Recipe: Winter Melon Soup - Canh Bí Đao

By Helen Le Published: September 1, 2014

  • Prep: 15 mins
  • Cook: 10 mins
  • Ready In: 25 mins

  • Yield: 4 Servings

  • Use a pair of scissors to trim off the tip of the head and and some of the front legs. Then peel off the shell. You just have to peel the upper part of the shrimp, then just hold and press the tail and the lower part of the shell will just slide off. Or you can use everything including the skin and and the head.
  • In a mortar and pestle, add the shrimps, 1 shallot, 1/4 tsp salt and pound it slightly. Then add 1 tsp fish sauce, 1/4 tsp pepper.
  • Peel and cut the winter melon into 2-inch pieces. Remove the soft part in the center with the seeds. You want to trim off the edges so that when you slice it, its slice of winter melon will not have a sharp corner. Slice into a thickness of about 1/6 of an inch.
  • In a saucepan, add 2 tsp of vegetable oil and fry some of the shallots until fragrant. Then add the shrimps and stir fry on high heat until they turn orange. Then add 1 liter of 4 cups of hot water. (Adding hot water will help to reduce the fishy smell of the shrimps and also prevent overcooking them)
  • Season the soup with your taste, add about 1/2 tsp salt and 1 tsp chicken stock. Then add the winter melon and bring the soup to a boil again. Winter melon cooks very fast, so as soon as the soup boils again, just turn off the heat. If you use chayote or kohlrabi, you can cook a little longer.
  • Transfer to a large bowl and garnish with some chopped spring onion or cilantro.