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Winter Melon Casserole

Soups and Congees

Winter Melon Casserole
1 wintermelon, about the size of a volleyball, cut off the top about one-inch down, discard the seeds and any spongy matter
½ cup dried black mushrooms, soaked for twenty minutes, stems discarded, soaking water reserved
3 ounces canned bamboo shoots
18 ounces chicken soup or stock
4 slices fresh ginger
1 teaspoon bouillon powder
4 ounces medium-size shrimp, each cut in four to eight pieces
3 ounces Virginia ham, slivered
4 ounces chicken breast meat, diced
2 teaspoons cornstarch mixed with one Tablespoon cornstarch
1. Put winter melon in a large heat-resistant bowl and put that bowl into a steamer basket.
2 Put the mushrooms, bamboo shoots, chicken soup, ginger, and the bouillon powder into the melon, cover it and steam for two hours.
3. Remove cover from the melon and add the shrimp, ham, chicken, the mushroom water, and the cornstarch mixture. Recover the melon and steam for another fifteen minutes.
4. Serve scooping out some of the melon and its soup and ingredients into every person's bowl, and serve.

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