Homemade Dong Gua Tong – 冬瓜湯

Wintermelon Chinese Soup

In my family, most of my Chinese soups begin with the same base, and for the most part, this soup is no exception.

1 lb of pork bones
1 slice of dong gua
5 or 6 dried shiitake mushrooms
3 tablespoons of dried shrimp
1 or 2 dried scallop
2 tablespoons of ginger
2-3 carrots
1 piece of dried orange peel

It is good to rehydrate all the dry ingredients a few hours ahead if you can. If not, it’s not a big deal as it all cooks together and will soften.

First, take a pot of boiling water and cook the pork bones in the pot of water. Then, when it’s cooked through (or most of it), rinse it with cold water and place into a soup pot.

In a the soup pot with the cooked pork bones, place peeled carrots which is cut into large chunks, dong gua into chunks as well – which I usually leave the peel on as well, so make sure you clean everything, and the ginger! Then, I place all the dry ingredients into the pot and fill it up with cold water.

Once the water boils, reduce the heat to low and let it simmer for at least 3 hours. The longer you let it simmer, the more flavours get developed into the soup. When you’re ready to enjoy, skim the fat off the top and add some salt to taste! Then, serve and enjoy this refreshing winter melon soup!

This particular time, we bought the edge of the dong gua and my other half decided it would be fun to make a bowl out of it as a dong gua zhong – winter melon pot. If you’re doing this properly, you steam the soup in this bottom piece and it then acts as a serving platform. Here, we just carved it and he used it as a bowl.