Chinese Sweet Potato Ginger Dessert Soup 番薯姜糖水
By Ellen L.Published: 2015-12-12
Brrrrrr! All day long a chilly autumn wind has been blowing in through the crack in my window, outside its been raining on and off and the world is all wet and dreary. On days like this there's nothing that warms you up better than a touch of the right kind of traditional Cantonese sweet soup. And the right kind of sweet soup, at least for me, is the kind of sweet soup with a bit of ginger in it, no, no, I must be upfront, a darn boatload of ginger in it. Yummm...that delicious spiciness of ginger! How good this Chinese Sweet Potato Ginger Dessert Soup 番薯姜糖水 is, soft comforting pieces of luscious yams floating in a sweet and fiery soup that warms you right through to the tips of your toes!
There are all kinds of sweet potatoes, some white fleshed, some purple, some orange and yellow fleshed. The humble sweet potato, or 番薯, grown and dug out of the dark, rich, earth. All different kinds are yummilicious, especially in the winter when roasted until the sweet potatoes own sugar caramelizes and dribbles, fragrant and sticky out of the heat cracked skin. My favorite kind for the Chinese Sweet Potato Ginger Dessert Soup is the orange fleshed kind, chock full of soft luscious yammy flavor. Second favorite is the wonderfully colored purple sweet potatoes from Japan.
For the ginger, you need to use 老姜, or old ginger. The older the ginger, the more spicy, which is exactly what you need. But don't worry, the ginger you usually see in the grocery store is probably already 'old ginger'. You can see the age of the ginger by looking at the skin. Young ginger has tender yellow gold pinkish skin while old ginger has a tough golden brown to brown skin.
It's sooo easy to make this dessert soup. Just wash, peel and slice your main ingredients. Sweet potato can be cubed as big or small as you prefer. Sometimes I like the sweet potato in small cubes, sometimes I like large cubes and sometimes I like to mix them up.
The amount of ginger should be adjusted to your preference. We like it nice and spicy so we put in a lot, lot, lot of ginger to make a soup that really warms you up. If you prefer it less spicy you should halve or forth the amount of ginger in the recipe below. Slice the ginger into long slices so as to make it easier to pick out later.
So it's that simple, a really warming and soul satisfying traditional chinese dessert soup that only takes around a half hour to make. Then before you know it you'll be all warm and cozy and feeling fine at your table enjoying a hot bowlful of Chinese Sweet Potato Ginger Dessert Soup!
Chinese Sweet Potato Ginger Dessert Soup Recipe 番薯姜糖水
4 inches old ginger (80g)
1.5 liters water
1 piece slab sugar 片糖 (60g)
15 dried red dates
1/2 piece slab sugar (to adjust to taste)
Wash sweet potato and ginger. Peel off potato and ginger skins. Cut sweet potato into cubes, whatever size you like. Slice ginger into slices as long as your ginger knob allows (long slices are easier to remove later.) Add water and sweet potato to large pot and bring to a boil. When boiling, add in ginger, red dates and 1 slab of sugar. Boil at medium heat for 15 mins or until the yam is soft all the way through. Taste and add extra slab sugar if needed to taste. Simmer and stir for a minute more to dissolve the slab sugar completely. Remove all the ginger slices before serving hot.
More Classical Traditional Chinese Desserts at The Hong Kong Cookery:
Chinese Almond Cookies 杏仁餅乾