Fuzzy Melon & Clams

I call this fuzzy melon with clams (节瓜蛤蜊) a “soupy stir-fry”. With less water used than I would for a soup, the clams essence is intensified in the broth. If you want a soupier version of this dish, check out my loofah clams soup instead.

See Also:
Loofah Clam Soup Recipe

Fuzzy melon is often labelled as “marrow green” or “hairy gourd” (毛瓜/节瓜). It is readily available in Singapore. I think the name is derived from the fine “hairs” on the skin surface, giving it a “fuzzy” appearance. As a substitution, you can use 10-ridged luffa (also common in SG), Taiwan loofah squash or any local melon.

Fuzzy Melon (Hairy Gourd) Recipe

Fuzzy Melon (Hairy Gourd) Clams Recipe
Making this dish is really easy. First, stir-fry ginger, chilli and melon cubes in some oil. Add water and simmer the melon for a few minutes, then add the clams (pictured above). Cover with lid and let the clams cook until they are all opened. Finally, add rice wine and season the clam broth to taste with salt. This is such a fast dish to cook, and it always tastes so natural and refreshing.

Fuzzy Melon & Clams Recipe

Fuzzy melon is often also labelled as hairy gourd or marrow green at the markets. You can substitute this melon with any local seasonal melon in your area.


  • 300g fresh local clams (such as “lala”, manilla or asari)
  • 1 level tbsp fine sea salt for cleaning the clams
  • half fuzzy melon (aka marrow green/hairy gourd/节瓜/毛瓜) peeled and cut to small chunks
  • 1 tbsp cooking oil
  • half finger-length red chilli deseeded and sliced thinly
  • 5 thin slices ginger julienned (short thin strips) & divided
  • 250ml water
  • 1 tbsp rice wine (or sake)
  • salt to taste; only if needed
  • 1 tbsp chopped spring onion


  1. Clean and de-grit the clams. Scrub the clams with a hard-bristle brush. Put clams in a bowl of water with 1 tbsp sea salt. Let the clams soak in the salted water for 1-2 hours, allowing the sand and grit to be purged out. Discard the water and rinse the clams. Set aside.
  2. Prepare melon. Using a vegetable peeler, peel and discard the outer skin. Cut melon flesh to uniform small chunks.
  3. Stir-fry aromatics and marrow green. Heat oil in wok. Add chilli and half the ginger. Stir fry until aromatic. Add prepared melon chunks. Stir-fry until they just turn translucent. Cover with lid and simmer for 2 minutes for the melon cubes to soften.
  4. Cook clams. Add clams and cook for 2-4 minutes, until they are all opened. Add rice wine and simmer for another 15 seconds. Discard any clams still closed after cooking. Season the soup with salt (if needed).
  5. To serve, garnish with remaining ginger and chopped spring onions.