Winter Melon Soup (Duong Qua Tong)

Winter Melon Soup (Duong Qua Tong)

Eight Precious Jewels Winter Melon Soup; (Duong Qua Tong)

One of my favourite restaurants was a corner diner in White Rock next to my Deli. I used to dine out for my weekly fix of contemporary Asian soups. I’ve have tried many versions of this great prized Cantonese winter melon soup. These large oval or round melon globes are found in the Chinatown markets and are usually recognizable by the dusty, “frosted” white coating found on the green exterior shell of the melon. My chef friend loved his Winter melon and was seen as nourishing and cleansing to the body. A fresh whole melon is usually steamed with the soup already enclosed with the melon shell acting as a soup tureen. There is no way most home cooks would have a pot large enough to fit the whole melon, so a more practical way is to purchase smaller melon pieces.

You will need;

6 dried Chinese mushrooms

2 pounds winter melon

10 cups low sodium bone chicken broth

1 tbs minced ginger

1/2 cup diced smoked ham off the bone or steak.

1/3 pound raw shrimp, cut into 1/2-inch pieces

1/4 pound Chinese style barbecued pork, cut into 1/4-inch dice

1 small carrot, peeled and finely diced

1/3 cup tinned bamboo shoots, rinsed and cut into 1ž4-inch dice

1/4 pound Dungeness crabmeat

1 egg white, slightly beaten

1/4 teaspoon white pepper

1 teaspoon sesame oil

1 tablespoon light soy sauce

chopped cilantro or green onions, for garnish

Soak the mushrooms in hot water until softened, about 20 minutes. Drain. Discard the woody stems and cut into 1/4-inch dice.

Cut off the melon rind and discard. Remove any seeds and stringy fibres and cut melon into 3/4-inch cubes.

In a large soup pot, bring the chicken broth and minced ginger to a boil. Add the mushrooms, winter melon, ham, shrimp, pork, carrots and bamboo shoots; cover and cook until vegetables are tender, about eight to 10 minutes. Reduce heat and simmer for five minutes. Stir in crabmeat, egg white, white pepper, sesame oil and soy sauce just before serving.

Most delicious. [Serves 6 to 8]