Mountain yam sweet soup – a specialty food of Huong Son

Hương Sơn is a district in the North Central Coast of Vietnam. It is part of Ha Tinh Province. The charming Huong Son land is not only famous with Huong Tich cave which is considered as the most beautiful cave in Vietnam, Perfume pagoda festival, Yen spring but also specialty foods including Chè lam and Chè củ mài (Che cu mai, Mountain yam sweet soup).

Mountain yam sweet soup is a rural food in the countryside of Huong Son. It has existed for long years. Although this food is simple, cooked from familiar ingredients such as mountain yam, sugar, it has a distinctively delicious taste which can win the hearts of all ages. In the past, this sweet soup is offered to Buddhas. In the recent, it is served to valuable guests and travelers. It has become a Huong Son’s specialty food which attracts many people to come to this land.

The soul of Che cu mai is mountain yam which has rough, black, hard skin and creamy white flesh which is quite starchy and has a flavor that is bland and very light. Mountain yam is a good source of nutrients, vitamins (B6, B5), and minerals (Copper, Manganese, Potassium). Che cu mai is good for bones and liver. It is not only healthy but the lightly sweet and crunchy tastes have impressed most of the people who have eaten it.

Mountain yam sweet soup can be cooked from fresh mountain yam or dried mountain yam powder. According to local people, wild mountain yams which are digged in deep forests are better than cultivated yams. Fresh mountain yams are peeled, sliced and soaked in water mixed with some water, cook in water until completely tender, pounded into a smooth mixture. Add sugar, stir well, cook until thick and pleasant. Some cooks prefer to cook this sweet soup with honey to enhance its flavor. If they use dried mountain yam powder, mix the powder with water, cook slightly until the mixture of water and the powder thickens, add sugar and cook until the sweet soup opaque white.

To serve, top the Mountain yam sweet soup with some cooked mountain yam slices or mung bean, toasted sesame. The sweet soup can be eaten with Mung bean coated sticky rice (Xôi vò). A bowl of Mountain yam sweet soup can help to beat the heat, make you less tired and boost the energy.

Charming Huong Son with immense rivers and mountains

A mountain yam which has just been found in the forest

Mountain yam sweet soup looks simple

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