Pressure Cooker Winter Melon Pork Ribs Soup-Super easy and comforting pork ribs soup is pressured cooked with winter melon and other veggies. Perfect one pot meal for the cooler days.
WINTER MELON IS KNOWN BY MANY NAMES
It is known as 冬瓜 (dong gua) in Mandarin. Some call it winter melon in English. It is also known as ash gourd, ash pumpkin, tallow gourd, wax gourd, or winter squash. There are also many different names in South Asia.
Mature winter melon tastes plain on its own. It has the same texture similar to zucchini or other squashes. The flesh is white in color (perhaps that’s why it’s called winter?). The texture changes to almost transparent once cooked.
I hauled this 10 pounder home for $2 from the farmer’s market and couldn’t be happier.
WHAT CAN I COOK WITH WINTER MELON?
Soup is the most commonly seen usage of winter melon in cooking. Winter melon can also be used for stir-frying, making winter melon tea, winter melon candy, winter melon juice.
HOW TO CUT WINTER MELON?
1. Half the winter melon for easier handling. For really big one like the one I had, I had to cut into 3 sections
2. Use a spoon to scoop out the seeds
3. Peel the skin with vegetable peeler
4. Cut it into desired sizes and shapes according to recipe
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SPECIAL INGREDIENT USED IN THIS RECIPE
CHINESE DRIED BLACK DATES
Winter melon is considered a “cooling” gourd in Traditional Chinese Medicine. My mom likes to add some other ingredients that are considered “heaty” such as Chinese dried black dates (jujube) and also ginger in a soup like this.
PRESSURE COOKER WINTER MELON PORK RIBS SOUP IS PERFECT FOR BUSY DAYS
Other than having to cut the winter melon, which really isn’t hard compare to having to cut up pumpkin or other gourd that has thick skin, preparing this soup is really easy and you can set and forget pretty much. It only takes about 15 minutes of pressure cooking. 30 minutes later you have a comforting bowl of soup that has meat and veggie in there. You just need a bowl of rice 😉
*Recipe is written for 6-quart Instant Pot. Cooking time should remain the same for 8-quart size but will take longer to pressurize. For mini duo (3-quart), I suggest to half the recipe and use the same amount of time to cook*
Pressure Cooker Winter Melon Pork Ribs Soup
- Fresh cilantro leaves finely chopped
- 1 stalk green onion finely chopped
- You can ask the butcher to cut the pork ribs into smaller sections since they have the tool to do so. Bring a pot of water to a boil and then place the pork ribs in there and let it boil for 5 minutes. Drain off water and clean with water to remove any impurities
- Peel the skin of the winter melon, remove seeds, and cut into large chunks, about 2-3 inches chunks. Peel the carrot and cut into large chunks too
Cooking with Instant pot:
- Place the ribs, carrots, winter melon, ginger, black dates, better than bouillon and water in the inner pot of the instant pot. Secure the lid. Turn the steam release valve to seal. Press "pressure cooker" and then "high pressure". Set the timer to 15 minutes
- When the timer is up, wait 5 minutes and then release pressure. Carefully unlock the lid. Be careful of the steam coming out. Season with salt to your taste. Garnish with fresh cilantro leaves and chopped green onion if you like
Cooking on the stove:
- Rinse the pot you boil the pork ribs in earlier. Place the ribs back in there along with other ingredients, except for salt. Bring to a boil and then lower the heat to let it simmer. Cover the pot and let it simmer for the next 45 minutes
- Check to see if the ribs are tender and the winter melon is fork tender. If they are, you are done cooking. If not, continue to cook a bit longer. Season with salt to your taste and garnish with fresh cilantro leaves and chopped green onion