Worm-killing festival is one of the most important festivals in Vietnam. The festival happens on May 5th of the Lunar calendar. At this time, Hue people harvest millet seeds which are sticky, smelling, and nutrient-rich. Millet seeds are used to cook porridge, soup and cook with rice. Millet seeds sweet soup (Chè kê, Che ke) is a must-food at Worm-killing festival in Hue.
Millet seeds sweet soup is cooked from millet seeds, mung bean, and brown sugar and served with Vietnamese sesame rice cracker (Bánh tráng mè). From familiar and easy-to-find ingredients, Hue people have created an elegant delicacy. The stickiness of cooked millet seeds, the buttery taste of mung bean, the sweetness of brown sugar, the crisp sesame rice cracker mix perfectly. Unlike other Vietnamese sweet soups, Millet seeds sweet soup is not eaten with a spoon. They break a piece of Sesame rice cracker and use it as a spoon to eat this sweet soup. The cook should be experienced so that the sweet soup is not too thick not too runny to be eaten by a piece of cracker.
A bowl of Millet seeds sweet soup can warm the stomach and satisfy the taste of Hue people as well as visitor including travelers. Every year, on 5th May, families in Hue are busy with harvesting millet seeds and cooking Millet seeds sweet soup. It has been one of the most beautiful memories in the life of each Hue people.
Here is a simple recipe for Millet seeds sweet soup:
- Millet seeds: 200g
- Peeled mung bean: 100g
- Sugar: 250g
- Vietnamese sesame rice cracker: 2
- Coconut milk: 200ml (optional)
- Soak mung beans in cold water for 4-6 hours or overnight.
- Soak mullet seeds in cold water for 4-6 hours.
- Cook mung beans in water until tender but not mushy, drain them off.
- Cook mullet seeds in water until it turns tender and expanded.
- Add cooked mung beans, sugar, stir until the sugar is melted completely.
- Top the sweet soup with coconut milk, and serve it with Vietnamese sesame rice cracker.