White Gourd (白瓜)
The white melon is extremely variable dependent on its maturity. When immature, the melon has thick white surface, which can be eaten. This immature skin is sweet. However, once matured, the melon develops a waxy thin skin, which becomes medium green. The overall appearance resembles somewhat that of a Courgette, becoming indented with dark green lines running downward. This distinctive appearance makes it identifiable from other types of melons. The overall size of white melons varies from 6-12 inches, and may even grow to 15 inches, whilst weighing circa thirty pounds once matured. White melons are available throughout the warm season, beginning around June and ending to around September. However, due to the melons matured skin, the waxy coating enables a long shelf life, meaning that the melon could be kept up to 6-12 months when stored properly.
When cooking with the white melon, the process are similar to when cooking with cucumbers, however, the seed cavity of the white melon is considerably less. Another difference is that the taste of the white melon is weaker with its matured skin being softer than that of a cucumber. In addition to similarities with cucumbers, the watermelon also similar in nature to a Courgette. To prepare the white melon, you need to wash the surface and slice as you wish. The white melon does not have to be peeled, but can be if desired.
There are many things that one can use and make with winter melons. For example, the melon could be incorporated in various soups, or perhaps in traditional stir-fries. White melons are also especially delicious when cooked with various meats, such as pork or beef. Japanese cuisine incorporates the white melon with lightly steamed seafood which is then seasoned with soy sauce. Whereas in India, the melon is added into vegetable curries. Due to the nature of the skin of the white melon, one can also make them into sweet pickles or preserves. The possibilities are endless.