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This quick and easy winter melon stir fry uses Chinese dried shrimp to add a super umami flavor. It’s a perfect side dish to add texture, flavor, and nutrition to your dinner table. {Gluten-Free}

Winter Melon Stir Fry

This quick and easy winter melon stir fry uses Chinese dried shrimp to add a super umami flavor. It’s a perfect side dish to add texture, flavor, and nutrition to your dinner table. {Gluten-Free}
Prep Time: 5 mins
Cook Time: 10 mins
Total Time: 15 mins
Course: Side
Cuisine: Chinese
Keyword: home style
Servings: 4 servings
Author: Maggie Zhu

Ingredients

  • 1/2 carrot , cut into 2x1/2” (6x1 cm) batons (about 4 oz) (Optional) (*Footnote 1)
  • 1 1/2 lbs (680 g) winter melon , peeled and cut into 2x1/2” (6x1 cm) batons
  • 1 tablespoon peanut oil
  • 2 tablespoons papery shrimp (*Footnote 2)
  • 2 cloves garlic , minced
  • 1 long green pepper , sliced (Optional) (*Footnote 3)
  • 1/2 teaspoons mushroom powder (or chicken powder) (*Footnote 4)
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt (or to taste)

Slurry

  • 1/2 teaspoon cornstarch
  • 1 teaspoon water

Instructions

  • Combine the cornstarch and water in a small bowl. Stir to mix well and set aside.
  • Prepare a large skillet and add about 3” (8 cm) of water. Bring to a boil and add a pinch of salt. Add the carrots and boil for 1 minute. Add the winter melon and boil for another 1 to 2 minutes, until slightly softened but not yet translucent. Drain the cooked vegetables and rinse with cold water to stop the cooking. Drain again and set aside in a big plate.
  • Return the pan to the stove and wipe clean with a paper towel. Add the oil and heat over medium heat until hot. Add the papery shrimp. Stir and cook until the shrimp turn golden, 1 minute or so.
  • Add the garlic and stir a few times to release the fragrance.
  • Add the pepper. Cook and stir for 1 minute.
  • Add the blanched carrot and winter melon, mushroom powder, sugar, and a pinch of salt. Stir and cook until the seasonings are evenly distributed and the winter melon turns tender but is not falling apart, 1 to 2 minutes.
  • Stir the slurry ingredients again to fully dissolve the cornstarch and pour it over the vegetables. Stir gently until the sauce thickens slightly, 1 minute or so. Carefully taste the winter melon and add more salt, if needed.
  • Serve hot as a side dish.

Notes

  1. I added the carrots to add color. This recipe will still work if you use only winter melon and skip the other vegetables.
  2. I prefer to add a ton of papery shrimp to add a strong flavor. If you do not wish to add too much seafood taste, you can reduce the shrimp to 1 tablespoon and add 1/2 teaspoon more mushroom powder.
  3. Mild green pepper adds a bit of spiciness and crisp texture to the dish. It’s totally OK to skip this if you want a milder dish or want to simplify the recipe.
  4. If you reduce the quantity of papery shrimp, you should add more mushroom (or chicken) powder to add more umami taste.

Nutrition

Serving: 1serving, Calories: 128kcal, Carbohydrates: 20.4g, Protein: 4.5g, Fat: 4g, Saturated Fat: 0.8g, Cholesterol: 22mg, Sodium: 330mg, Potassium: 634mg, Fiber: 2.9g, Sugar: 16.7g, Calcium: 41mg, Iron: 1mg