Recipe: Winter Melon Lotus Seed Barley Shrimp Soup
Recipe type: Soup
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 8
  • ½ lb of lean pork
  • 2 lbs of winter melon*
  • 5 oz of raw deveined shrimp with the shell on (or about 10 medium sized ones)
  • 1 oz of dried lily bulb (or about ¼ cup)
  • 1 oz of lotus seeds (or about 2 full tbsps)
  • ½ oz of pearl barley (or about 1.5 tbsp)
  • 12 cups of water
  • 2 slices of ginger
  • ½ tsp of salt
  • ¼ tsp of white pepper powder
  1. Bring a small pot of water to boil to blanch the pork. In the meanwhile, rinse the pork under cold water and cut into 2-inch cubes. When the water is ready, put the pork in for about a minute to quickly blanch it. Set the blanched meat aside and discard the water.
  2. In a big pot, boil 12 cups of water. While the water cooks, rinse the winter melon and remove any seeds with a spoon. With the skin on, cut the melon to 1.5-inch chunks. Rinse the barley, lily bulb, and lotus seeds under cool water and set aside. Do not soak the lotus seeds. Sprinkle the pepper powder onto the shrimp. Mix well and let marinate.
  3. When the soup water boils, put in all ingredients except for the shrimp. Cover and cook on high heat for about 5 minutes or until the water boils again. Reduce the heat to low and simmer for 2 hours. Set the timer.
  4. When the timer signals, add the shrimp and cook the soup covered on medium heat for another 2 minutes or until the shrimp is cooked. Avoid over cooking the shrimp. Turn off the heat and add ½ tsp of salt. Stir and serve.
* The edible winter melon skin can be tough even after cooking. If you prefer, the skin can be removed before boiling in the soup.
Recipe by Chinese Soup Pot at