Dried Scallop, Shiitake Mushroom, and Hairy Gourd Soup (瑶柱香菇節瓜湯)

Dried Scallop, Shiitake Mushroom, and Hairy Gourd Soup (瑶柱香菇節瓜湯)

This traditional Chinese soup is light yet flavorful, featuring the umami richness of dried scallops and shiitake mushrooms, paired with the mild, sweet taste of hairy gourd. It's a nourishing soup often enjoyed for its supposed health benefits, including improved digestion and strengthened immune system. Here's how to make it:
Course Soup
Cuisine Chinese


  • 10 dried scallops
  • 6 dried shiitake mushrooms
  • 1 medium hairy gourd also known as fuzzy gourd or mo qua, peeled and cut into chunks
  • 1.5 liters of water
  • 2 slices of ginger
  • Salt to taste

Optional Ingredients:

  • A handful of goji berries for extra color and nutrition
  • 1 chicken breast optional for a richer broth
  • Green onions finely chopped, for garnish


Prep the Ingredients:

  • Soak the dried scallops and shiitake mushrooms in warm water for at least 2 hours, or overnight, until they are fully rehydrated. Reserve the soaking liquid as it's packed with flavor.
  • After soaking, slice the shiitake mushrooms and shred the scallops into smaller strands if they are too large.

Cook the Soup:

  • In a large pot, bring 1.5 liters of water to a boil. Add the ginger slices and the optional chicken breast, if using. Let it simmer for about 20 minutes to create a flavorful broth.
  • Remove the chicken breast, let it cool, then shred it into pieces. Set aside.

Add the Main Ingredients:

  • To the broth, add the hairy gourd chunks, rehydrated shiitake mushrooms, shredded dried scallops, and the soaking liquid from the mushrooms and scallops. This will ensure none of the umami-rich flavors are wasted.
  • If you're using goji berries, add them to the pot as well.

Simmer the Soup:

  • Let the soup simmer on low heat for about 30 minutes to an hour, allowing all the flavors to meld together. The longer it simmers, the more flavorful the soup will be.

Season and Serve:

  • Season the soup with salt to taste. If you've cooked chicken for the broth, add the shredded chicken back into the soup now.
  • Serve hot, garnished with green onions if desired.

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