Winter melon soup is considered a ‘Yin’ food in China, meaning once consumed, it helps to reduce the heat in one’s body. This Yin food is a very popular dish in Chinese culture. Although its main ingredient- the Chinese winter melon, is now cultivated more or less all over the world, the soup itself is mostly consumed by Chinese people. And since this winter melon tastes very mild by itself, it doesn’t quite add to the flavor of the dish you put it in. But what it does is that it absorbs all the flavor surrounding the dish. For example, if you chop it up and use it in your soup, it’s going to absorb the spices and flavors of the soup. And as mentioned earlier, this soup being a Yin food makes it perfect for summertime.
How to make winter melon soup:
To make Winter melon soup, keep in mind that the extra ingredients one adds to the dish always vary from person to person. For example, those ingredients that people most commonly add to their soup are meatballs and dried squids.
But for the sake of keeping this recipe simple and minimalistic, let’s begin with the primal approach to making this soup.
Here’s a list of the ingredients you will need:
- Winter melon
- Pork ribs (May not be necessary if meatballs or dried squids are added)
- Glass noodles (Optional)
- Red dates/ Honey dates
- Goji berries. Also known as Wolfberries
- Ginger (Optional)
- Cilantro (Optional)
Now we’ll be moving on to the process of making our dish. Here are some easy steps to help you understand the method better:
5 Steps to Make Water Melon Soup at Home
Step 1: Prepare your Winter melon: Peel off its skin and remove its seeds. Then chop its flesh however you like. For best absorption of flavors, chop them into cubes of about 2 inches.
Step 2: Cut the carrots and ginger (if used) into small pieces.
Step 3: To blanch the pork ribs, bring them to a boil and wait for about 5 minutes before getting the ribs out.
Step 4: Put together all the winter melon cubes, blanched pork ribs, glass noodles, dates, and carrots. Pour water and 1 tablespoon of an oil of your choice and bring them all to a boil. Once the boiling starts, turn down the heat to let them simmer and put the lid on. While it can be difficult for beginners to understand when to turn the heat off, the trick is to stop once the winter melon cubes start looking semi-transparent. And the way you can check your pork ribs is to poke them with a fork.
Step 5: Once the pork ribs start to feel tender and the melon cubes start to look semi-transparent, add your desired amount of salt, Goji berries, ginger, and cilantro. Now turn the heat back up and bring them all to a boil once again. Once the boiling starts, turn off the stove. Usually, it takes about 50 minutes for all the ingredients to soften up and the winter melon cubes to absorb their flavors.
There you have your recipe for Winter melon soup in 5 easy steps. Remember to not leave it around for too long only to let it cool down because soup is a dish best served hot.
Health benefits of Winter melon soup:
We have already learned that due to the Winter melon’s ability to reduce heat in the human body, its soup can be a very comforting dish during the summertime. But since the soup itself is a very hot dish, it’s no less than perfect for winter as well. But here are some of its health benefits other than it just being a comforting or cooling dish:
- Winter melons are a great source of dietary fibers. Dietary fibers have several benefits for the human body. Not only do they reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes, but also lower blood pressure which eventually lowers the risk of heart diseases.
- Winter melons are high in both Vitamin B1 and B2 that help the human body to gain energy through food.
- Winter melons are rich in potassium, a mineral that all the tissues in our bodies need.