1 winter melon
2 cups of rich chicken stock
4 Chinese dried black mushrooms, soaked in boiling water to soften
5 pieces of dried scallops, soaked in boiling water to soften
1/4 cup smoked ham, diced
1 cup of mixed seafood (shrimps, clams and scallops)
1 cup of fresh mushrooms, diced
Salt and pepper to taste
A large, deep pot for steaming and a steaming rack
1.Wash the outside of the melon. Scoop the seeds and the centre part out and discard.
2.Using a sharp knife cut away the flesh of the melon. You are turning the melon into a deep bowl with walls about 2 inches thick. Chop or dice the cut out bits of melon.
3.Dice the softened mushrooms and break apart the softened scalloped. It will become shreds.
4.Put the melon in a heat-proof bowl.
5.Fill the melon with the chicken soup and add the mushrooms , scallops and chopped melon.
1.Cover the melon with aluminium foil. You might want to put the bowl on the centre of a dish cloth and tie the opposite corners together. This would make it easier to remove the hot bowl of soup from the steamer.
2.Place a steamer rack inside the pot and fill it with enough water to cover the rack by about 2 inches.
3.Place the aluminium-covered bowl on the rack and cover pot. Steam for about an hour. Check that the water has not evaporated too much. Add more water if necessary. It probably will be necessary. The soup is ready when the melon has absorbed the soup and is soft.
4.Add the seafood, ham, chopped melon and fresh mushrooms and steam for another ten minutes.
5.Remove the bowl carefully from the steamer and place on a heat-proof plate. Bring to table and serve.