Recipe Singapore

Winter Melon Soup Recipe (冬瓜汤)

I love soup and one of the soup that I cooked very often is Winter Melon Soup (dong gua, 冬瓜汤). I find this very apt for current consumer shopping habit as many people are buying more food to stock at home to avoid going out unnecessary during the Circuit Breaker and sliced winter melon can be stored in the fridge up to 1 week.
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The beauty of winter melon is that it is a mildly flavoured ingredient which absorb flavors easily from the ingredients that it’s cooked with. So you can create a very flavoursome yet wholesome soup according to your preferences. It is also believed that this soup aid in digestion, prevent cold and flu, improves urinary problems and it is good to be consumed in our tropical hot weather as it helps our body to counter the heat and humidity.

Prep Time: 15 mins
Cooking Time: 1 hour 30 mins

Ingredients
600 grams winter melon
150 grams pork ribs
2 litres water
1 dried honey date
3 red dates
1cm ginger
pinch of salt to taste

Optional
Dried cuttlefish
Dried scallops
Carrots
Shiitake mushrooms
Chinese ham
1 teaspoon wolfberries

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Instructions
1) Remove rind and seeds from winter melon, and cut into 3cm chunks.

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2) Blanch pork ribs in a small pot of boiling water. Remove the pork ribs once the water boil again. This is a very important step if you want clear soup with no floating scums. So don’t skip this step.

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3) In a pot, add winter melon, honey date, ginger, red dates and optional items such as cuttlefish (optional, cut into tiny strips), dried scallops (soak at least 30 minutes before use)…etc before bringing it to boil.

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4) Add in the pork ribs and boil for 10 minutes before reducing the heat. Cover the pot, and simmer for about 1 hour.

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5) Once the pork ribs are tender and the winter melon becomes translucent, season with salt to taste and serve. If you are adding the wolfberries, you can add in now and simmer for another 5 minutes before serving the soup.

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If you don’t like pork, you can also use fresh chicken carcass or even bone-in chicken breast to replace the pork ribs. Besides cooking over stove, you can also use a pressure cooker or electric rice cooker to cook this. Hazel has shared her Lotus root and peanuts soup recipe on hazeldiary.com, you can check it out as well.

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