Winter melon is also known as white gourd and winter gourd. It is an Asian fruit that is popularly used as an ingredient in Chinese cuisine. It can be cooked in different ways – simmered, steamed, and stir fried. But it is most common in soups. Here are 5 recipes of how you can cook winter melon that you can serve for your family.

Winter Melon Soup with Shiitakes and Speck HamImage Source: tastespotting

Recipe 1: Winter Melon Soup with Shiitakes and Speck Ham

Ingredients:
1 2-pound winter melon (sliced, seeded, cubed)
8 dried shiitake mushrooms
3 quarts chicken stock or vegetable stock
1 1-inch piece ginger (sliced into matchsticks)
salt
a few slices speck ham (sliced diagonally)
scallions (thinly sliced)

Method:
1. Soak shiitake mushrooms in water for about 20 minutes.
2. Drain mushrooms and remove stems. Slice the caps and set aside.
3. Let the broth boil.
4. Add cubed winter melons. Simmer for 30 minutes.
5. Toss shiitakes and ginger. Continue simmering for 5 minutes.
6. Add salt.
7. Transfer soup into serving bowls.
8. Top sliced speck ham and scallions.

Seafood Winter Melon Chinese SoupImage Source: mysabah

Recipe 2: Seafood Winter Melon Chinese Soup

Ingredients:
250g winter melon (skin peeled, pitted, and chopped into small cubes)
250g shrimps (shelled, deveined, and chopped)
dried scallops (soaked in hot water for an hour)
200g fish fillet (chopped)
3 slices of ginger (shredded)
4 tablespoons garlic (minced)
1 onion (chopped)
salt and pepper
2 tablespoons Chinese cooking wine
6 cup chicken or pork broth

5 tablespoons cornstarch (dissolved in 5 tablespoons water)
2 eggs (well-beaten)
drops of sesame oil
green onions (chopped)

Method:
1. Sauté ginger in a pan. Add onion and garlic.
2. Toss in the dried scallop, fish fillet, and shrimps. Continue sautéing until their color changes.
3. Add winter melon cubes. Stir fry once.
4. Pour the Chinese cooking wine. Let the sauce boil and evaporates.
5. Pour broth. Let it boil and simmer for at least 30 minutes.
6. Add cornstarch solution as stir continuously. Let it boil.
7. Pour beaten eggs while continuously stirring.
8. Sprinkle some salt and pepper to taste.
9. Transfer soup into serving bowls.
10. Add drops of sesame oil. Garnish with green onions, and serve.

Recipe 3: Winter Melon Soup with Barley and Goji Berries

Ingredients:
500g winter melon
1/2 cup barley (coix seeds)
150g pork ribs
1 tablespoon goji berry
2 slices ginger
1000 ml water

Method:
1. Wash barley and soak in water for about an hour.
2. Wash goji and soak in water for 20 minutes.
3. Parboil pork ribs with ginger. Remove any excess fats from the meat.
4. Cut and clean winter melon.
5. Bring 1000ml water to boil.
6. Add t pork ribs, melon pieces, barley, and goji into the boiling water.
7. Bring the soup back to boil. Lower heat and bring to a simmer for an hour.
8. Turn off heat. Cover pot and let soup cool for 10 minutes before serving.

Winter Melon Soup with Dried Scallops RecipeImage Source: followmefoodie

Recipe 4: Winter Melon Soup with Dried Scallops Recipe

Ingredients:
2 pounds winter melon
4 dried scallops
4 cups homemade chicken stock
4 dried black mushrooms (softened in water, coarsely chopped, reserve soaking liquid)
2 slices fresh ginger (peeled)
1 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons cornstarch mixed with a 1/4 cup mushroom soaking liquid
1/4 pound shrimp (shelled and deveined)
2 egg whites (lightly beaten)
cilantro leaves

Method:
1. Soak dried scallops in water and cover for 2 hours or more. Drain. Cut into small strings. Reserve soaking liquid.
2. Peel and remove seeds of winter melon. Rinse with water and slice into 1/2-inch cubes.
3. Bring chicken stock to boil in a saucepan.
4. Add winter melon pieces, dried scallop, and the reserved soaking liquid.
5. Add black mushrooms and sliced ginger.
6. Cover and bring to boil over high heat.
7. Lower heat and let simmer for at least 5 minutes.
8. Turn the heat back to high.
9. Add salt.
10. Stir in cornstarch mixture.
11. Add shrimp and egg whites.
12. Sprinkle more salt if necessary.
13. Remove from heat and transfer soup into serving bowls.
14. Sprinkle ground white pepper and cilantro before serving.

Recipe 5: Winter Melon Meatball Soup

Ingredients:
1 pound ground pork
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1/2 bunch cilantro leaves (finely chopped)
3 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons white sugar
2 tablespoons garlic (minced)
2 tablespoons fresh ginger (minced)
2 eggs
6 cups water
2 pounds Chinese winter melon (cut into 1-inch cubes)
3 slices fresh ginger
1 tablespoon salt
1 tablespoon white sugar

Method:
1. Coat pork with cornstarch.
2. Add soy sauce, cilantro, garlic, ginger, and sugar.
3. Pour eggs into the pork mixture. Coat properly.
4. In a saucepan, water, winter melon, ginger, salt, and sugar in a large saucepan.
5. Bring to a boil over high heat.
6. Reduce heat to medium, and let it simmer for about 5 minutes.
7. Form meatballs using the pork mixture.
8. Toss meatballs into the simmering soup.
9. Continue simmering for 10 minutes.
10. Let it cool for 2 minutes and serve.

Winter melon can be only harvested during the cold season. Grab the opportunity to harvest or buy a lot of this fruits whenever available. Take it also a chance to make soups and other dishes like the ones provided on this page. When it is cold, you can warm yourself with a bowl of delicious soup.