This is a very quick and simple home-style Vietnamese soup that my mom cooks often.
Toddler: “Mama, I crave for Grandma’s fuzzy squash soup. Can you cook it just like hers? If you can cook it just like the way she cooks it, I’ll let you take a picture of me eating it. If it doesn’t taste like Grandma’s soup, then you will have to practice a lot more.”
I finally seasoned it just right and got it toddler-approved!
- Prep time: 20 minutes
- Cook time: 30 to 40 minutes
- Serving: I cook this in a 6-quart pot.
- Notes: Fuzzy squash is also commonly referred to as fuzzy melon. It is similar but not the same as a winter melon although both soaks up the flavor from the broth with similar texture. I prefer fuzzy melon over winter melon because fuzzy melon has a natural sweetness. The variety my mom grows back in Texas even has a nice flavor or aroma too. I will need to get the seeds from her next time I visit to grow it.
- 2 medium size fuzzy squash (trai bi) about 1.5 to 2 lb
- 1/3 cup premium grade dried shrimp (made in USA)
- 1 can 14 oz or about 1/2 quart of Swanson’s chicken broth
- 2 quart water
- 1/8 tsp black pepper
- 1/2 Tbsp salt
- 2 Tbsp sugar
- 1 Tbsp Viet Huong fish sauce
- 1/2 cup chopped scallion
- 1/2 Tbsp vegetable oil
- 1 tsp minced garlic
Note: I sometimes substitute the liquid ratios with 1 quart homemade seafood broth, 1 quart homemade beef bone broth, and half quart of water.
1. Rinse and soak the dried shrimp. Peel and core the fuzzy squashes. Slice it in halves or thirds lengthwise. Then slice it into thin pieces about one-fifth inch thick.
2. Set timer to 30 minutes. Heat oil and sizzle garlic. Pour in water, chicken broth, salt, sugar, black pepper, fish sauce, and soaked dried shrimp. Wait for broth to boil and turn to medium heat (#6) and cook the broth for about 10 minutes for the shrimp to soften up.
3. Add the fuzzy squash. Cook for remaining time (about 10 minutes) on medium low heat (#5 setting) until squash looks transparent. Soup is boiling lightly and constantly.
4. Turn off stove. Add scallion. Serve with steamed jasmine rice. Enjoy!