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Winter Melon Soup


Winter Melon Soup Recipe

8 cups water
8 oz pork ribs, cut into riblets
1 1/2 lbs winter melon, cut into small pieces, skin removed
2 dried scallops
6 dried oysters
1 tablespoon dried shrimp, soaked in water water for 10 minutes
1 dried honey date
1 teaspoon white peppercorn, lightly pounded with a mortar and pestle or the back of a Chinese cleaver
Salt to taste, optional


Bring the water to boil in a deep pot. Add the pork ribs and boil for 5 minutes before adding the winter melon, dried seafood, peppers, and honey date. Continue to boil on medium heat for 15-20 minutes before lowering the heat to low. Discard the “foam” at the top of the soup. Keep boiling the soup on low heat for about 45 minutes or so or until the soup is full of the sweet flavor of all the ingredients. Add salt to taste. If you like, you might add some more water and bring the soup to boil before serving.

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26 COMMENTS... read them below or add one

  1. Bernice

    Thanks for sharing this winter melon soup recipe. I often make this soup but find the taste very bland because the winter melon has no taste. Will try your recipe.

  2. Oh I remember this soup in my younger days. My mum used to make them. I usually eat everything and leave the porky bits to her. (I don’t like pork.)
    Anyway, I was just thinking the other day that you should make this because of your fever, my other fav cooling soup is watercress soup. Hope you feel better soon.

  3. Melon soup is also my favorite, Bee! I love dried scallops, gives it sweetness. In Hong Kong, the restaurants serve this inside the melon and when they crack it open, it’s truly heavenly!

  4. Gotta say that winter melon soup is also one my favorites. Besides pork bones, I usually just add dried red dates and gojiberries but have never tried the combination of dried seafoods with this soup. Thanks for the idea!

  5. Sam Pugeda

    I love coming to your site and seeing dishes that seem familiar and yet I know I’ve never had it. This winter melon soup isn’t something I’ve grown up eating, but I would love to try making it now.

    Whenever I feel sick, I make ginger tea (with lots of honey!)

  6. A favorite soup of mine (along with lotus root soup). So easy to make and so comforting. Make mine with alsmost same ingredients, not having tried it with dried oysters. Usually cook it in the crockpot.

  7. Anna M

    I just discovered winter melon!! I’m using it in a homemade sorbet I’m entering in Paula Deen’s cooking contest. It’s going on now, I think there are only a few weeks left to enter. It’s called the Real Women of Philadelphia (like the cream cheese)…I’m using CREAM CHEESE in my sorbet recipe!!! Everyone hop on the band wagon and join me in the competition!

  8. Oh Bee! I love winter melon soup! There was a Chinese restaurant in Madison where I went to college that served it. No fancy dried oysters of course, just lean bits of ham. How authentic is that? Maybe I’ll bust out the dried shrimp and see how it goes. Thanks!

  9. Siew Fong

    Am making this soup now! Thanks for the recipes and i appreciate the instructions on how much time to boil and such as it is always tricky… i can smell it now, i am sure it will be yummy!

  10. Siew Fong

    and… instead of the honey dates, which is very hard to find in where i live, i am using tiny dried figs instead (the ones you can get at wine stores). Hope it turns out good!

  11. Jennifer

    I made this soup today, I used chicken broth that I made myself instead of pork ribs, also skipped the red date and dried oysters. I used 5 scallops and some Chinese ham. I added one tbsp of dried shrimps as per your recipe and it tasted great! Thanks for reminding me of that. Will try out other recipes in your blog too!

  12. Jessica

    Hi thanks for the recipe, I love this soup! Is there a good substitute for the pork ribs? My family doesn’t eat pork (so unfortunate!)

  13. Victoria

    Thank you for sharing your recipes. I bought a whole winter melon a few days ago and been wondering how to cook it like mum. Found your recipe and I can see the ingredients she uses (hers not as fancy as yours with dried oysters & scallops). Love your blog!

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