Dong Qua (Benincasa hispida)

Dong qua

Otherwise known as

Winter gourd, wax melon, Chinese preserving melon

General information

Dong quas look somewhat similar to watermelons. They can grow to be extremely large, weighing up to 20kg.  Dong qua’s and chi qua’s are closely related, and both are covered with a layer of fine hairs when young. However, as the dong qua matures the hairs are replaced by a white waxy layer, allowing it to be stored for several months with little loss of quality.

Cooking tips

Dong qua has a mild to bland flavour and juicy texture a little like a zucchini.  It is mainly used in soups and stews, but can also be stuffed with a flavoursome filling and baked. In Chinese cuisine dong qua is also turned into pickles and sweet candies.