Nourish your body with a nutritious and healthy winter melon soup. This easy to prepare Chinese soup combines winter melon with tofu, Chinese mushrooms, and bean curd sticks.
Every once in a while, I like to try variations of popular soup ingredients, as great flavours and textures can evolve from putting together different combinations of ingredients and condiments in Chinese soups. Here is a winter melon soup, popular in Chinese cuisine, stewed with bean curd sticks, tofu, Chinese mushrooms, carrots, dried scallops and dried oysters.
The taste of winter melon flesh is quite bland, but it absorbs the flavours of the stewing medium beautifully so I always use home-cooked chicken stock when cooking this to enhance the soup’s sweetness and enrich its flavour. Home-made chicken stock or broth is great for just about anything – soup bases, stews, sauces, gravies and flavouring for stir-fries. I always make a stock or broth out of chicken bones and meat that is slow simmered with dried scallops and Chinese kam wah ham, for a much more earthy, robust and flavourful taste.
Winter melon, also known as ash gourd or winter gourd, has cooling properties and is often consumed to clear heat and phlegm from the lungs. It also detoxifies the body, promotes diuresis and reduces inflammation. Traditional Chinese practitioners use winter melon seeds in medications to resolve urinary problems, lower cholesterol and treat kidney disease.
This recipe serves 2 to 3 persons (source with modification: “Healthy Chinese Soups and Drinks” by author Susan Chan).