Winter Melon with Chicken and Mushrooms Rice Soup

by | Dec 28, 2022 | NEW 5, Quick Boil Soups, Soups for Children, Summer Soups | 0 comments

Soup Name:

Winter Melon with Chicken and Mushrooms Rice Soup

Chinese Name:

冬瓜雞湯飯 (dōng guā jī tāng fàn)

 

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Sometimes, you just want something simple, something warm, something soupy, but all-in-one.  

There’s a concept called “Soup Rice” in the Chinese food repertoire that basically is any type of rice served with a soup.  It’s quite popular in the Chiu Chou-style (where my mom is from, so we ate it all the time).  It’s different from congee because congee is boiled rice, but this is literally a scoop of rice dropped into soup.

 

“Soup Rice”, aka 湯飯, comes with a variety of soups!  It is also known as “Pao Fan” (泡飯) and is commonly found in Singaporean, Taiwanese, Japanese, and Korean cuisine (on top of Chinese).  Pao Fan itself means submerged rice, so theoretically, rice submerged in sauce, liquid, or toppings.

Did you know that the soup rice was traditionally served during the rice harvest season and made into large pots to serve the village? It was also seen as food of the poor. These days, soup rice can be found in many cuisines in Asia with a variety of soup bases, included lobster, dried fish, and a variety of vegetables!

Actually, most soups can be made into soup rice.  In general, there’s some protein, some vegetables, and a soup base. 

This is a simple chicken, mushrooms, with winter melon soup in rice.  The Chinese celery is to add a little more elevated flavors and the ginger is to balance the cooling winter melon, although that’s optional.

Serve up the soup as one giant pot on the table.  Then everyone can have rice in large bowls and ladle their own soups and ingredients inside!  So warming, so yummy!

 

What’s involved?

Prep time: 15 mins

Cook time: 30 mins

Total time: 45 mins

Serves: 6 servings

Ingredients
  • 4 chicken thighs, chopped
  • 1 large slice of winter melon, peeled and largely cubed
  • 5-6 fresh shiitake mushrooms
  • 2 stalks of Chinese celery
  • 5 slices of fresh ginger
  • Chicken or beef broth stock
  • 2L of water
  • 3 cups of rice, cooked in rice cooker
Cooking Instructions
  1. In a shallow pan, you can pan-fry your chopped chicken thighs (skin down) to brown the skin.  You don’t need to add oil as the skin will naturally release oils.  Brown until crusted over and set aside.
  2. Begin to boil your soup water
  3. Prepare your winter melon by skinning and cutting into large cubes
  4. You can also wash and slice your fresh shiitake mushrooms and Chinese celery
  5. Once your soup water boils, you can throw everything into together, including the stock
  6. Boil on medium for 30 minutes
  7. Serve and top with rice!

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