During Chinese New Year, I celebrated with friends. One of the soup that I liked was a homemade winter melon soup. It was very delicate and full of flavors. I asked for the recipe and found out it was very easy to make. Here is a recipe I know you all would enjoy. Known as Dong Gua Tang in Chinese. Remember every part of Asian has their own style of winter melon recipe. Some like it with mushrooms and scallops others use a whole chicken just for broth and other recipes calls for pieces of chicken or pork ribs. This is a basic recipe, add whatever you desire and be creative. Simple is best with a clear broth.
In this photo I forgot to add a garnish of sliced green onion and thin slices of ginger. I will make winter melon soup soon and update the photo.
Ingredients: serving for 6
1 whole chicken for broth or use 2 cartons of TraderJoe\’s chicken broth (less sodium)
1 1/2 cup a slice of winter melon cut into small cubes
1 cup cooked ham cured or smoked or chinese cured or smoked ham cut into small cubes Chicken or pork ribs can be substitute instead of ham
3 slices of fresh ginger root round quarter slices
10 red chinese dried dates*
1 tablespoon goji berries* optional
2 green onion cut on the diagonal into 1-inch pieces
white pepper to your liking
If using can broth do not add salt because broth and ham is already salty unless you love salt
*Any dried berries, mushrooms dates should be soak in hot water for about 20 minutes.
In a large pot place the whole chicken and cover chicken in water and TraderJoe\’s chicken broth, even amount of water and chicken broth and cook until chicken is done.
While chicken is cooking prepare your vegetables.
Wash all vegetables. Remove outer melon green skin and scoop out any stringy pulp. Cut melon into small bite size cubes.
Cut cured ham or Chinese cured ham into same bite size cubes, same size as the winter melon.
Peel and cut 3 pieces of ginger into quarter sizes.
Remove chicken from pot, use a strainer to strain the broth until clear.
Pour clear broth into another pot adding winter melon, ham or diced chicken, ginger, goji berries and red dates. Cook until melon is tender. Cooking time is about 18-20 minutes simmering. (do not over cook winter melon into a mush).
Season to taste.
Before serving winter melon soup add a garnish of thinly sliced green onions and thinly sliced ginger
cut on the diagonal into 1-inch pieces. Serve hot.
I ate the dates and goji berries before I took the photo.