Enjoy a simple Chinese soup of hairy gourd with dried scallop, stewed in chicken or pork broth with sweet Chinese red dates.
If you love classic Chinese soups stewed with old cucumber or winter melon, you should also add hairy gourd to your list. This is a simple and easy recipe for hairy gourd with pork ribs and dried scallop soup.
Hairy gourd is popular for its delicate, mild and sweet flavour. Often, you’ll find this vegetable in Chinese stir-fries. When stir-fried with garlic, dried shrimp and bean thread noodles or vermicelli, hairy gourd is savoury, juicy and delicious.
About hairy gourd
As a variety of the gourd family, hairy gourd is also often referred to as hairy melon, fuzzy melon or mo gwa in Chinese. Its appearance has characteristic fine hairs on its skin and a lovely colour that resembles a muted shade of jade green.
It is similarly shaped like the old cucumber. But unlike old cucumber and winter melon, its seeds need not be scooped out or removed prior to cooking.
Health benefits of hairy gourd
In traditional Chinese medicine, hairy gourd has many cooling properties.
- Regularly consuming hairy gourd aids the body to expel heat.
- This vegetable helps detoxify the body and promote diuresis, as well as reduce inflammation.
- Hairy gourd is also nutritionally useful as a rich calcium source.
About this hairy gourd soup
Here, hairy gourd is slow stewed with dried scallops, which are believed to have anti-cancer properties.
I usually save the more expensive, good quality, large scallops for a soup like this. My favourites are those sourced from Japan. Scallops have a sweet umami flavour and aroma.
The smaller and more inexpensive variety of scallops can be used for homemade stocks and broths.
But regardless of size, dried scallops do make the soup in this case, so be sure to add them in!
However, something to take note of when cooking hairy gourd in soups. I always remove the seeds for a more pleasing presentation, especially if serving this soup to guests!
Because during the stewing, the seeds will loosen as the flesh softens and start to float everywhere. They are edible, of course, but just looks messy and unappetising. Unless, you don’t mind it one bit!
Here are more Chinese soup recipes you might enjoy:
- Watercress with Honey Dates and Pork Ribs Soup
- Chinese Water Chestnut Soup
- Black Beans with Pork Soup
- Double-Boiled Herbal Chicken Soup
- Daikon Radish with Chuan Bei Soup