Sweet potato is very popular in Vietnam thanks to its low price, rich nutrition, comfort and great taste. In Vietnam, Boiled sweet potato, grilled sweet potato are a favorite food for breakfast or supper. Phan Thiet people have created impressive recipes from sweet potatoes such as Re cake (Bánh rế, Banh re) and Stewed sweet potato (Khoai lang ham, Khoai lang hầm) which are specialty foods of Phan Thiet province. In the past, pupils in Phan Thiet usually have portions of Khoai lang ham in their school bags. The sounds of vendors offering Stewed sweet potato have been familiar with local people. The food has been one of the most beautiful memories of any Phan Thiet people. It reminds them of a wonderful childhood as well as the difficult life in the past.
Stewed sweet potato is not an easy recipe, it takes some steps to make this food. The cook must be experienced and patient. Vendors usually wake up at 2 AM to cook the Stewed sweet potato which is sold in the early morning for breakfast. Sweet potatoes are peeled, sliced finely, fried until completely dry, stewed until well-done. Mash the stewed sweet potato, the mashed should not be too smooth. At last, mix the sweet potato with sugar.
To serve, put a handful of Stewed sweet potato onto a piece of banana leaf, top it with some shredded coconut meat. The sticky but tender sweet potato goes well with the crunchy, greasy, light sweet coconut meat. Traditionally, they use a bamboo spoon to eat this food to enhance its flavor.
If you have a chance to visit Phan Thiet, do not miss trying a portion of Stewed sweet potato – a simple but complex food. Let eat, immerse yourself in the local life and learn more about the rich cuisine of Phan Thiet as well as Vietnam.
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