Pork,  Slow Cooker,  Soup,  Under $3

Slow Cooker Shark’s Fin Melon Pork Rib Soup 鱼翅瓜排骨汤

Sharks Fin Melon Soup

Shark’s fin melon is a popular ingredient (a type of squash) used in Chinese soups. It is so named because it breaks apart into slivers resembling shark’s fin as it cooks. Its name on Wikipedia is so scientific (“Cucurbita ficifolia”).. if you’re not from Asia, I wonder if you’ve heard of this melon?

Sharks Fin Melon Soup4

The melon is said to decrease blood sugar and good for diabetics. It is commonly used in slow cooked soups but Kenneth has also put up a recipe on his blog.. for roasting! I have never even heard of roasting shark’s fin melon (whole!) and will have to try it some time.

Sharks Fin Melon Soup2

Wan Chai, the Hong Kong cafe at IMM, does a good version of shark’s fin melon soup. Their soup usually comes free with the steamed rice dishes. Jason really loves it and has suggested on (wayyy) too many occasions that I cook it. Ok, since I had my slow cooker out that week, I decided to buy some shark’s fin melon and cook him this cooling soup.

The soup is really easy to prepare if you have a slow cooker. Ok, it’s really easy to cook even if you don’t have a slow cooker. You can cook it on the stove too. First bring to boil, turn down the fire and simmer for at least two hours. The taste is mild at first but as you simmer, the flavour of the melon, pork ribs, carrots and honey dates really come together. I chose not to add dried cuttlefish or red dates as I didn’t want to overpower this delicate soup. My entire family loves it.

Apart from soup, how else do you cook shark’s fin melon? Let me know by leaving a comment below!

Sharks Fin Melon Soup3

Slow Cooker Shark’s Fin Melon Pork Rib Soup (鱼翅瓜排骨汤) (budgetpantry.com)

Serves: 3-4 as part of a Chinese meal
Total cost per serving: $2.80

What you need:

2 litres hot water
500g fresh pork ribs
500g shark’s fin melon, peeled, seeds removed and cut into 1-inch chunks
1 large carrot, peeled and chopped into chunks
2 honey dates
Salt to taste


Clean the pork ribs and scald in boiling water for 2 minutes. Remove from pot, wash under tap water, pat dry then set aside.

Place the melon, pork ribs, carrots and honey dates into your slow cooker. Cover with the hot water.

Switch your slow cooker to “auto-shift” and cook for 7 hours or “high” for 4 hours. Add a pinch of salt to taste, before serving.

How much I spent:

$8.50 for fresh pork ribs
$2.40 for shark’s fin melon
$0.40 for carrot
Everything else from my pantry


  • Valerie

    Hi Chris,

    May I know where to get the shark’s fin melon? Do they have it at NTUC or wet market? What do u call in Chinese?

    And also, what’s the difference between red dates and honey dates?

    I have tried some of your recipes and they are simple and delicious!

    Thanks for sharing them :)

    • Chris-budgetpantry

      Hi Valerie, I get my shark’s fin melon from http://sgvegetables.com. Supermarkets and wet markets should have them too. They’re called 鱼翅瓜 right there at the title! Red dates and honey dates are different ingredients. Honey dates lend a rich, savoury depth and subtle sweetness to simmered soups and red dates are well, sweet. You can do a quick google to find out more about them. Honey dates are sold in the dried food section in supermarkets too. I’m glad you enjoy my recipes!

  • Valerie

    Thanks Chris!

    I have tried the Mango pudding last week, simple and delicious. Hubby have requested for a repeat order :)

    And the melon soup will be next on the list.

    You are really good at cooking and once again, thanks so much for sharing.

    You have turned a woman who doesn’t know how to cook at all into one 进得了厨房 :)

    • Chris-budgetpantry

      Ahh.. 只要愿意踏进厨房, anyone can cook! :) It is always heartwarming to eat home cooked meals, no matter how simple they are. Your comments mean a lot to me, so thank you too, Valerie! p/s- try my pumpkin rice recipe.. super fool proof, very yummy!

  • Audrey Ng

    Hello Chris! Thank you for sharing recipes with us! Im new to your page, enjoying photos of cbb and your simple receipes :) I have a 16mo and have issues of cooking for him cos i work long hours. But after seeing this receipe, i think im gonna die die make soup for him (and us!) at least 3 times a week!

    • Chris-budgetpantry

      Hi Audrey! It’s really sweet of you to leave me a comment and welcome to my life! LOL. I love cooking for cbb and seeing her enjoy her food. I don’t have lots of ‘pattern’ like many talented mummies… I guess I’m just lucky she really loves to eat! Will post more simple recipes as much as I can :) I hope your toddler enjoys the soup!