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WINTER MELON SOUP

Ingredients:
Pork loin - 115 g
Good quality smoked ham - 115 g
Dark chicken meat - 115 g (skinned and boned)
Chicken stock - 4 cups
Water - 2 cups
Dry sherry - 2 tbsp
Winter melon - 450 g (peeled and seeded and cut into 1/2 inch pieces)
Salt - 1 tsp
White pepper - 1/8 tsp
Fresh ginger root - 1 1/2 tsp (minced)
Crab meat - 115 g (shredded)
Mushrooms - 115 g (cleaned and thinly sliced)
Dried lotus seeds - 60 g

Method:

  • Blanch pork, ham and chicken in 1 quart boiling water for about 5 minutes. Drain and cool. Cut the pork, chicken all but 1 tbsp ham into 1/2 inch pieces. Mince reserved tbsp ham to be used for garnish later.
  • Pour chicken stock and water into a 5-6 quart pot. Add sherry, diced pork, chicken, ham, and melon. Season with salt, pepper and minced ginger root. Bring to a boil, lower heat and simmer, partially covered for 10 minutes.
  • Stir in shredded crab, sliced mushroom, and lotus seeds and simmer 10 minutes longer serve in heated soup bowls, sprinkled with minced ham.
  • For more festive occasions, serve out as whole steamed winter melon. Cut the top from melon and clean inside; decorate melon if desired. Set melon in a heatproof bowl on a rack in a large kettle. Have enough water in the kettle to reach the upper rim of the bowl. Steam for about 1 hour, then remove bowl from kettle. Fill melon with soup.
  • To serve, cut slices of melon from the top edge and ladle soup over them.
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