Winter melon has a very mild, sweet taste. It is used in soups and stir-fries, where it absorbs the flavors of the ingredients it is cooked with. A famous Chinese dish is winter melon soup, where slices of the melon are simmered in a broth with Chinese dried mushrooms, ham, and seasonings. In a popular banquet version of the dish, winter melon serves as cooking vessel, main ingredient, and serving dish - the soup is steamed inside a whole winter melon and served that way at the table. Winter melon is also used in sweets, such as Chinese Wife Cake and the Indian treat Petha.
Winter melon can be found in most Asian supermarkets. While whole winter melon may be available in season, normally it is easier to find cut pieces. Placed in a plastic bag in the crisper section of the refrigerator, the melon slices will last for a couple of days.
Winter melon is considered to be a yin or cooling food.
Written by Rhonda Parkinson
Winter Melon Soup
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