It’s sizzling out there! Highs of 40C in the shade, and no relief from this merciless heat!
Other than surviving solely on ice-creams, how else does one cool down?
Salads and fruit – especially watermelon, are abundant, and great meals in this extreme summer heat.
Another way to cool down, from the inside, is to eat cooling summer soups. One such soup is made with the vegetable, dong gua.
Dong gua, 冬瓜 aka winter melon; wax gourd; Chinese water melon, is not as the English name suggests – a fruit. It is in fact a vine growing vegetable. A very large one at that!
Health benefits of Dong Gua:
- It is loaded with vitamins B1, B3 and vitamin C
- Contains minerals such as calcium, sodium, zinc, iron, phosphorus, manganese, copper, magnesium, selenium and potassium
- It contains nearly 96% water
- In traditional Chinese medicine, it acts as a diuretic which reduces swelling
- It’s said to be great for losing weight
Cooling Summer Soup – Chinese Dong Gua (wax gourd)
Servings: 2 – 4
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cooking time: 25 – 30 minutes
- A fresh knob of ginger, peeled and thinly sliced
- A dried bayleaf
- A tablespoon of mixed TCM spices: aniseed,cardamom, fennel, cloves, cassia bark
- 1 heaped teaspoon of salt
- 2 pieces of chicken (any part)
- 250g of dong gua (wax gourd), peeled and seeds removed
- 1-2 litres of filtered water
- Peel, remove the seeds and cut the dong gua (wax gourd) into big chunks
- Pour the 1 litre of water into a deep pot
- Bring to a boil
- Add the sliced ginger, mixed spices and chicken pieces
- Boil on medium high for about ten minutes
- If the water level is very low, add the additional 1 litre of water
- Next, add a heaped teaspoon of salt and carefully add in the dong gua
- Bring to a boil
- Once boiling, reduce to a simmer
- Simmer for 15 minutes with lid on
- Carefully remove the lid
- The donggua (wax gourd) will be soft and translucent
- Allow the soup to cool slightly
- Using a slotted spoon, serve the soup into bowls