Serving
(click to enlarge)

Winter Melon Soup
Vietnam

Serves:
Effort:
Sched:
DoAhead:  
4 soup  
**
2 hrs  
Yes

Vietnamese cuisine is closer to Chinese than Thai cuisine is, and this soup is related to the winter melon soups of China. While only scallions appear in this recipe, Vietnamese are very big on fresh herbs, so don't be afraid to add other herbs at the table. They also often use dried tiger lily buds in the stock.



1-1/2
1
2
5
6
6
1
1/4
------
ar
#
#
in
oz

c
T
t
---
Winter Melon (1)  
Pork Ribs (2)
Ginger root
Onion
Peppercorns
Water
Fish Sauce
Salt
-- Garnish
Scallions
  1. Peel WINTER MELON with your regular vegetable peeler, scrape out the seed mass and cut into chunks about 3/4 to 1 inch on a side.
  2. Separate PORK RIBS. Remove as much fat as possible and cut them into 1 inch lengths. A sharp Chinese cleaver knife driven by a soft faced mallet is perfect for this.
  3. Put Pork Ribs in a pot with plenty of water. Bring to a rapid boil for about 1 minute. Pour out into the sink. Wash the pot, rinse the pork pieces to remove all sludge and return them to the pot.
  4. Crush GINGER moderately with your kitchen mallet. Peel Onion and cut lengthwise into quarters, leaving the root end to hold it together. Toss both in the pot with the pork. Also see Note-4.
  5. Add 6 cups Water to the pan and bring to a boil. Simmer for about 1-3/4 hours.
  6. Fish out and discard Onion and Ginger. Stir in Winter Melon, Fish Sauce and Salt. Bring to a simmer for about 15 minutes.
  7. Ladle into serving bowels. Garnished with thin rings of the green part of SCALLIONS.
NOTES:
  1. Winter Melon:   These are available, usually as large wedges or slices, in just about any market serving an East or Southeast Asian community, and sometimes in Indian markets. For details see our Ash Gourd page.
  2. Pork Ribs:   Use pork spare ribs. Because of the long cooking the cartilaginous parts are fine for this recipe.
  3. Fish Sauce:   This clear liquid is as essential to Southeast Asian cuisine as it was to Imperial Rome. For details see our Fish Sauce - Introduction page.
  4. Variation:   Some Vietnamese lightly char the cut onion and ginger to enhance the flavor.
  5. U.S. measure: t=teaspoon, T=Tablespoon, c=cup, qt=quart, oz=ounce, #=pound, cl=clove in=inch, ar=as required tt=to taste
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