Winter Melon and Beef and Fish Balls Soup

Winter Melon and Beef and Fish Balls Soup

Winter Melon and Beef and Fish Balls Soup

Soup Name:

Winter Melon and Beef and Fish Balls Soup

Chinese Name:

冬瓜湯 (dōng guā tāng)

 

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Another simple soup with a few ingredients you can pick up at your local grocery or wet mart. The winter melon is usually more readily available during the warmer months in HK, but beef and fish balls are in season all the time (yah, in the frozen section of your friendly supermarket). Use the simplest balls, that being beef and fish balls without any surprises on the inside (Taiwanese styled fish balls usually have exploding surprises, so avoid these). The flavors of the balls (mainly salt and whatever other marinades they use) will seep out and make your soup tasty, so don’t add salt unless you’ve tried it first. You can make this soup in about thirty minutes by simply throwing all the ingredients together. In this case, I separated the peel from the flesh so that the melon could soften quicker. In “old fire” wintermelon soups, I will keep the peel attached – but this is really up to personal preference.

What’s involved?

Prep time: 10 mins

Cook time: 30 mins

Total time: 45 mins

Serves: 6 servings

Ingredients
  • 1 large slice of winter melon, sliced with skin off (but the peel is also boiled as part of the soup)
  • 10 precooked beef balls
  • 10 precooked fish balls
  • 2 L of water
Cooking Instructions
  1. Start boiling your soup water
  2. Wash the winter melon skin and then peel the skin off the winter melon and cube the remaining winter melon flesh
  3. Rinse the beef and fish balls in warm water
  4. When the water boils, throw all the ingredients together
  5. Boil on high for 30 minutes
  6. Serve and enjoy!

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Chicken Feet and Wintermelon Soup

Chicken Feet and Wintermelon Soup

Chicken Feet and Wintermelon Soup

Soup Name:

Chicken Feet and Wintermelon Soup

Chinese Name:

冬瓜雞腳湯 (dōng guā jī jiǎo tāng)

Nature:  Cooling

 

For more videos, visit us on YouTube.

The feet of the chicken are one of the Chinese’s most interesting “unwanted” parts of the chicken (after the bottom parts). It’s so versatile that the Chinese use chicken feet in soups, stews, dim sum and other dishes. I remember back in the days when I was a young lad that my parents would go to the Western super markets and get chicken feet by the bags for a whole dollar.

t’s definitely not as cheap anymore because of the influx of demanding chicken feet eaters, but still an affordable, tasty and collagen packed ingredient. This wintermelon soup is simple to make and if you’re a single gal (or guy) you can make it in a one person pot.

And depending on how soft you like your feet, you can boil longer or shorter.  They are an amazing source of collagen (by the way), which allow for retention of moisture and bounce in the skin!  Dip in soy sauce!  So delicious!

 

What’s involved?

Prep time: 10 mins

Cook time: 60 mins

Total time: 70 mins

Serves: 6 servings

Ingredients
Cooking Instructions
  1. Soak the gingo biloba and lotus seed in warm water for 10 minutes
  2. Rinse and cut off the nails on your chicken feet
  3. In a small pot of boiling water, blanch your chicken feet for 5 minutes
  4. Remove chicken feet from boiling water, strain and set aside
  5. Boil your soup water
  6. When the soup boils, throw all the ingredients together
  7. Boil on high (covered) for 30 minutes, reduce to a medium boil for another 30 minutes (you can continue to boil or use a thermal cooker to keep it hot, as some people love their chicken feet super soft)
  8. Serve and enjoy!

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Wintermelon with Lotus Leaf and Corn in Pork Broth

Soup Name: Wintermelon with Lotus Leaf and Corn in Pork Broth

Traditional Chinese Name:  冬瓜湯 (dōng guā tāng)

Introduction:
There is one particular day in the summer where the Chinese call it the “hottest day of the month”. This is the soup for that day. When I went to the wet market that morning and wanted to make another soup, my veggie vendor told me to make this soup – without a doubt. It’s a cooling, heat-reducing soup for those really stuffy, hot days in the summer.  You can use either pork or chicken (or both) and it may need a bit of salt because all the ingredients are mildly flavored, but it still tastes slightly sweet and natural without the salt.

 

What Ingredients are required?

1 pound of pork shin or pork bones
1 slice of wintermelon, sliced with skin on
2 fresh corn, kernals sliced
70 g of fresh gingko bilobas
70 g dried lily seeds
1 large piece of fresh lotus leaf
2 L of water
salt to taste


How do I prepare it?

