Stuffed Chinese Fuzzy Melon (Mo Qua)

High Angle View Of Chopped Bitter Melon In Plate
Sharan Shetty / EyeEm / Getty Images
  • 55 mins
  • Prep: 20 mins,
  • Cook: 35 mins
  • Yield: 2 to 4 servings

Fuzzy or hairy melon (also called Mo Qua) looks like a zucchini covered with baby fuzz. You'll find it at Asian markets, but author Stephen Wong notes that cucumbers can be substituted in a pinch. Reprinted with permission from "HeartSmart Chinese Cooking" by Stephen Wong.

What You'll Need

  • 2-ounce package of cellophane noodles
  • 2 mo qua or English cucumbers
  • For the Pork and Marinade:
  • 1/2 pound minced pork
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon minced ginger
  • 2 tablespoons chopped cilantro
  • 1 egg white, slightly beaten
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons cornstarch
  • 1/2 teaspoon sesame oil
  • For the Sauce:
  • 1 tablespoons oyster sauce
  • 1 cup pork or chicken stock
  • 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes

How to Make It

  1. Cover cellophane noodles with hot water and soak for 10 minutes or until noodles are soft.  Drain well and chop coarsely.
  2. Peel and cut mo qua crosswise into 1-inch slices. Scoop out some seeds and pulp from center of each slice to form bowl.
  3. Combine pork and marinade ingredients with half of cellophane noodles. Spoon meat mixture into mo quo "bowl" and press down gently to cover slice with small, smooth mound of mixture. Dip each stuffed piece of mo qua meat-side down into remaining cellophane noodles until well coated.
  1. Heat skillet over medium high heat and add sauce ingredients. Add stuffed mo qua slices squash-side down. Cover and braise for total of 15 minutes. After first 5 minutes of cooking, uncover and spoon sauce over meat. Cover and continue cooking. Repeat basting after another 5 minutes and add mushroom slices. Cook for 5 more minutes.
  2. Remove mo qua slices and arrange on a platter. Pour sauce over and serve. If sauce is too thin, thicken after removing the mo qua, then pour over stuffed squash.