Vietnamese people love to eat sweet things so that Vietnam has many sweet soups which are served as desserts. Some of them are offers to ancestors and god on important events in the country.
Followings are 5 traditional Vietnamese sweet soups which are famous in South Vietnam:
1. Che Thung or Che Ba Ba
Che Thung or Che Ba Ba is a specialty dessert of Mekong Delta – the region of rice, fruits, nuts, sugar cane and many traditional delicious desserts as well as sweet soups. No one know when it appeared, it’s passed down from generation to generation. Che Thung is cooked from products which are easy to find in Mekong Delta: peanuts, wood ears, coconut, tapioca pearls, tapioca strips, peeled mung bean, pandan leaves. Peanuts, tapioca pearls, tapioca strips and peeled mung bean should be cooked until they become tender. Coconut milk, shredded wood ears, pandan leaves, sugar are added later. Che Thung is served hot or cold, it’s better to top this kind of sweet soup with shredded coconut meat. On rainy or cold days, Vietnamese people love to eat hot Che Ba Ba to warm their body. On summer days, Che Ba Ba with ice is a a best choice to beat the heat. The greasy, sweet and fragrant broth should cover crunchy wood ears, chewy tapioca pearls, tapioca strips, tender mung beans and peanuts.
2. Sweet soup with sticky rice and black-eyed pea or Che dau trang
Sweet soup with sticky rice and black-eyed pea is cooked from black-eyed pea, sticky rice, coconut milk, pandan leaves and sugar until pea and rice are tender. Black-eyed peas and sticky rice should be soaked in water overnight before cooking to make them less hard and easy to cook. Not similar to Che Thung, this kind of sweet soup is thick and glutinous. To served, a greasy sauce cooked from coconut milk and tapioca starch are poured on the sweet soup. It’s served hot or cold with some shaved ice. Peas with buttery taste, glutinous rice and pleasant coconut milk sauce create a perfect sweet soup. In South Vietnam, small bowls of Che dau trang are offered to ancestors and god on first birthday parties of babies. Cooking delicious Che dau trang, families and relatives wish these babies good life in future.
3. Sweet soup with purple sweet potato and sticky rice or Che khoai mon tia
Sweet soup with purple sweet potato and sticky rice is one of the most flavorful sweet soup with simple recipe. Purple sweet potato is cut into cube and cooked with sticky rice and coconut milk until tender. Che khoai mon tia has purple color and special smell from fresh sweet potato, sticky rice and coconut. It’s better to eat with sauce cooked from coconut milk and tapioca starch.
4. Sweet soup with violet sticky rice or Che nep cam
Violet sticky rice is rich in nutrients, good for human heart, stomach and brain. This kind of rice has become a favorite food in Vietnam since many years ago. Violet sticky rice is used to cook Steamed violet sticky rice, Yogurt with violet sticky rice, Wine from violet sticky rice, Fermented violet sticky rice ball and Sweet soup with violet sticky rice. Served with coconut milk, Che nep cam is light sweet and greasy.
5. Sticky rice dumpling balls or Che troi nuoc sweet soups
Sticky rice dumpling balls play an important part in culture of Vietnam because it’s cooked at Tet festival, Worm-killing festival (Vietnamese mid year festival), Mid January, Death anniversaries and first birthday parties… To make good-looking and tasty Che troi nuoc, the cook must be experienced, patient and skillful. Small ball made from mung bean and coconut milk is wrapped by sticky rice flour dough, then these balls are boiled until they are pleasant. Dumpling balls are put into a sweet caramel ginger syrup which is cooked from sugar, ginger and pandan leaves and cooked for a while. The sweet soup could be topped with crushed peanuts, toasted sesame and shredded coconut meat.
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