Sweet Potatoes in Ginger Syrup
Many Chinese sweet soup desserts are taken warm or even piping hot. The latter may seem counter intuitive especially on a hot summer’s day. However, there is a vein of traditional Chinese thinking that the hot soup will actually open your sweat glands and pores to help the body cool off. On the last bit I will leave it to my illustrious readers to decide for themselves.
As an antidote to the wonderful spicy food that I have enjoyed in the past several weeks, there are few better simple and sweet soups like this sweet potato in ginger syrup. This is my Hokkien (Fujianese) dessert counterpart to my previous post on Hokkien Hae Mee. A perfect afternoon snack would have been to partake one after the other.
The version that I grew up with has a clear syrup made with rock sugar or white granulated sugar. Some families use brown sugar, often mistaken for a savory soy sauce dish. The ginger is a must as it gives the soup an unmistakable “warming” flavor similar to that of teh halia (ginger tea). Chinese old wives tales attribute ginger with the property of “chasing the wind” out of the body. One just has to assume that this singular event is a good thing for your health.
During my recent visit to Malaysia, I actually hankered for this dessert but made bubur cha cha instead with the available purple sweet potatoes and taro. Ahh…all the hard decisions that one is faced with! Nevertheless, I made up for it by making the soup now back here in Minnesota where orange colored sweet potatoes are plentiful and the preferred color for this very dish. Now, that the wind has been “chased out” of me, I can happily share this recipe with you.
- 2 small (10 oz/300g) sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into bite size pieces
- 2-inch knob ginger, peeled and crushed
- ¼ cup (55g) sugar
Place all ingredients together with 2 cups (480ml) water in a medium sized saucepan. Bring it to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 15 minutes.
Remove and serve warm or chilled.
Enjoy…..and have a wonderful day!