Saturday, March 15, 2008

Shark Fin Melon Soup



I made this soup today because I haven't tried this type of melon before (I mean I have not cooked it before). My mom-in-law always makes this soup whenever we are back in Kuching.

It's called Shark Fin Melon or Spaghetti Squash (Cucurbita Ficifolia) because once cooked, the melon really resembles shreds of sharksfin! I confirmed this with the lady who sells vegetables at the Lip Sin market. In Hokkien, it is called Shark Fin Melon.



I bought half a melon because I plan to make a pot of soup for 2 meals. The melon is distinguished by its smooth light green and pale green skin. Almost like a watermelon skin. (See how the whole melon looks like from this blog: http://eatzybitzy.blogspot.com/2005/06/sharkfins-in-melon.html)

The melon needs to be peeled and cut into chunks. The part which I didn't really relish was removing the seeds! There's a lot of seeds in this melon, even a chunk has about 4-5 seeds. You can be lazy and skip this part (that's what my vege woman said) or you can be a detailed freak (like me) and pry the seeds out one by one! I did that and it wasn't so bad. Consider it meditative! I plan to germinate the seeds and see what happens though I don't have much of a garden and space is a premium in my apartment.

As with my normal soups, I am using pork bones (blanched in boiling water). Into a pot of boiling water, I add these pork bones, 2 slices of ginger and the shark fin melon (cut into fairly large chunks because smaller chunks tend to disintegrate into the soup). Boil on high heat for 10 minutes, then close the pot tightly and simmer on the lowest fire for 2 hours. Season with salt, pepper and a little sugar. Serve hot.

For vegetarians or at least for people like my husband who doesn't eat real shark fin, this melon is a good substitute!
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