These pale-fleshed, spongy gourds are commonly eaten during winter. Low in calories, it has a mild and refreshing taste. A week ago, the Asian supermarket was selling 2-lb slices at incredibly reasonable prices, despite being an unusual crop for this time of year. I was recovering from a bout of ‘heatiness'(阳 yang); this ‘cooling'(阴 yin) gourd in a clear soup was just the ticket. Nonetheless, I added a bit of ginger(阳) into the soup to balance the yin(阳). The seeds, which can be candied, and often eaten during Chinese New Year, are easily scooped out with a spoon before cooking. This is a versatile plant; nearly every part can be eaten except for the skin and roots.
- 2lb winter melon, skin and seeds removed and cubed
- 2lb pork bones for stewing
- 2lb chicken bones for stewing or 2tbsp chicken stock powder
- 3 stalks celery, cut into 1" chunks
- 1 carrot, cut into rough chunks or faux tourné
- 1 dried scallop, softened in hot water and separated )
- 1" ginger, thinly sliced
- 1 shallot, thinly sliced
- 6 cups water
- Luncheon meat, cubed or Ham, cut into strips (for garnish)
- Cilantro, finely chopped (for garnish)
- Blanch pork bones in boiling water, remove the foam that forms and rinse quickly.
- Place pork and chicken bones in 6 cups of water. Bring to a boil for 10 minutes.
- Add carrots, celery, scallop, ginger and shallot. Allow to boil for about 20 minutes.
- Finally add winter melon and cook till transparent.
- Garnish with ham and cilantro to serve.
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