by Grace Young
Fuzzy melon with ginger pork - absolutely delicious!
Mise en place.
Bowl l: Pork, water, scallions, soy sauce, cornstarch
Bowl 2: Ginger
Bowl 3: Fuzzy melon
Bowl 4: Salt, pepper
Bowl 5: Chicken broth, soy sauce
Bowl 6: Scallions
Bowl 7: Sesame oil
I am so glad I persevered in looking for the hard to find fuzzy melon (aka moa qua or chi qua); after two farmer's markets, three produce markets and two Asian grocers, I found the elusive melon at a farmer's market while out on a bike ride.
You may be asking yourself, "What is a fuzzy melon?"
They are part of the gourd family, and look like a large spotted cucumber or zucchini. When very fresh, they have a white fuzz covering their skin (click here for photo) - hence the name. They have a mild flavor similar to a cucumber, and the texture (to me) of zucchini (when eaten raw).
Oddly enough, according to the book Stir-Frying to the Sky's Edge, watermelon rind may be substituted - which I had at the ready, just in case...
I am so thankful the butchers at our upscale market (a term my sister despises - she says it sounds snooty - it's not Safeway, and costs a whole lot more) do not mind me asking for only two ounces of ground pork. They are always so accommodating. I always say I'm going to buy a half pound and freeze the rest in two-ounce increments, but I never do. I so don't utilize my freezer as much as I should.
The wee amount of pork is mixed with some water, scallions, soy sauce and cornstarch. This is stir-fried just until opaque, then transferred to a plate to be added back in toward the end. Next, some oil and ginger are added to the wok, cooked just until fragrant, before adding the wonderful fuzzy melon, along with a sprinkle of salt and pepper. This is cooked for a very short time (about one minute), then the broth mixture is swirled in, the pork is added back in and stir-fried some more just until the liquid has almost evaporated and the melon is tender. The wok is removed from the heat, a bit of sesame oil is stirred into the mixture, then the remaining scallions are added.
Whoala! You have another fabulous tasting dish from the amazing wok guru, Grace Young.
P.S.: When I went back to clean the wok after dinner, the scent was still tantalizing - I wanted to lick the wok clean instead of washing it (I did refrain..).
Got Wok? Got Stir-Frying to the Sky's Edge? No? What are you waiting for?!!!
We are asked not to post the recipes here on our blog. If you would like the recipe, you will find it on page 232 of Stir-Frying to the Sky's Edge, which you can purchase at your local bookstore or find it at your local library. I highly recommend purchasing the book - you won't be disappointed.