My friend Grace has a green thumb. She grows lemons, calamansi, bitter melon, tomatoes, papaya, and I am not sure what else.
One day, my daughter asked me to pick up Grace’s daughter so they could go to the beach. I got rather excited for that errand since I knew that Grace’s malunggay tree is flourishing right now. I recently made a mungo bean stew with her malunggay (moringa) leaves and it was delicious. I love soups and I wanted to try and make chicken tinola with malunggay.
I got some malunggay leaves and got a bonus harvest of some bittermelon too.
I sautéed some garlic, onion, and ginger then added a few chicken thighs to the pot. After the chicken thighs browned a bit, I added some patis and chicken broth and seasoned the broth with some salt and let it simmer.
I had purchased some green papaya from the Hilo Farmers’ Market but they turned out to be too ripe for my soup. I tried going to the Filipino store near Hopaco but their papayas were too ripe too. I finally got some from a friend who gets a bunch of green papaya at a time and preps them by chopping them up and freezing them. I never realized that green papaya could be frozen. I guess I’ll start growing papaya trees in my garden now with the seeds I have from all the papayas that I thought were green but were not. that way, I can harvest my own green papaya. I just need to figure out how to/when to properly top off the tree so I can reach the fruit easily.
Anyway, once I got the green papaya, I added it to the soup with the malunggay leaves. Yum! Comfort food. Thank you, Grace, for your generosity and for the malunggay leaves that turned into chicken tinola for my family! Living Hilo Style.