Winter Melon 冬瓜

The Biggest Melon
A Cold Food for Slimmers

cropped-Winter-Melon.jpegThe Winter Melon (Dong Gua in Mandarin) may be the biggest melon, even bigger than Watermelon.  It can grow as big as 45 kilograms, though the ones found in shops are usually much smaller.

A native of the area around Thailand, Malaya and Java, Winter Melon has been known in China for a long time, since about the fifth century.

Winter Melon

Winter Melon

Winter Melon is considered a “cool” food and is diuretic, good for coughs, phlegm and sore throat and benefits the intestines.  In Ancient China it was said that persons who wanted to gain weight should not eat it, while those who wanted to lose weight should eat it a lot.

Winter Melon has a dark, waxy thick green skin.  The tender white flesh is considered ideal for making soup, which is the way it usually gets used.

Sometimes Winter Melon appears on banquet tables as Winter Melon Pond, in which the Melon is cut open, and additional ingredients such as Duck,, Chicken, Black Mushrooms and others such as Lotus Seeds, Lily Bulbs and so on. The whole Melon is steamed until fully cooked.  It will be served at the table by scooping out the added ingredients and soup and adding pieces of the white flesh scooped out and placed in individual bowls.

Stir-Fried Winter Melon

Winter-Melon, Stir-Fried

Though too delicate for the usual stir-frying, a version of Stir-Fried Winter Melon is available, and can be delicious if carefully prepared, so as not to over-cook.

In addition, Winter Melon is candied as one of the Eight Treasures, a classical Chinese dessert, and appears as the ingredient in some Chinese cakes.

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Winter Melon

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