  1. Blanch pork in a pot of boiling water for 5 minutes
  2. Drain pork and set aside
  3. Rinse wintermelon and slice with the skin on each piece
  4. (Optiona) Cut corn into large pieces or slice kernals from the cob
  5. Rinse gingko bilobas and lotus seeds into warm water
  6. Start to boil your soup water
  7. When your soup water is boiling, add all the ingredients together (including the kernal-less cobs)
  8. Boil on medium heat for 1 hour and set in a thermal pot for another 3 hours
  9. Serve and enjoy!

Any benefits?

  • This soup is excellent for cooling down the body and heat from hot summer days

Any precautions?

  • Women in their first trimester of pregnancy should avoid as it is an extremely cooling soup and may cause contractions
  • Melon soups are best consumed within same day as keeping melon soups overnight or over an extended period will make the melons sour (and so will your soup!)

Similar soups:

 

Quick Boil Hairy Gourd, Bamboo and Chicken Soup

Soup Name: Quick Boil Hairy Gourd, Bamboo and Chicken Soup

Traditional Chinese Name: 节瓜竹筍雞肉湯 ( jié guā zhú sǔn ji ròu tāng)

Introduction:

To follow other quick boil soups we’ve made recently, here’s another quick soup idea.   Although this soup can be made the traditional way (with a whole chicken and fresh bamboo), if you’re in a hurry, we can suggest some short-cuts, too.  Use chicken pieces to replace the whole chicken and canned bamboo to replace fresh bamboo and you can have a delicious and nutritious soup ready in about 30 minutes — perfect after a long day at work or if the kids are hungry.   Bump up the nutrition levels and the color by adding carrots or corn to your soup.

What ingredients are required?

1  pound of chicken pieces
1 large hairy gourd (a.k.a fuzzy melon)
2 large fresh bamboo shoots, cut into slices (or canned)
2 large carrots (peeled and cut into pieces)
1 L of chicken broth/stock
2 L of water

How do I prepare it?

  1. Pour water and chicken broth together into a large pot and turn on high heat to boil
  2. Wash, peel and slice the hairy gourd into edible pieces
  3. Wash, peel and cut carrots into pieces
  4. Prepare bamboo and cut into slices
  5. When the water boils, add all the ingredients together
  6. Boil on high for 30 minutes
  7. Serve and enjoy!

Any benefits?

  • Removes heat from the body and is mildly cooling
  • Bamboo shoots are an excellent source of fiber, potassium and are high in antioxidants
  • Easy soup to make that is tasty and the winter melon absorbs the flavor of the meat and broth making it very tasty to eat
  • You can substitute the chicken stock with water, but add some salt for flavoring
  • A child-friendly soup

Any precautions?

  • Too much bamboo may be hard to digest (due to the high fiber content)

Vegetarian Wintermelon and Longan Soup

Soup Name: Vegetarian Wintermelon and Longan Soup

Traditional Chinese Name: 冬瓜龍眼素湯 (dōng guā lóngyǎn sù tāng)

Introduction:

A very light and delicious soup appropriate for hot, stuffy summers.  It is refreshing (even though it’s hot) and slightly sweet with all the goodness of natural flavoring and ingredients.   It is a meatless soup and a quick boil, so it’s super easy to make.  Plus, it’s a great base for adding other ingredients such as corn, carrots, onions and I serve it with udon or noodles to make it a meal!

What ingredients are required?

3 fresh carrots, cut into large pieces
2 fresh corn, cut into large pieces
1 large slice of wintermelon, peeled and cut into large pieces
20 pieces of dried longan
2 L of water

How do I prepare it?

  1. Soak dried longan in warm water for 10 minutes (or until soft)
  2. Start boiling your soup water
  3. Wash and prepare wintermelon, carrots, and corn (keep the wintermelon skin)
  4. When soup water boils, add all the ingredients together
  5. Boil on high for 30 minutes
  6. Serve and enjoy!  Salt if necessary.

Any benefits?

  • Oil free soup
  • Excellent source of protein and vitamins
  • Easy to make soup
  • Soup is ideal for hot summers and mildly cooling to relieve heatiness in the body
  • Wintermelon helps detoxify the skin and body and regulates sugar levels

Any precautions?

  • Wintermelon is a mildly cooling ingredient and should be cautiously consumed if in your first trimester of pregnancy or if you’re menstruating as cooling foods intensify cramping
  • If someone is experiencing diarrhea or loose stool, they should avoid consuming the wintermelon seeds