 268mg 89%
Sodium 558mg 24%
Total Carbohydrate 37g 13%
Dietary Fiber 5g 19%
Total Sugars 23g
Protein 57g
Vitamin C 140mg 702%
Calcium 62mg 5%
Iron 4mg 20%
Potassium 721mg 15%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

In Asia, no part of the pig goes to waste. In cooking Vietnamese green papaya soup, the pigs' feet are traditionally used. Although they contain little to no meat, they are rich in tendons which liquefy and become part of the broth during the long and slow cooking. 

Although papaya is a fruit, unripe green papaya is cooked as a vegetable in Southeast Asia. The flesh, after cooking, is soft but firm and has a foamy texture. It is bland, almost tasteless, but able to soak up the flavors of ingredients it is cooked with.

How to Cook

It takes several hours to cook pigs' feet to get it to that stage when the flesh separates from the bone and much of the tendon has liquefied into the broth. If you're going to simmer the pigs' feet on the stovetop, use a pot with a thick bottom to minimize the chance of the pork feet sticking to the bottom and scorching.

A pressure cooker may be used and it might be the most convenient method. Although pressure cooking will cook the pigs' feet faster, it does not make a thorough job of drawing out the flavors from the bones.

We find the slow cooker to be the ideal equipment for cooking tough cuts of meat like pork feet. No stirring is necessary and the broth tastes like every bit of flavor have been squeezed off the bones.


  • 2.2 pounds (1 kilogram) pigs' feet

  • 2 cloves garlic

  • 2 slices ginger

  • 1 shallot, unpeeled, halved

  • Fish sauce, to taste

  • Sugar, to taste

  • 1 green papaya

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

  2. Rinse the pigs' feet. Scrub thoroughly. Rinse once more. If there are visible hairs, use a kitchen torch to burn them off. Chop the pigs' feet into serving size pieces.

  3. Place the prepared pigs' feet in a pan. Cover with water. Boil for 10 minutes. Drain and rinse the pigs' feet thoroughly.

  4. Transfer the pigs' feet to the slow cooker. Add the garlic, ginger, and shallot. Drizzle in about 2 tablespoonfuls of fish sauce. Add a teaspoonful of sugar. Pour in enough water to cover the pigs' feet and make a substantial amount of broth. (Leave enough space as you will be adding the green papaya later.​)

  5. Set the slow cooker to high. After 2 hours set the heat to low and continue cooking the pigs' feet for another 5 hours.

  6. Cut the green papaya lengthwise into halves. Using a spoon, scoop out the seeds and fibrous center of the papaya.

  7. Use a vegetable peeler to remove the skin. Cut the flesh into 2-inch cubes.

  8. Taste the broth. Add more fish sauce and sugar, as needed.

  9. Add the green papaya to the slow cooker. If there is room, stir. Replace the cover and cook for another hour.

  10. Taste the broth one last time. Adjust the seasonings once more, if needed.

  11. Stir in the scallions and serve the soup.

  12. Enjoy!

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