Margarita's International Recipes
Braised Winter Melon
This winter melon dish is a vegetarian version of Dongpo Pork, one of the most traditional Hangzhou dishes. I made it for my vegetarian daughter, using fuzzy melon, instead of winter melon, as that's all I could find at our local Asian grocery store. It was a failure. My daughter just did not like it (but she's not a fan of cooked vegetables in the first place). I think she probably would have been happier if I'd used tofu instead of melon - the sauce itself wasn't bad. Winter melon may also be tastier.
This recipe, as others I've cooked, call to cover the wok. My wok didn't come with a lid and it's much wider than any of my pans, but I solved this by using a large baking sheet as a lid. It still left a small area open, but it seems to work well enouogh.
Braised Winter Melon
- 1 large winter melon
- 1 bunch scallions
- 2 Tbsp canola oil
- 2" fresh ginger, peeled and cut into thin slivers
- 3/4 cup Shaoxing wine or sherry
- 2 Tbsp light soy sauce
- 1 cup water
- 2 tsp sugar
- pinch of salt
- 1 tsp dark soy sauce
- 1 tsp cornstarch
- white pepper
Peel and seed the melon and cut into bite-size cubes/chunks. Chop white parts and green parts of the scallions separately. Set aside.
Heat oil over high heat in a wok. Add the ginger, the white parts of the scallions and 1 Tbsp of the green part of the scallions. Stir fry for one minute. Reduce heat to medium-high, add the melon and stir-fry for 3 minutes.
Add the Shaoxing wine, light soy sauce and water, stirring well. Stir in the sugar and salt. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to medium-low, cover and simmer until the melon is tender, about 15 to 20 minutes.
Meanwhile, mix the soy sauce with the cornstarch. When the melon is tender, add this mixture to the wok, raise heat to high and stir-fry for a minute. Season to taste with additional salt and white pepper. Garnish with the rest of the chopped scallion.
Adapted from Chen Leilei 's recipe as adapted by Laura McCandlish at NPR.org
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