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Wax Gourd Pork Ribs Soup [排骨冬瓜湯]

Wax gourd is a very easy to grow vegetable. They can become as big as some 15 kilograms. The was gourd, also called winter melon has a cooling effect on the body, so it is perfect to balance yourself out with when you have eaten too much heat foods like deep-fry snacks. Wax gourd has many other benefits as well, it is said that the Japanese empress Michiko retained her beauty because of the wax gourd (you may add some salt here, because I am sure Shisheido may have had a helping hand there). Wax gourd will take on the flavour of whatever it is cooked in.


  • 500 gram spare ribs
  • 500 gram wax gourd (also called winter melon)
  • 1 small dried cuttlefish (BDMP)
  • 4-5 dried red dates (Golden Lily)
  • 2 liter water
  • salt and pepper to taste


Rinse the spare ribs under cold running water. Bring a pot of water to the boil and blanch the spare ribs. Remove any scum from the ribs. Drain and add 2 l cold water to the ribs and add the cuttlefish and red dates. Bring it to a boil, and once boiled turn the heat down to a simmer.

Cut the winter melon into big dice. Cook the spare ribs till about 80% doneness. Add the winter melon, salt and pepper to the soup, and let it cook for another 20 – 30 minutes. Adjust seasoning and serve at once.

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