Chinese Wintermelon Soup Recipe

If there’s one thing we missed about living at home, it’s the soup that our parents used to make us. We generally prefer drinking Chinese soup opposed to western soup as it tends to be more light. I don’t think you’ll ever see heavy cream being used in a Chinese soup recipe lol. Surprisingly enough, Chinese soup is pretty easy to make but getting the right ingredients can be tricky.

Before I moved out, I asked my dad to give me his Chinese wintermelon soup recipe. It’s quite common for Chinese people to not follow a recipe and just wing it so he did his best to give me his guestimations when it came to how much of each ingredient to put in. We made this several times now and let’s just say the Chinese dried mushrooms made a huge difference in terms of adding flavour!

Wintermelon Soup

It’s best to let this soup sit overnight to help the flavours really develop. You can still drink this right away and it’ll taste good but it’ll taste even better tomorrow so try to make this a day in advance 🙂

Here’s how we made the soup:

First, gather your ingredients. As you can see, there aren’t that many.

Soup ingredients

There are a few key things to note:

  • Presoak your dried Chinese shiitake mushrooms and dried dates (found in your local chinese supermarket – likely dried soup mix section) in warm water for at least an hour
  • Do NOT throw away the water which it was soaking in. These ingredients released a lot of flavour so do not waste them. Save them for the soup later.
  • Try to have a mixture of pork and chicken bones to make the stock. This will enhance the flavour of the soup

Once you have all those items ready, it’s time to parbroil your chicken and pork bones to get rid of all the impurities. Do this for 5 minutes and then rinse it under cold water. Make sure to give them a good rub to really get rid of all the dirty.

Rinse

After parbroiling the bones, put it back into a large stock pot along with the rest of the ingredients (and the water which the mushrooms and dates were soaking in!) and fill the pot up until all the ingredients are covered. Bring it up to a boil and once boiling, turn it down to a gentle simmer for at least 1 hour.

Soup mixture

Check the soup occasionally and skim off excess foam. After it has simmered for one hour, add salt to taste (~2 tsp). If you have extra piece of meat you want to throw in here, now is the time. Let it simmer for another hour. Season to taste when done. If it’s still lacking in flavour, feel free to add a few teaspoons of chicken broth powder.

To see the measurements for this recipe, see below.

Chinese Wintermelon Soup Recipe

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 2 hours

Total Time: 2 hours, 15 minutes

Yield: 8-10

Ingredients

  • 3 lbs wintermelon, peeled and chopped into thick chunks
  • 2 - 2.5 lbs of chicken and pork bones
  • 6 dried Chinese shiitake mushrooms, soaked in warm water
  • 4 dried dates, soaked in warm water
  • 16-20 cups of water (or until all your ingredients are covered)
  • salt to taste
  • chicken broth powder to taste (optional)

Instructions

  1. Parbroil the pork and chicken bones for ~10 minutes. Rinse off all impurities.
  2. Return the bones into a large stockpot and add the remaining ingredients, including the water which the dried mushrooms and dates have been soaking in.
  3. Bring the pot up to a boil. Once boiling, bring it down to a gentle simmer for 1 hour. Check the soup occasionally to skim off excess foam.
  4. After an hour, salt to taste. Add extra meat now if you want to. If not, continue to simmer for another hour.
  5. Once done, salt to taste and add a few teaspoons of chicken broth powder if you feel it is necessary.
  6. For best results, let sit overnight 🙂
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