Palmyra sweet soup in An Giang

Ben Tre province in Mekong Delta is famous for thousands of coconut tree with high-quality coconut fruits. An Giang province is considered as the kingdom of palmyra palm. This kind of tree represents for the entire province. They are very useful in applications for thatching houses, making mats, rugs, cooking various dishes.

The fruit which measures 4 to 7 inches in diameter has a black husk. The top portion of the fruit must be cut off to reveal the 3-5 sweet jelly seed sockets with yellow skin outside and flesh inside, translucent pale-white, similar to that of the lychee but with a milder flavor and no pit. The palmyra fruit flesh can be eaten raw or used to cook Palmyra sweet soup and making Palmyra cow cake.

Palmyra sweet soup is a specialty food of An Giang province. It has been a favorite food of not only local people but also people in other regions of the country. The sweet soup is cooked from palmyra fruit flesh, palm sugar, tapioca starch, mung bean and coconut milk. The palmyra fruits used to cook sweet soup should not too hard. These hard fruits have hard flesh which makes the sweet soup less delicious.

To make the palmyra sweet soup, cut off the fruits, peel the yellow skin of jelly seed sockets, cut the flesh into cubes. Peel mung bean, cook/steam until tender, mash/blend the cooked mung bean into a smooth paste. Cook coconut milk until boiling. Cook palm sugar and water until it reaches a level of sweetness the cook desires, add palmyra fruit flesh and cook until boiling. Mix tapioca starch with cold water, add to the sweet soup to thicken it. At last, add mung bean paste to the sweet soup, stir well. To serve, put some sweet soup into a bowl or glass, pour the cooked coconut milk into the bowl. This amazing dessert can be served hot or cold. It has been said to be more delicious to eat the sweet soup with some ice and nata de coco.

Palmyra sweet soup attracts dinners of all ages with the greasy taste of coconut milk, the stickiness, tenderness, typical taste of palmyra flesh, the buttery taste of mung bean and sweet palm sugar.  If you have a chance to visit An Giang, you can see many palmyra sweet soup stalls. Do not miss tasting this great dish to refresh yourself.

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