The winter melon, also called white gourd, ash gourd, “fuzzy gourd”, or “fuzzy melon”, is a vine grown for its very large fruit, eaten as a vegetable when mature. The fruit is fuzzy when young and has thick white flesh that is sweet when eaten. By maturity, the fruit loses its hairs and develops a waxy coating, giving rise to the name wax gourd, and providing a long shelf life. The melon may grow as large as 3 feet. The fully grown crop is not sweet.
Originally cultivated in Southeast Asia, the winter melon is now widely grown in East Asia and South Asia as well.
Winter melons are a good source of vitamin C, vitamin B3 and potassium and an excellent source of vitamin B1. They have high water content are relatively low in calories, and also fat and cholesterol free.
Winter melon gives us an excellent supply of distilled water that contains the finest mineral elements possible. Consider the winter melon for rejuvenation and alkalinizing the body. It is also beneficial to the as a brain food and in treating respiratory disorders.
Choose mature winter melon with a hard, unblemished rind and full-sized. Avoid fruits that have cracks, soft spots, or dark bruises. Look for a clean and smooth break at the stem. The winter melon can typically be stored for 12 months. Asian markets are the best place to find high quality wintermelons.
Source: wwww.fruitsandveggiesmatter.gov, www.health-care-clinic.org, www.wikipedia.org
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Winter melon soup
2 cups winter melon , cut in 1 1/2-inch pieces
3 cups chicken broth
4 dried Chinese black mushrooms , soaked in hot water for 20 minutes and diced without stems
2 -3 slices ginger
¼ cup cooked ham , diced
salt and pepper
spring onion (for garnish)
Prep Time: 20 mins
Cook Time: 20 mins
Total Time: 40 mins
1. Clean winter melon.
2. Add all ingredients to pot and simmer for about 20 min, until melon is tender.
3. Season to taste.
4. Garnish and serve hot.
Winter Melon Soup With Barley and Goji Berries
500 g winter melon
½ cup barley (coix seeds)
150 g pork ribs
1 tablespoon goji berry
2 slices ginger
1000 ml water
Prep Time: 3 hrs
Cook Time: 2 hrs
Total Time: 5 hrs
1. Wash the barley and soak for about 1 hour.
2. Wash goji and soak for 20 minutes.
3. Parboil the pork ribs with the ginger, trim off any excess fats.
4. Cut and clean the melon.
5. Bring the 1000ml water to the boil, add the pork ribs, melon pieces, barley and the goji.
6. Bring the water and ingredients back to the boil, then lower to a simmer.
7. Simmer for 1 hour.
8. Turn off heat and cover pot and let soup stand for 10 minutes.
Winter Melon Meatball Soup
1 pound ground pork
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1/2 bunch cilantro leaves, finely chopped
3 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons agave syrup
2 tablespoons minced garlic
2 tablespoons minced fresh ginger
6 cups water
2 pounds Chinese winter melon (dong gua), cut into 1 inch cubes
3 slices fresh ginger
1 tablespoon salt
1 tablespoon agave syrup
Prep Time: 30 mins
Cook Time: 20 mins
Total Time: 50 mins
1. Sprinkle pork with cornstarch, cilantro, soy sauce, agave syrup, garlic, and ginger. Mix eggs into pork until completely incorporated and the mixture becomes sticky.
2. Combine water, winter melon, ginger, salt, and agave syrup in a large saucepan. Bring to a boil over high heat, then reduce heat to medium, and simmer for 5 minutes. Meanwhile, form 1 teaspoon-sized meatballs out of the pork mixture. Gently drop meatballs into simmering soup; simmer 8 to 10 minutes more until meatballs have cooked.
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