Cassava Sweet Soup

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A: Hello and welcome to VOV 24/7’s Food Delight. We’re A and B. And we’re so excited to share with you a range of cooking tips on today’s program.
B: Hello you guys. Hello A. Hey, A. A small question for you before starting the show today, hah.  Do you like winter?
A: Uhm. I don’t really like it. Well, you know. It’s really terrible to leave my comfy warm bed every winter morning. How about you? Do you like winter?
B: Actually, I don’t like it. I love it.  I love to curl up under a blanket with a book in one hand, and a cup of coffee in the other, I mean, it’s true happiness. And you know what, as it’s colder outside, and as I need extra calories, I must eat harder to stay warm those days. 
B: It seems like eating more can only make you heavy rather than happy, dear. But I must admit that nothing is more satisfying on a wintry day than something that’s super hot, for example, a hearty hot bowl of sweet soup. 
A: Yeah. And that’s why in today’s program, I’m gonna introduce to you a kind of hot sweet soup which immediately reminds people of the winter in Hanoi because you only have a chance to taste it in winter. So, Can you guess?
B: Easy as a pie. Is it floating cakes? - A: Nope, dear.
B: What about fried cakes, rice dumplings?
A: Congratulation, hah. You know what? you’ve successfully failed, babe. This is a so familiar dessert that sticks in many people’s childhood memories. For me, the time when the winter really comes is when street vendors start to sell this delicious sweet soup. Just one last guess for you. 
B:  Uhm. Is it Cassava sweet soup?
A: You’re so smart, dear. Exactly!
B: Oh, come on. The tiny pieces of cassava blended so well with the hot flavor of ginger, and the sweet young coconut milk, which definitely melts even the most frozen heart. 
Cassava Sweet Soup - ảnh 1
Phan Duc Bach, who has a lot of experience in making this dessert, instructed us on how to make the dish in the traditional style (Source: Bach's official FB)
A: And I also got good news for you. I met Phan Duc Bach, who has a lot of experience in making this dessert. He instructed me on how to make the dish in the traditional style. Let’s start with preparing the cassava. “The cassava should be prepared carefully before eating. First, peel away the cassava skin and soak the white flesh in cold water with a pinch of salt added, for about 4 to 5 hours or maybe through the night. Then, pour cold water over the prepared cassava and cook on a small heat until tender and translucent. Afterwards, put the cassava on a plate, wait for it to get cool and slice into small pieces.”
A: For someone who may not know, cassava shouldn't be eaten raw as it contains some toxic substances, which can be reduced to innocuous levels just by cooking it. A small tip for you is that cassava will turn slightly yellow and translucent when it’s totally cooked. 
B: Cooked cassava is quite soft and breakable, so it is best to slice it into medium- sized pieces. And, another important step is making the sweet soup. If the soup is great, the dessert will be more than perfect.      “The most sophisticated step is preparing the sweet soup. Firstly, mix white sugar with warm water until the soup is sweet enough. You can add a pinch of salt to balance the flavor. Then, add a little tapioca powder to the mixture and simmer it all on a low temperature while stirring regularly to ensure the soup is not overcooked. I always add the ginger juice to create a distinctive and deeper flavor for the soup. The tip here is roasting the fresh ginger directly over the flame of a gas burner, which helps wash out as much of the ginger juice as possible”
Cassava Sweet Soup - ảnh 2
The tiny pieces of cassava blended so well with the hot flavor of ginger, and the sweet young coconut milk, which definitely melts even the most frozen heart
A: The cooking process is not so hard, hah. However, I still wonder that why do we use salt in some sweet recipes like sweet pastries, cakes, desserts etc? There's something that's not quite right.
B: That’s good question, honey. It’s easy to recognize that there is some amount of salt in almost any sweet recipe, however, it is not used in large amounts to actually taste the salt itself. Just a pinch of salt not only brings out the aromas of all the ingredients, but also gets other flavors to shine. And now you know why in Bach’s recipe, there is some amount of salt.
A: Uhm. I got that. Let’s hear Bach elaborate more on how to cook the dish. “When the sweet soup is boiled, pour the sliced cassava into it to make them soak up the sweet flavor. Remember to cook the mixture on a small heat to make sure the sugar will absorb into the cassava. The dish, which takes you only about 1 hour to prepare, has the best flavor when served hot. You can add sliced coconut or coconut milk to the soup to bring an amazing flavor to your mouth.”
A: You can serve the sweet soup hot, cold, or at room temperature. Personally, I prefer it hot in such chilly weather. Pieces of cassava mixed with golden brown sweet soup will be an unforgettable treat for you guys. 
B: Yep. It is a wonderful experience to drop by a roadside restaurant to enjoy a big bowl of hot cassava sweet soup during such cold winter days as these. For now, good bye. We will catch you next time on VOV24/7’s Food Delight on 104 FM.


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