Silk Squash and White Mushroom Soup



This is a perfect Cantonese summer soup. The oddly ridged gourd known as silk squash combines nicely with a wide range of vegetables, particularly in soups, where its sweetness can be appreciated. Here, it is combined only with fresh white mushrooms, which contribute their texture.


  • 1 silk squash, about pounds
  • cups fresh white mushrooms, the size of a quarter
  • 3 tablespoons Onion Oil
  • -inch -long piece ginger, peeled and lightly smashed
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 3 cups Vegetable Stock
  • cups water
  • 1 tablespoon Shaoxing wine
  • teaspoons sesame oil


  1. Using a small knife, pare down the ridges along the silk squash‛s length, but do not remove all of the green. Then roll-cut the squash: Starting at one end, cut on the diagonal into ¾-inch-thick slices, rotating the squash one-quarter turn between each cut. The slices will resemble small ax blades. Reserve the slices.
  2. Remove the stems from the mushrooms and cut the caps in half. Reserve.
  3. Heat a wok over high heat for 30 seconds. Add the onion oil and, using a spatula, coat the wok with the oil. When a wisp of white smoke appears, add the ginger and salt and stir for 30 seconds. Add the squash and the mushrooms and Stir-fry for 2 minutes, or until the squash softens. Turn off the heat.
  4. Transfer the squash and mushrooms to a large pot, and add the stock and water. Cover and bring to a boil over high heat. Uncover, add the wine, and stir to mix. Lower the heat to medium and cook, uncovered, for 5 minutes, or until the squash is tender. Add the sesame oil and stir to mix.
  5. Turn off the heat, transfer to a heated tureen, and serve.