Friday, May 26, 2006

Winter Melon Pork Ribs Soup

Winter Melon Pork Ribs Soup
(冬瓜排骨汤)

Intro:
In the summer months, the Cantonese are known for their nutritious soups that help combat the humidity and heat. Here is a very common and simple recipe for the winter melon pork ribs soup. Of course, to begin, you need to figure out if you actually have all the necessary tools and ingredients.

Tools:
-sharp knife for cutting melon and ribs
-clay soup pot (砂锅)


Ingredients:
-winter melon (冬瓜). A small wedge that Asian food markets sell is plenty. Winter melons are usually enormous. There's no way you'd finish a whole melon.
-water (enough to fill 3/4 of the claypot)
-salt. about 2 and a half tablespoons, add to taste.
-pork ribs. Try to find lean ones as the fatty kind tends to grease up the soup too much.
-fresh ginger slices (optional)

Notes:
I have attached a photo of a wedge of winter melon and claypot for your reference. Many people like to peel the skin off, but the real way to make this soup is to leave the skin on, but wash off the dirt. The seeds should be left off although I've read that keeping them in is fine as well.



Directions:
1. Wash the ribs briefly, separate them into individual pieces.
2. Wash melon, then cut into medium pieces (about 3 inches long and 1 inch thick). If you cut them too small they will melt into the soup. But if you cut them too big it'll be hard to eat.
3. Slice up a bit of ginger. 3 or four small slices should be plenty.
4. Put ribs in pot with water, let boil. Once it boils, use a ladle to get rid of the fat that appears on the surface.
5. Put melon pieces and ginger into the pot, boil again, then take it down to medium temperature, let simmer for 1 hour.
6. Add salt to taste.
7. When soup is ready, winter melon should turn somewhat transparent and soft.

End result:

1 comment:

ying said...

hmmm one of my favorite soups!