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FareShare Gazette Recipes -- October 2005 - W's


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Winter Melon Soup

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                       * Exported from MasterCook *

                             Winter Melon Soup

Recipe By :
Serving Size :   Preparation Time :0:00
Categories : Volume 8-10 Oct 2005

Amount Measure Ingredient -- Preparation Method
-------- ------------ --------------------------------
10 pounds winter melon -- (1 large)
Soup Ingredients to be put into
cavity of melon
5 cups chicken stock
2 teaspoons dry sherry
1/2 teaspoon sugar
3/4 teaspoon salt
15 lotus seeds -- soaked and
4 large dried mushrooms -- soaked and
cut into 1/4-inch squares
1 cup barley -- soaked overnight
Other ingredients to be put into
cavity of melon
1/3 cup diced roasted pork
or roasted duck meat
1 boned and skinned chicken breast -- cut
into 1/4-inch cubes

1/3 cup raw lean pork -- cut
into 1/4-inch cubes
1 teaspoon cornstarch
1/4 teaspoon salt
6 ounces fresh shrimp -- cleaned
deveined and cut into 1/2-inch cubes
1/2 teaspoon dry sherry
1 pinch white pepper
1/2 teaspoon cornstarch
1/3 cup abalone -- cut
into 1/4-inch cubes
1/3 cup coriander -- for garnish

Winter melons are available in most Asian grocery stores. The shape is 
somewhat similar to a long watermelon (not the round seedless ones in 
other words). You will need a pretty big (tall) pot to cook this. Make 
sure you have a pot large enough for the melon.

Mix 1/3 cup raw lean pork, cut into 1/4-inch cubes, with 1 teaspoon
cornstarch and 1/4 teaspoon salt. Mix 6 ounces fresh shrimp, cleaned,
deveined and cut into 1/2-inch cubes with 1/2 teaspoon dry sherry, 1 pinch
white pepper and 1/2 teaspoon cornstarch, 1/3 cup abalone, cut into
1/4-inch cubes, 1/3 cup coriander for garnishing.

Cut off enough of the stem end of the melon for removal of the contents or
to fit the pot; remove seeds and soft pulp. Put a piece of cheese cloth
under the melon to facilitate removal from pot after cooking, then put
melon into the pot.

Put soup ingredients into cavity of melon. Steam melon with its soup
ingredients for 1 hour, making sure there is enough water in the pot for
Add roast pork or duck meat and steam an additional 15 minutes.
Add cubed chicken and pork mixture to the hot broth and stir so that the
pieces do not stick together. Steam an additional 15 minutes.
Add shrimp mixture, straw mushrooms, abalone and turn off heat.

Grasp the corners of the cheesecloth and lift the melon out gently. Place
on a large round serving platter. Remove the cheesecloth and garnish with

Serve hot, judiciously scooping out melon pulp to avoid puncturing the
shell and not allow soup to leak out.

This dish has always been a major undertaking as you can see. However,
family and guests who are served this soup always appreciate the effort
involved. Basically the melon is used as a container for the soup and is
sometimes carved with figures, Chinese characters or geometric patterns to
make the melon look like a ceramic piece. Books on Chinese garnishing and
vegetable carving can give more information on this matter.

The cheesecloth method of handling the melon works but can be replaced by
use of a trivet or any flat metal piece which can be placed under the
melon with string attached so that the ends of the strings are readily
reached from the top. If the melon is immersed in water almost to the top
the cooking is controlled better. If the water level is, say, only 1/2 to
1/3 of the height of the melon, the portion out of the water is not as
well done as the portion in the water, making handling and serving
difficult. Of course, if the entire melon is simply steamed, the cooked
melon will be homogeneous, however, it would take a longer time to cook.
The top of the melon that is cut off can be peeled, cut into chunks and
put into the soup with the rest of the ingredients or it may be reserved
for another dish.

Source -
MC format by Hallie. Untried.

Contributed to the FareShare Gazette by Hallie; 17 October 2005.

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