Monday, October 18, 2010

Pork & Long Green Squash (opo) Soup

What do you do with a long green squash? 

Peel it with a potato peeler, cut it in half lengthwise and remove the seeds by making a V shape cut in the middle of the squash.  Dice, slice or cube it and make soup.

This soup is as rustic as it gets and falls into the category of comfort food for me.  An Asian inspired soup with nothing fancy in or about it, so don’t expect any wow factor from this recipe.  It’s simply a soup that I crave.  It takes me back to my youth bringing with it the simple flavors of pork, shrimp and shitake mushrooms flavoring a simple broth that makes for an everyday soup that warms me up from the inside out.  It is the perfect first course for a Chinese meal.

I used a half pound of pork belly that I cooked up nice and brown (that’s why my broth is so dark) before adding the rest of the ingredient (yummy).  I love pork belly although it may be a bit too fatty for most.  If choosing to use pork belly you should refrigerate the soup overnight  without the squash to allow the fat to solidify on the top which makes it easy to remove from the soup.  Then reheat the broth and add the squash the next day so it won’t get soggy.  Other leaner options would be to cut up pork butt or shoulder across the grain or for the leanest version cut up a couple of pork loin chops.


½         pound              pork butt or belly, sliced thin into bite size pieces
1          med                 long green squash (opo), seeded and diced
1          Tbsp.               dried shrimp
1          inch                 slice of ginger, smashed
4                                  dried shitake mushrooms, soaked and cut into quarters
1          14 oz.              chicken broth
4 ¼      cups                water, enough water to equal 6 cups with the chicken broth
2          tsp.                  kosher salt

Heat a soup pot over med high heat and add about 1 Tbsp. oil and brown the ginger.  Then add the pork and brown.  Add the rest of the ingredients.  Bring to a boil then lower the heat to a simmer and cook until the squash is tender about 15 – 20 minutes.


  1. This soup sounds great! I just came back from maui where we grilled a long opo squash- it was delicious.

    1. This soup is very comforting to me and I make it whenever I can get my hands on an opo. I have never grilled it before. I will have to give it a try :)

  2. Oh wow I have literally been looking for opo squash to make this soup but with chicken for the last month. My mom is from Nanakuli and she used to make this soup for me growing up all the time. I have been craving this soup : ) Love the site!!

    1. Mahalo Kekoa, Chicken & Opo soup sounds so ono. I hope you find an opo soon. Thanks for the Aloha!

  3. I made this last week and my husband and I loved it!!

    1. Thank you for sharing!!! I love that your husband loved it :)