Winter melons are used in Chinese cuisine for both sweet and savoury applications. Here, it's twice-cooked into this nourishing soup.
- 500 g winter melon
- 4 cups (1 L) chicken stock
- 8 dried straw mushrooms, rehydrated and chopped
- 12 dried black mushrooms, rehydrated and chopped
- 4 dried large scallops, rehydrated and shredded
- 250 g lean pork, cut into 1-inch pieces
- 2 tbsp minced fresh ginger
- 1 tbsp salt
- ¼ tsp white pepper
Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.
- Cut 1-inch off the bottom of the melon so that it will sit flat. Slice off the top. Set it on the counter. Take out the seeds, and scoop out the flesh, leaving a small amount around the peel to create a bowl. Cut the melon flesh into 1-inch cubes and reserve.
- In a large Dutch oven, bring the chicken stock to a simmer over medium-high heat. Add the rehydrated mushrooms, scallops, pork, and ginger. Cook for 50 minutes, or until pork is tender. Add cubes of winter melon, and bring to a simmer once again. Cook for 6-8 minutes, or until melon is tender. Season soup with salt and pepper, and remove from heat.
- Meanwhile, bring water to a boil in the bottom of a steamer. Place melon bowl in the steamer basket and cover. Cook for 20-25 minutes. Remove from heat. Ladle soup into melon bowl.