Monday, March 9, 2015

Winter Melon Soup with Ham and Shiitake Mushrooms

     Light, Savory And Satisfying!
     Winter Melon soups are very pleasant tasting and healthy.  The flavor of Winter Melon is uniquely light and savory.  Winter Melon Soup is renowned for being perfect for weight loss dieting.
     Winter melon can grow to a huge size that exceed 3 feet in length!  Asian food markets usually sell portioned sections of winter melon that weigh 1 to 3 pounds.
     There are several varieties of shallot.  Many shallots are not in the onion family of plants.  Shallot varieties are commonly used in many regional Thai and Chinese recipes.  As one can guess, many Asian shallot varieties are sold at food markets in Chinatown!
     Winter Melon Soup with Ham and Shiitake Mushrooms:
     This recipe yield 1 large portion of soup!
     Step 1:  Cut the seeds and rind off of a 10 to 12 ounce piece of Winter Melon.
     Cut the winter melon into large bite size cube shaped pieces and set them aside,
     Step 2:  Heat a sauce pot over medium/medium low heat.
     Add 1/2 teaspoon of sesame oil.
     Add 1/2 teaspoon of vegetable oil.
     Add 1 minced garlic clove.
     Add 1 teaspoon of finely chopped shallot.
     Add 1/2 teaspoon of minced ginger.
     Sauté till the garlic and ginger become fragrant.
     Step 3:  Add 2 1/2 cups of light chicken broth.
     Raise the temperature to medium/medium high heat.
     Bring the broth to a gentle boil.
     Step 4:  Add the reserved winter melon.
     Add white pepper and sea salt.
     Gently boil the soup till the edges of the winter melon pieces start to turn clear and translucent.
     Step 5:  Reduce the temperature to medium low heat.
     Add 2 to 3 small shiitake mushrooms that are cut into bite size pieces.
     Add 1 to 2 ounces of long thin sliced ham strips.
     Simmer the soup, till the winter melon pieces turn from opaque to a clear translucent color.
     Step 6:  Ladle the soup into a soup bowl.
     Sprinkle a few thin bias sliced green onion slivers on the soup.
     Winter Melon Soup is one of my favorites!

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