To start with, it really is, in texture and taste, much more a melon, like watermelon or honeydew, than a squash, like zucchini or butternut. The rind is dark green and too hard to eat, but inside the melon is juicy and fresh-tasting, with little other taste; it will take on the flavours of what it's cooked with.
It's called winter melon because apparently the whole squash will keep for a long time (i.e., through the winter) after being harvested. It's so moist I doubt you could brown it in a stir fry, though there are stir fry recipes for it (in which it does not look brown, just cooked to a pretty light green translucency).
|How it comes from the store - amazingly difficult to photograph because it's so big and white.|
Very tasty! The "chicken" shows off to better effect in the soup than by itself, in my opinion, and the meatball was a superb addition. Nothing about this soup necessarily screams "oriental", taste-wise, though it looks quite exotic. Anyway, loved it.
And then I got up here writing this post about how melon-y winter melon is and how refreshing, and how good it would be raw or...in a smoothie perhaps...
It was a hunch of genius. This is a winter melon, mango, orange, and soda water smoothie flavoured with Silver Sage Winery's Flame, essentially a sweet ice wine with a hot chili marinating in it, so hot that if you drink it plain it practically brings on anaphylactic shock. My brother and SIL, who rode their bikes for miles and miles up and down the winding hilly roads of British Columbia to Silver Sage to get this for me, like it drizzled on ice cream. I haven't tried that yet, but this was pretty good. Am I the only one for whom a smoothie just isn't right unless there's some kind of alcoholic content to it?