The weather is getting warm in NY. I played a round of golf on Sunday, and the humidity was just too much, and I sweated like crazy. Of course, it would be nothing compares to the humidity in Asia in summer. I think the hot weather was making me lose my appetite. I decided to make something more refreshing instead of having steaks or something too heavy. I made Winter Melon Soup. I haven’t made this soup for years. Winter melon has a very mild taste, almost like none. Usually they are sold in pieces or portions because the whole winter melon is so big that no one would buy the whole thing. Winter melon looks similar to a water melon except it is more elongated in shape. I added some dried scallops and dried shiitake mushrooms to add some taste to the soup. Both dried scallops and dried shiitake mushrooms have strong taste. I only used a few of them. I had a big bowl of soup for dinner on Sunday night. It was light and refreshing.
Ingredients (serves 2):
- Winter melon, about 1.5 pounds
- Dried scallops, 3 pieces
- Dried shiitake mushrooms, 3 pieces
- Shrimps, about ¼ or 1/3 of a pound
- Scallions, 2 stalks
- Chicken stock, 6 cups (or you can use 6 cups of water and 1 tsp of chicken powder)
- Cornstarch, 1 Tbsp
- Salt, a dash
- White pepper, a dash (optional)
- Soak dried shiitake mushrooms and dried scallops in warm water for at least 2 hours. You can soak them overnight in the refrigerator as well. Then cut shiitake mushrooms into small strips, then dices. For dried scallops, tear it into really small pieces with your hand. See picture. Put these aside.
- Trim off the green rough skin of the water melon, discard it, only use the white meat. Cut the white part into 1 inch cubes. Put them aside.
- Cut scallion into small pieces. Put it aside.
- Cut shrimp into small pieces (I cut each shrimp into 3 pieces). Put them aside.
- Use a big pot, add 6 cups of chicken stock (or water and 1 tsp of chicken powder) and water melon cubes, dried mushrooms, and shredded dried scallops. Bring it to a boil. Turn the heat down to medium and let it simmer for 45 minutes.
- Add cornstarch in a small bowl, mix it well with 3 tablespoon of water. Add the mixture to the soup. This will thicken the soup a little bit.
- Wait until the soup boils. Add chopped shrimps to the pot. Let it cook for 3 or 4 minutes until the shrimp is cooked. Taste the soup, add a pinch of salt and white pepper if needed.
- Add chopped scallion. Mix it well. Turn off the heat. Serve hot.