Fuzzy Melon

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Chinatown in New York City has gorgeous fuzzy melons. Today, on Mott Street between Grand and Hester I spotted several outdoor vegetable stands featuring them. You can buy fuzzy melon throughout the year but it’s only in the summer months that you’ll actually see melons with the white, prickly hairs a sign that they’ve just been harvested. In the photo (above) take a close look at the melon second from the right and you’ll see the white fuzz towards the backside. The vegetable is in its prime. People are thrown by the name melon, expecting it to be a fruit but it’s more similar to summer squash. Fuzzy melon has a mild, sweet flavor and is popular in soups and braises. For me, it’s Cantonese comfort food. When we were little Mama loved to halve them, remove a little of the flesh and stuff them with ground pork, shrimp, shiitake mushrooms, and then gently simmer them with some chicken broth.

If you want to enjoy a fabulous stir-fry, next week, Wok Wednesdays is firing up their woks for Stir-Fried Fuzzy Melon with Ginger Pork from “Stir-Frying to the SKy’s Edge.” No matter how you cook it, don’t forget the skin must be peeled as the prickly fuzz is very unpleasant to bite into.

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