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Winter melon and meatball soup

comfort food meat recipes share meal vietnam winter

Winter melon soup is a comforting and nourishing dish for the cold day. The soft melon slices with the moist and tender meatballs in the light broth are easy to make and perfect for any weekday meal.

There’re two types of winter melon. The round, watermelon like shape, is very big and a little hard to prepare. I prefer the long, green cylindrical one with fine hairs covering the rind, which also called hairy melon or fuzzy gourd. However, the texture and flavour of them are very similar. Just use the one you could find.

Recipe & Photo: Lili Tu

Main Ingredients: 

  • 1kg winter melon
  • 500g pork or chicken mince
  • 2 litres water
  • 2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 2 tablespoons of fish sauce
  • ½ brown onion, finely chopped
  • ½ bunch coriander
  • ½ bunch spring onion 


  1. Combine the mince with chopped onion and 1teaspoon salt, 1teaspoon sugar in a bowl. Mix well.
  2. Peel off the winter melon rind. Half the melon and remove the seeds. Cut them into quarters then slice into 2 cm pieces.
  3. In a large pot, bring the water to a boil. Add in the melon.
  4. Dip a teaspoon in the hot water then spoon the mince mixture and release to the soup. Continue until finish all the mince.
  5. Lower the heat and season with salt and fish sauce to your taste. 
  6. Simmer the soup cook until the melon is softened, approximately 10-15 minutes.
  7. Add the coriander and spring onion after the heat is turned off.
  8. Serve with white rice in a shared meal.

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