I had a kilo of pork spare ribs from which I made a huge pot of broth. There was also a whole winter melon lying around, the last of two, that one of our house helpers got from a worker in the subdivision. The worker harvested the winter melons from his backyard, had more than his family could consume, and was nice enough to offer them to whoever was interested.
chicken and winter melon soup
If the term winter melon does not sound familiar, it is none other than “kudos” yes, the sugar-coated candied delicacy. Contrary to popular belief, “kudos” is not a fruit but a vegetable. The texture is similar to “up”, or bottle gourd, but more watery and more translucent.
I used one winter melon for a soup dish several days ago and reserved the last one because my husband said he had a very good recipe for it. He used a portion of the broth I made with the pork spare ribs to make this winter melon soup. His recipe was very good indeed. Very economical, very tasty, and very filling.
Cut the chicken meat into half-inch cubes. Season with a little salt and pepper. Peel the garlic and ginger. Grate very finely. Add to the chicken and mix, working the spices into the meat. Cut off the skin of the winter melon. Scoop out the seeds. Cut the flesh into one-inch cubes. Place in a large pot and simmer for 20 minutes in just enough water to cover.
Heat the oil in a frying pan. Saute the onion and cook until transparent. Add the chicken meat (including the marinade) and cook until no longer pink. Tip the contents of the frying pan into the simmering pot of winter melon. Pour in the broth, season with patis and more freshly ground pepper, bring to the boil, and simmer for another 20 minutes.
When cooking time is almost up, cut off the root ends of the golden needle mushrooms. Add to the pot, simmer for one minute then turn off the heat. Sprinkle the winter melon soup with chopped onion leaves before serving.