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Green papaya and pork misoni

Published:Thursday | March 29, 2012 | 12:00 AM

Ai Irisawa-Coney, Contributor

Coming from the country where people pay through the teeth for a pound of Blue Mountain coffee, it was wonderful to walk into a café and get a cup of the freshly ground brand for the price of a glass of freshly squeezed orange juice.

Japan's love affair with Jamaica began in 1953 when Japanese traders came to purchase Blue Mountain coffee from Mavis Bank, St Andrew. Since then, Japan's appetite for this globally certified coffee, unique to only a part of Jamaica, has never seen a decline. The Japanese also contributed to the rise in the number of small-scale producers as they would give advance payment to growers so that they could produce more coffee to satisfy Japan's insatiable appetite for Jamaica's Blue Mountain coffee.

Today, approximately 85 per cent of Jamaican coffee exports go to Japan, and Blue Mountain coffee remains, by far, the most expensive and sought after in the world. Just few months ago, Yendi Phillipps, Miss Universe 2010, was invited as the 'coffee ambassador' to Japan.

Coffee is just one example of how some Jamaican products and produce are appreciated more overseas than locally. Another example is green papaya.

Usually, papaya is consumed when ripe, however, when green the fruit provides the best benefits. Papaya, when it's green, contains a papain enzyme. This revitalises the human body, encourages the renewal of muscle tissue, supports our cardiovascular system, boosts the immune system, helps the digestive system, treats skin wounds, prevents the formation of cataracts, lowers the risk of emphysema in persons who smoke, alleviates inflammation, and removes damaged or dead cells so that your skin maintains a clean and healthy appearance.

In the tropical island of Okinawa in Japan, unlike the rest of the country, people cook and eat green papaya.

Today, I introduce readers to green papaya and pork misoni.

Preparation time: 45 minutes


1 large green papaya (peeled, deseeded and diced into 1-inch pieces)

1/2 lb pork breast or stew parts (diced into 1/2 inch pieces).

1/2 lb mushroom (any kind) cleaned and sliced

2 tbs miso (fermented soya bean paste)

2 tbs sake (Japanese rice wine) or any white wine

1 tbs brown sugar

1 cup water


1. Leave diced papaya under running tap water for 10 minutes

2. Meanwhile boil pork for 15 minutes and drain.

3. Combine pork, green papaya, mushrooms and cup of water and boil for 5 minutes.

Add miso, sake, brown sugar and cook for 15 more minutes

Cool a little before serving to allow pork to be tender.

Makes two servings.


Ai and her husband operate a Jamaican/Chinese food take-out restaurant and she also managed a Japanese restaurant in Soho London.