Lou Wong Kua Tong (Mature Cucumber Soup) – an easy to prepare nutritious soup. It is clear, soothing, and a perfect accompaniment to your rice meal.
Lou Wong Kua Tong (Mature Cucumber Soup) is very popular soup in Malaysia where it is hot and humid year round. Like all melons, mature cucumber is widely believed to have cooling properties. Hence, this tasty and nutritious soup is often cooked as antidote to the sweltering weather.
Out here in the West, little is known of Lou Wong Kua (mature cucumber). Unfortunatey, it is also rarely seen. Searching the internet, I came across two varieties of heirloom cucumbers resembling mature cucumber. One is known as Brown Russian and the other Kaiser Alexander. I am uncertain if these cucumbers are the same as the ones found in Malaysia. Perhaps I should buy some seeds to plant in Our Vegetable Garden next year.
In all my years here in the United States, I have not been able to purchase lou wong kua. Whenever I visit my parents in Malaysia, mom would make this delicious soup for me. In fact, the pictures you see here were taken exactly a year ago when I visited them in October 2014. When I returned home, I still had hopes of finding the cucumber here but I have since come to the conclusion that this is not going to happen any time soon.
I figured I would go ahead and post the recipe anyway for those who are able to purchase this cucumber. It is a deliciously mild and soothing soup well worth a try. Please note that the skin (or rind) should be lightly scraped but not peeled and thoroughly washed. This is to prevent the delicate flesh from “melting” (disintegrating) in the soup. To eat, simply use a spoon to scoop up the tender flesh.
Lou Wong Kua Tong (Mature Cucumber Soup) - an easy to prepare nutritious soup. It is clear, soothing, and a perfect accompaniment to your rice meal.
- 8 dried oysters
- 12 red dates
- 1 mature cucumber (about (1½ lbs/675g))
- 1 chicken carcass (trimmed and rinsed)
- Salt to taste
Soak dried oysters in a small bowl for about 30 minutes to soften. Then rinse thoroughly to remove dirt and grit. Rinse and soak dried red dates in a separate bowl for 15 minutes. Drain.
Brush or scrape the skin (do not peel) of mature with a knife. Rinse thoroughly. Cut the cucumber into halves lengthwise. Scoop out the seeds with a spoon. Then cut into 3 or 4 pieces crosswise.
Bring 8 cups (1.9 liters) of water in a large pot to a boil. Add soaked dried oysters, red dates, prepared mature cucumber, and chicken carcass to the pot. When water comes back up to a boil, reduce heat to low. Simmer for about 1½ to 2 hours. Skim off any scum appearing on the surface.
Season with salt and turn off the stove.
Serve warm in individual bowls.