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Braised Winter Melon

Braised Winter Melon


  • 1½ pounds (700 grams) winter melon
  • ½ teaspoon dark soy sauce, plus more as needed
  • ½ teaspoon potato starch
  • 3 tablespoons Scallion Oil or vegetable oil, divided
  • 1 (2-inch) piece (15 grams) unpeeled fresh ginger, cut into thin slices
  • 1 star anise pod
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon vegetarian oyster sauce
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • ½ cup unsalted stock of any kind or water Kosher salt
  • 1 scallion, green part only, thinly sliced, for garnish (optional)

Serves 4


With a sharp knife, trim the peel from the winter melon and cut out the frosty inner core and seeds. Cut it into chunks ½ inch thick and 1 inch wide, and toss with the dark soy sauce. Let sit for 10 minutes. Combine the starch with 1 tablespoon cold water in a small bowl. Heat 2 tablespoons of the scallion oil in a wok over medium heat until shimmering. Immediately reduce the heat to low, add the ginger, star anise, and bay leaves, and gently stir-fry until aromatic, about 3 minutes. Turn the heat to high, add the winter melon pieces, and stir-fry until the edges take on a translucent, softened quality and are beginning to caramelize on the wok’s surface, about 3 minutes. Add the soy sauce, oyster sauce, sugar, and stock and bring to a boil. Cover, reduce the heat to maintain a simmer, and cook for 8 to 10 minutes more, until the winter melon is buttery and tender but still holds its shape. If you want, you can add a tiny amount of additional dark soy sauce (¼ to ½ teaspoon) to deepen the color. Taste and season with salt as needed. Finally, give the starch slurry a whisk and pour it into the wok, stirring continuously so that the liquid thickens into a glossy sauce. Transfer to a serving dish and scatter the scallion greens (if using) on top

Recipe from The Vegan Kitchen Cookbook by Hannah Che

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