In Vietnamese cuisine, it is called bí đao, which is usually used to make soup or stew. When cooked with pork short ribs, the resulting soup is traditionally thought to help produce more milk for breastfeeding mothers.
In Chinese cuisine the melons are used in stir fry or usually combined with pork or pork/beef bones to make winter melon soup, often served in the scooped out melon, carved by scraping off the waxy coating. It is also chopped and candied as wintermelon candy (táng dōng guā) to be commonly eaten at New Year festivals, or as filling for Sweetheart cake (lǎopó bǐng). It has also been used as the base filling in Chinese and Taiwanese mooncakes for the Moon Festival.
Winter melon is candied (referred to plainly as kundol) and is used as a pastry filling for bakpia (hopia in the Philippines). It is also an ingredient in some savory soups (sabaw) and stir-fries (guisado). It is one of the vegetables mentioned in the Filipino folk song “Bahay Kubo.”
In Indian cuisine the vegetable is traditionally used to prepare a wide variety of dishes. In northern India it is used to prepare a candy called Petha. In South Indian cuisine, it is traditionally used to make a variety of curries, including a liquefied dish with curds or buttermilk.The juice of raw ash gourd is used by the Mizo community of North-East India as a natural remedy to treat mild to severe dysentery.
Occasionally, it is used to produce a fruit drink with a very distinctive taste. It is usually sweetened with caramelized sugar. In Southeast Asia, the drink is widely marketed as winter melon tea or winter melon punch.
The shoots, tendrils, and leaves of the plant may also be eaten as greens.