Winter Melon Roasted Duck Soup 冬瓜燒鴨湯


This very easy to make Winter Melon Duck Soup is so delicious and deeply satisfying.  And gorgeous to look at.  And so easy to make!  Wait,wait…first I must say that I’m not completely convinced it’s a soup rather than a dish.  It’s certainly deliciously soupy.  It’s also most assertively a dish in its own right.  Let’s just call it a superliciously soupy dish then!

This Winter Melon Roasted Duck Soup 冬瓜燒鴨湯 is filled to the brim with tender melt in your mouth pieces of winter melon soaked through with flavorsome duck infused soup as well as delicious bites of succulent tender roasted duck.  For a family dinner it’s both soup and dish in one!  This wonderful soupy dish is perfect for the warmer months as winter melon is super refreshing and cooling to the body.

The first primary ingredient is the winter melon 冬瓜 is a large melon that gets its name from the touch of frosty white that tinges the dark green skin.  Nowadays, however, it is not often that one sees the touch of frost (a natural powdery coating) on these melons.  Not sure why.  Just look for the big dark green skinned melons.  They are sometimes already cut in slices for easier selling.  One slice is enough for this soup.

To prepare just slice the green skin off and remove the spongy center with the seeds.  Then slice into the desired size which for this soup we wanted a dice.

Winter melon has a gorgeous soft melty texture and, best of all, it absorbs the flavors and liquids it is cooked in making it absolutely perfect for soup!

The second primary ingredient is a Chinese pantry staple, the dried shitake mushroom 冬菇 is used for flavoring in this soup.  Intense mushroom flavors rewards the user but you gotta remember to give the mushrooms enough time ahead to dehydrate properly.


I have found that different mushrooms require different amount of time to dehydrate.  For this soup preparation you could use hot water to soak the mushrooms since we are reserving the mushroom soaking water to add to the soup anyways.  Makes dehydration a lot quicker!

A trick I like to use is to cut off the mushroom stems as soon as I can.  These are discarded anyways.  This allows the center of the dried mushroom direct access to the water which helps the dehydration along alot.

Winter Melon, Duck , roasted duck, cantonese, sui aap,Soup,chinese, recipe, 冬瓜燒鴨湯,燒鴨

This is Cantonese roasted duck ‘siu aap’, 燒鴨, bought from one of the many siu lap 燒臘, or siu mei 燒味, shops that are so popular in Hong Kong.  Siu lap shops are a Cantonese specialty where the roasted whole chickens, ducks, geese and sometimes even pigeon are hung in the shop front window to be quartered and chopped to the customer’s order.

Usually roasted duck 燒鴨 is purchased and eaten as a dish in and of itself with a dipping sauce of tart plum sauce.  It’s super tasty, I just love how flavorful duck meat is.  But today we’re using it to flavor our delish soup!

Winter Melon, Duck , roasted duck, cantonese, sui aap,Soup,chinese, recipe, 冬瓜燒鴨湯,燒鴨

We asked the sui lap shop guy not to chop the quarter of duck that we purchased.  Once at home we tore the meat off the bones in as large pieces as possible.  Then all the meat was diced.  

Yummy, might have snuck some of that meat into my mouth as I diced.

Winter Melon, Duck , roasted duck, cantonese, sui aap,Soup,chinese, recipe, 冬瓜燒鴨湯,燒鴨

Here is the bones of the duck.  We gonna reserve that duck bone to flavor our soup.  Yummzy!

By keeping it in a large piece it will be easier to remove from the soup later.

Winter Melon, Duck , roasted duck, cantonese, sui aap,Soup,chinese, recipe, 冬瓜燒鴨湯,燒鴨

The next step is the stir frying of the mushrooms and the wintermelon.  This step is essential to really boost the flavor of the soup.  Just stir fry in some oil until the wintermelon turns translucent.

Now its time to add the stock, water and the duck bones.  Let the soup boil at high heat (important!) for a quarter hour.  Remove the bones (it’s easy as it’s still in one piece).  Add in the diced duck meat, let boil a couple minutes more just to heat up the duck, turn off heat and toss in chopped cilantro and you’re done!

Super easy to make, amiright?  But oh so yummilicious and refreshing it is with its tender bits of flavorsome soup soaked winter melon and deliciously chewy duck and mushroom.  I hope you all like it as much as we do!

Winter Melon, Duck , roasted duck, cantonese, sui aap,Soup,chinese, recipe, 冬瓜燒鴨湯,燒鴨

Winter Melon Duck Soup Recipe

(makes one pot of soup)  Mushroom soaking time: 1 hr  Prep time: 5 mins  Cook time: 18 mins

  • 4 dried shitake mushrooms 冬菇
  • 17.5 oz winter melon 冬瓜, 500g
  • 1 quarter of roasted duck 燒鴨, 17.5 oz/500g
  • 2 tbsp oil
  • 2 cups chicken soup stock, 480 g
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 cup cilantro, roughly chopped with stems separated from leaves
  • salt to taste


Soak the mushroom in hot water for an hour to rehydrate.  Remove mushroom when soft, squeezing extra water out and thinly slice.  Reserve the mushroom soaking water for adding to the soup later on.

Wash wintermelon, then slice off the green skin.  Remove soft bits at the center with the seeds and discard.  Slice into 1/2 inch cubes.  

Debone the duck, trying to keep the bone in one piece.  Reserve the bone for the soup.  Slice the meat into 1/2 inch cubes and set aside.  

Heat wok over medium high heat.  Add in 2 tbsp oil.  Stir fry mushroom for 2 mins, then add in the winter melon and cilantro stems.  Stir fry until melon is throughly cooked, soft and transparent.  

Add chicken stock and water.  Add in duck bones.  Let boil over high heat for 15 mins.  Remove duck bones.   

Add in diced duck and salt to taste.  Let boil 3-5 more minutes.  Turn off heat, add chopped cilantro leaves and serve hot and tasty.  Enjoy !

Superlicious Soups at The Hong Kong Cookery:



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