Fuzzy melon, also known as hairy gourd, gets its names from the short, prickly hairs that appear on the glossy green skin when the vegetable is very fresh. Although it is in season now, it is available year round. As it ages, the skin becomes matte and the hair begins to resemble the shorter, softer fuzz found on peaches. The fuzzy melon is about 10cm to 20cm in length. As with many types of squash and melon, smaller, slimmer, and therefore younger, fuzzy melons are preferable because they're less watery and seedy than older ones. The skin on the melon is quite tough, so it's peeled off before being used. For many dishes, the seedy pulp is also removed. One of my favourite home-style dishes is fuzzy melon with mung-bean vermicelli in a clay pot. Rinse some dried shrimp and dried mushrooms under running water, then soak them in warm water until pliable. Drain the shrimp and mushrooms; reserve the liquid. Remove and discard the tough stems from the mushrooms, then dice the caps. Soak mung-bean vermicelli in warm water then drain and squeeze out as much liquid as possible. Peel a fuzzy melon and scoop out and discard the seeds. Cut the melon into 5mm-thick slices. Put the ingredients in a clay pot and season with a little soy sauce and white pepper. Add the liquid used to soak the shrimp and mushrooms along with some unsalted chicken stock - the dish should be soupy. Bring to the simmer over a medium flame then cover the pot with the lid, lower the heat and simmer until the shrimp and melon are tender. Stir in minced spring onions and serve with white rice. For another home-style dish, soak dried scallops and dried mushrooms in warm water until soft. Drain them and reserve the liquid. Cut the mushroom caps into halves or quarters, depending on the size, and break the scallops into large chunks. Peel a fuzzy melon, cut it in half lengthwise and remove the seeds. Put the melon halves cut-side up into a wide pan, sprinkle lightly with salt and scatter the mushroom and scallop on top. Add the soaking liquid then bring to a simmer. Lower the heat, cover the pan with the lid and simmer until the squash is tender. Carefully remove the melon, mushroom and scallop to a serving dish. Stir a little oyster sauce into the braising liquid. Dissolve some cornstarch in cool water, then pour it into the braising liquid and cook over a low flame until it thickens to a light sauce consistency. Pour the sauce over the other ingredients and serve.