Tender minced pork filling is stuffed into fuzzy melon (hairy gourd) rounds and then steamed or pressure cooked. An Easy delicious homestyle dish.
FUZZY MELON OR HAIRY GOURD (MAO GUA)
What in the world is fuzzy melon or hairy gourd!! Like its name implies, the gourd is hairy or you can say fuzzy (because of the little tiny hairs) on the outer skin.
Fuzzy melon is related to winter melon (wax gourd), but winter melon is usually not hairy. Fuzzy melon is about the size of zucchini.
HOW TO CUT AND STUFF FUZZY MELON RINGS
1. Peel the fuzzy melon with a vegetable peeler
2. Cut into 1-inch (2.5 cm) rounds and use a spoon to scoop out the seeds. You can hollow it out or leave a bit base at the bottom
3. Dust the hole with some cornstarch and then stuff with the meat filling. Slightly overstuffing on the top
WHAT TO COOK WITH FUZZY MELON
They are very often used by home cooks to make a stir-fry with noodles or other ingredients, soup, and stuffed with minced meat like in this recipe.
SUBSTITUTE FOR FUZZY GOURD
If you can’t find fuzzy gourd where you are, you can definitely use zucchini, winter melon, loofah, opo squash
How To Make Stuffed Fuzzy Melon Rings (Mao Gua)
- 2 fuzzy gourd about 500-600 grams
For the sauce:
- ½ cup Liquid from cooking the fuzzy gourd top up with some chicken stock if you don't have enough
- ½ tsp cornstarch + 2 tsp water
- Salt and sugar to taste
Prepare the meat filling:
- Soak the dried shrimp in warm water for 10 minutes until soft and then finely minced. Add all ingredients for filling and seasonings in a large mixing bowl and use a chopstick to stir the filling in one direction until combined. The filling will be sticky and pasty. Cover and let marinade for about 15 minutes while you are preparing other things
- This step is totally optional but you can taste the meat filling by bringing a small pot of water to a boil and then boil a small pinch of the meat filling and have a taste. Adjust the seasonings to your taste
Prepare the fuzzy melon:
- Peel the outer hairy skin of the melon with a veggie peeler. Cut into about 1-inch (2.5 cm) rounds. Use a small spoon to scoop out the seeds from each round. I didn't hollow through the round, but you can if you want to
- Lightly dust the inside of the fuzzy melon holes with cornstarch. The filling will adhere better. Scoop the meat filling into the holes you created on the melon. Kinda overstuff it a little bit because it will shrink when you cook them. Use the back of the spoon to smooth the top
Cook in the steamer:
- Bring water in the steamer to a boil. Place the stuffed fuzzy melon in a deep steaming dish (as there will be liquid oozing out) and steam for 20-25 minutes or until the meat is cooked through and the melon is soft and turns slightly translucent
- Do not throw away the steaming liquid. Strain this to a saucepan to make the drizzling sauce later
Pressure cook in Instant Pot:
- Pour 1/2 cup of water into the inner pot of instant pot. Place a steaming rack or collapsible steaming rack in. Arrange the stuffed fuzzy gourd on top. Close the lid. Turn the steam release valve to seal. Push pressure cook, high pressure and set the timer to 10 minutes
- When the timer beeps, carefully release pressure immediately. Very carefully remove the stuffed fuzzy gourd onto a serving platter. Do not throw away the liquid that collects under it. We will use it to make the drizzling sauce later
Making the sauce:
- Transfer the liquid to a saucepan. Bring to a boil and have a taste. You may need to season with a bit of salt and small pinch of sugar to your taste. When you are happy with the taste, give the cornstarch solution a stir and pour this into the sauce and stir until the sauce is thickened
- Pour this over the stuffed fuzzy gourd and serve immediately