One of my favorite ways to cook pumpkin is to make this Chinese-style pumpkin soup with pork ribs. It is rich in nutrition and imbued with the natural sweetness of pumpkin and corn.
Pumpkin was one of the ingredients that I used when I introduced solid foods to my children when they were a few months old. Every now and then I would make pumpkin congee for them. Cooked pumpkin is very soft so I could easily mash them into the congee and they enjoyed the naturally sweet taste of the squash.
Pumpkins are much more than a Halloween decoration or a Thanksgiving pie filling. They are rich in vitamins and minerals but low in calories.
Nutritional Benefits of Pumpkin
Orange foods and vegetables have always been associated with the presence of beta-carotene, a precursor of vitamin A. Pumpkin is one of them. Vitamin A is important for good vision, reproduction, helps protect your ticker and lowers blood pressure.
Other health benefits of pumpkin include:
- Helps with weight loss.
- May reduce cancer risk
- Protect the skin
- Improves your mood
- Boosts immune system
Nutrition of Pumpkin in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM)
In Traditional Chinese Medicine, pumpkin is used to relieve dampness and eases bronchial asthma by promoting discharge of mucus from the lungs, bronchi and throat.
The seeds (nan gua zi) are beneficial for the intestines and helps to ease constipation. It is used to expel nasty gut parasites such as tapeworm and roundworm. For this purpose, pumpkin seeds are taken by boiling into a strong tea known as a decoction or grinding into a powder to be taken with water. (source)
For breastfeeding women, pumpkin seeds can help promote breast milk supply and postpartum fluid metabolism (especially hand and feet swelling).
The soup is tasty and naturally sweet from the pumpkin, corn and dried red dates. I didn’t have to add any salt at all but you can go ahead and add some if you want to. Dunk the pork ribs into some light soy sauce and eat with bird’s eye chili. Simply yummy!
Pumpkins are affordable and easily found all year round. Do try out this Pumpkin Pork Ribs Soup recipe and let me know what you think!
Do you like Chinese soups? Follow my board on Pinterest for more Chinese soup recipe inspirations.
Other recipes with pumpkin:
- 600 g pumpkin - skin and seeds removed, cut into chunks
- 350 g pork spare ribs
- 1 carrot - peeled and cut into chunks
- 1 corn - shucked and cut into sections
- 4 dried red dates
- 6 cups water (or just enough to immerse ingredients)
- Scald pork ribs in hot boiling water for about a minute to remove scum and dirt.
- Bring water to boil in a soup pot. (I used a clay pot). When it starts boiling, add pork ribs, corn, dried red dates and carrot into the pot. Simmer for an hour.
- Add pumpkin and simmer for another 20 minutes.
- Season with salt to taste if required and serve.
Hi Vonnie, Gosh this recipe looks wonderful. Love soup so will definitely be trying this Chinese pumpkin soup. Thank you.
Andrew Bromley says
Wow, this Pumpkin Pork Ribs Soup looks like another delicious recipe that I will have to try. I am getting quite good at Chinese cooking now. I can see from your article that pumpkin has got some great health benefits that I wasn’t aware of, which makes it all the better to try.
H. Spinney says
Hey…I never knew that orange foods and vegetables have always been associated with the presence of beta-carotene and vitamin A. I also wasn’t aware that Pumpkin is good for your heart, vision, reproduction, and lowers blood pressure. It seems that the only “orange food” I never really warmed up to was Pumpkin. After reading this, maybe I’ll give Pumpkin another look.
Man, that opening picture of that Pumpkin Pork Ribs Soup looked so real I thought I could reach in and grab the bowl and eat it. Great informational post…
Beta-carotene is what give most foods their orange hue. Pumpkin is also an ideal vegetable for weight loss as it is high in dietary fiber and low in calories. The only thing I don’t like about pumpkins is the peeling part. Ha! But once it’s softened, it’s really easy to prepare. Blend it in soups, steamed or stir-fried, it’s all delicious. Thanks for your comments!
The pictures made me go ‘ahhhh’ 🙂 Looks so good! I am a big fan of soups and Asian food as well.
But the combination of pork ribs and pumpkin is what really caught my attention; and I’m pleasantly surprised at how simple the recipe is too. I think it’s worth a try 🙂
I love the health benefits of this pumpkin pork rib soup. It sounds worth the try to make it just for the benefits.
I usually prefer savory soups and wondered if this soup is too sweet because of the carrots, corn, pumpkin and red dates?
The soup is not overly sweet but it has a subtle sweetness that is all natural. The pork ribs lend a savory note to the soup. So I would say this is a sweet and savory soup. However, if you wish to tone down on the sweetness, you can also leave out the corn and add some tomatoes for a more tangy tasting soup.
Tony W says
The title sounds great. I was picturing something richer. Like a pumpkin puree added to the soup. I love the mix of ingredients. The dates add a nice twist. I will have to give this one a try 😉
I enjoy pureed soups too and as a matter of fact, I just made one for dinner just now. Chinese soups are rather different in many aspects compared to Western soups. In a Chinese soup, we can still see all the ingredients in its entirety after cooking. I hope you’ll like this Chinese style pumpkin soup. 🙂