My mother called me the other day specifically to talk about sweet potatoes and how I should be eating more of them. Apparently, it’s one of the foods highest in vitamin A and so that got me thinking about sweet potato recipes I have in the repertoire.
One of the easiest “desserts” or Chinese dessert soup types my mother made for us as kids was sweet potato soup with ginger. I feel ginger always adds a nice complexity to dishes and I love them in my sweets because it cuts the sugar and turns the dessert into something grander. At its foundation, this is basically sweet potatoes with a ginger syrup over it, but in Hong Kong, this is eaten warm. I actually find that it gets so much better the second day because I think the starches in the potato have had time to rest and fully absorb the sugar and ginger flavors. My little spin to the traditional recipe though is instead of smashing a couple slices of ginger into the syrup like my mom would do, I grated the ginger and wrapped it in a coffee filter. I think the flavors of the ginger become so much more potent that way - keeping in mind that if you’re not too fond of ginger, then smashing it and putting it in the syrup is probably good enough.
My tip for this soup is to not overcook your sweet potatoes. I’d say 10-15 minutes really does it depending on your size. I like my sweet potatoes with a little more bite, so I could them bigger and also cook them more towards the 12 minute side. And like I said, if you let it rest and wait till the next day, even if the potatoes are still slightly too firm the first day, they become perfect the second day.
3 simple ingredients : Sweet potato, sugar, and ginger
Grate ginger with microplane into a coffee filter and seal.
Peel and cut your sweet potatoes.
Bring to a boil and simmer for about 10 minutes.
Add sugar and simmer for an additional 5 minutes.
Serve warm or cold.
Ingredients - 4 cups of water - 3 medium sized sweet potatoes or yams - 1 1/2 sticks of Chinese slab sugar (1/3 cup granulated sugar + 1/3 cup brown sugar can be substituted) - 1-2 tablespoons grated ginger
1. Grate 1-2 tablespoons of ginger into a coffee filter. Fold filter in half and fold edges to seal.
2. Peel and cut 3 sweet potatoes and put it into a pot containing 4 cups of water.
3. Bring water to a boil and simmer for 10-15 minutes depending on the potatoes. Potatoes should be firm but soft enough for a knife to insert through. 4. Put in 1 1/2 slabs of sugar and continue to simmer for 5 minutes or until sugar melts. 5. Soup can be served warm or cold.