Winter melon

What would you do with a half a winter melon? I’ve gotten friendly with a farmstand that specializes in Asian vegetables at the San Mateo Farmer’s Market. The woman who runs the farmstand knows I love bitter melon, and has told me about its health benefits. She probably figured this white guy needed to expand his Asian melon repertoire, so today she gave me half a winter melon, and said, “Try it in soup.”

There are lots of winter melon soup recipes online, and I’m leaning towards a simple one with dried black mushrooms, chicken broth, a little bit of chopped meat, and some slices of ginger.* But — what would you do if someone gave you half a winter melon?

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*Two weeks later: And here’s the recipe I have been using for winter melon soup:

Half of a five pound winter melon, cut into 2 inch pieces (about 2 pounds of melon)
1 quart of chicken broth
1 knockwurst, cut into 1/2 inch circles
8-10 dried black Chinese mushrooms, soaked in hot water for 20 minutes
half a dozen slices of ginger root, peeled, and slivered
salt to taste

Bring the winter melon to a boil in water to cover, then simmer covered for 20 minutes.
Drain the water off.
Add chicken broth, mushrooms, ginger, and knockwurst to the cooked winter melon. Simmer for 20 minutes.

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