Saturday, August 21, 2010

Winter Melon Soup/Toong Kua Tong

This summer has been hot, so this is a common summer soup to relieve heatiness and cool down the body. My maternal grandma - Ah Poh is Cantonese, so drinking soup is important to my cantonese part in me.  My Ah Poh does not know how to even boil a pot of water, she had a 'Mui chai' who came along with her when she got married.  I later found out that  was why i had 2 'Tai Yee Mah' cos Ah Poh had considered her as her daughter.  Although Ah Poh did not know how to cook, she was an expert in criticising all foods served.  She had been branded with the saying - 'Hue Than mng hue cheong".  I remembered that she reminded my mother that a little piece of 'Tai Tau Choy' had to be added to Winter Melon Soup to enhance the flavor of the soup.  There are a variety of additions you can add to make this soup flavourful and unique and 'Tai Tau Choy' is a must for me.


1 slice Winter melon (based on the diameter of 8″ and thickness 2″)
1 lb Pork ribs
8-10 pcs Red dates - pitted
5 or 6 dried shitake mushrroms - soak
1 piece  tai tau choy - soak and wash away the salt
3-5 pcs Dried oysters/dried scallops/dried octupus/dried squid - soak
Salt to taste


Put pork ribs in the pressure cooker and put in enough water to cover the ribs.  Bring it to the boil and conitinue to boil until all the scums rise to the surface.  Remove all the ribs and wash away all the scums.  Discard the water in the pressure cooker and wash preassure cooker really well.

Cut winter melon into small cubes of 1″ (remove seeds and skin)

Put cleaned ribs back to the pressure cooker together with the rest of the ingredients except the salt.  Put in the water that mushrooms and dried octupus were soaked.  Top up with more water until it is enough to cover the ingredients.  Close the lid of the pressure cooker and pressurized for 30 - 45 minutes, counting from the time the pressure cooker starts hissing.

Turn off heat when cooking time is over and let the pressure released by itself before opening the lid.

Taste the soup before adding salt as tai tau choy can be very salty.




LimeCake said...

i make soups like this all the time. hearty and delicious, and remind me of home.

Mary said...

What a wonderful hearty soup. It looks delicious, Lily. I hope you are having a great day. Blessings...Mary

Anonymous said...

Can you post a picture of what tai tau choy is? I am sure if I saw it, I would know what it is.


Red Sister said...

My son who is working in HK becomes more like HK residents likes to drink soup. I am more like cantonese being looked after by the Cantonese Mah Chai.I like Tai Tou choy but my children did not fancy that. Maybe I should try this soup. Very delicious and good for hot weather.

Olivia said...

My grandma makes daikon cake (lo pak ko) using ta tau choy but i never knew what it actually looks like. Do you have a photo of it? Thanks.

Anonymous said...

Hi, MIss Lily
I love this winter melon soup, reminds me of my AhMah Nai Nai, how I miss every soup of our homeland. Simple and delicious.

lilyng said...

olivia and anonymous

i used my last piece of tai tau choy for this soup. Will get some from the asian store and then take some pictures.

kaosuelin said...

Hello Miss Lily,

Is tai tau choy same as tong choy?

lilyng said...


tai tau choy is preserved/salted kohrabi and tung choy is made from nappa cabbage

Cakebrain said...

I just made wintermelon soup today too! It's great. I think yours looks much more appetizing though!

Radu said...


I would like to propose a link-exchange. If you are interested please send me an email at for details. Have a nice day.

lilyng said...


Can you give me the link to your blog so that i can review it cos i will only link blogs which are food related only

Anonymous said...

If you don't have a pressure cooker, would you just simmer it on the stove for a few hours?
I've never used a pressure cooker nor do I own one.

Thanks! Your posts are very inspiring.

lilyng said...


like any soups, the longer you simmer the better the soup - the cantonese call it 'low fore tong'

sayed said...

From what I've seen so far, this looks very good.

Anonymous said...

I am just using a soup paste Boullion instead of the ribs and all of that, how many cups of water is this supposed to go in and how many does it serve?
Thank you!

lilyng said...


when making soup, i like to make it with just enough of water/stock to cover the ingredients that go into the soup. The servings in the ready to drink soup depends on the method used - like stovetop soup pot or the pressure cooker. If the soup has evaporated jut top with water and bring it back to boil and adjust the taste. In your case, check with the instruction which comes with the boullion, do not add too much water in the beginning, adjust the taste at the end, with either salt or water

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