5 January 2009 9,704 views 7 Comments
Ingredient Name: Winter melon, white gourd, or ash gourd
Traditional Chinese Name: 冬瓜 (dōng guā)
What is this?
Winter melon is actually a vine grown fruit that is eaten as a vegetable
The melon itself can grow to be very large, hitting 1-2 m in length and 30 pounds at full maturity
Both young and mature melons are used in Chinese soups
It is commonly used in dishes, stews, steamed and soups
People drink fresh melon juice
It is quite popular in Hong Kong to use baby wintermelon (see picture below) in soups
How do I prepare it?
For the simple winter melon soup, you simply wash the melon, peel it and cut into large cubes
If you’re making the fancy winter melon soup, you will need to carve out the WHOLE melon and double boil it as a soup
Where can I buy this?
You can purchase fresh winter melon at most Asian supermarkets – they will be cut into manageable sizes and packaged
In Hong Kong wet marts, you can purchase it by the weight, requesting the vendor to cut the amount you wish directly from the whole melon
What is the cost?
- A large slice of melon, roughly 1/2 pound in weight costs around $1.50 – $2.00 CAD
- Winter melons are known to remove heatiness and helps detoxify the body
- It is ideal in removing phelgm from the lungs
- It is also particularly effective in regulating blood sugar levels
- The winter melon skin can also be boiled/eaten for someone with heat stroke or edema due to heat
- Since it is a cooling food, it should be carefully consumed if pregnant (less than 3 months into term) or menstruating (can cause contractions)
- If someone is experiencing diarrhea or loose stool, they should avoid consuming the winter melon seeds
The winter melon can typically be stored for up to 12 months
You can also consider using baby wintermelons (whole)
Organic baby wintermelon costs $60 HKD each (not cheap for a melon)