Vietnamese Pomelo sweet soup

(VOVWORLD) - A pomelo is such a great summertime treat. But after devouring the flesh, most of us don't think twice before tossing the white skin, the part that sits between the flesh and the outer peel. Those skins might not be part of your dish, but with a little patience, you can turn the bitter skins into an incredible pomelo sweet soup. It’s light, easy to eat, and very good for your health.

 A: Hello, guys. Welcome to VOV 24/7’s Food Delight. We’re A and B. We’re really excited to share with you some cooking tips on today’s program.

B: Hello, guys. Hello, A. A, what do you usually do after peeling or trimming fruits and veggies? For example, what do you do with a pomelo’s skin.
A: Come on, B. What would you do with those scraps rather than tossing them in the compost bin or trash? A pomelo skin is inedible.
B: Uhm. A pomelo is such a great summertime treat. But after devouring the flesh, most of us don't think twice before tossing the white skin, the part that sits between the flesh and the outer peel. Those skins might not be part of your dish, but with a little patience, you can turn the bitter skins into an incredible pomelo sweet soup.
A: Actually, I’ve eaten pomelo sweet soup several times. But I can’t remember how many times I’ve looked at the dessert and been confused about the way it is made. The pomelo’s white skin is bitter but the soup is sweet. It seems an impossible mission, B.
B: Of course, it takes a little patience and skill to deal with the bitterness, but it’s worthwhile for such a beautifully aromatic soup. In the sweltering hot weather these days, enjoying a cold bowl of pomelo soup can really refresh you.
A: I’m not sure I can make it, B.
B: Do you remember Chef Phan Văn Thực from Old Hanoi Restaurant who taught us how to make flan cake recently? He’s in the studio today to teach us how to make “Pomelo sweet soup”.
A: Oh. Of course, I remember him. Thuc, with his 10 years of experience cooking traditional Vietnamese dishes, can answer any question I might have about this dessert. Let’s get started. “Pomelo sweet soup is a pure and light dessert containing mung bean, pomelo skin, and coconut milk. The mung beans should be selected carefully. Young beans which are medium-sized and have a green flesh are the best choice. You should choose a big pomelo with thick white skin. The preparation is not difficult but it takes time and patience. The challenge of this recipe is to get rid of the bitterness associated with the white skin.”

Vietnamese Pomelo sweet soup  - ảnh 1Pomelo sweet soup is a pure and light dessert containing mung bean, pomelo skin, and coconut milk (Source: Kentary.com)

 A: Peeling a pomelo is not as effortless as peeling a mandarin or orange. It can be a real challenge for newbie cook, because the thick pith is firmly attached to the flesh.

B: True. When you dig your fingers into a pomelo to peel it, you’ll find out it has a thick layer of pith, which almost feels like tearing a kitchen sponge. Peeling requires so much strength that I always have to ask my husband for help.
A: But I bet that peeling is not the toughest part of the process. Let’s hear Thuc elaborate on how to get rid of the white skin’s bitterness. “Cut the white skin into small cubes and mix with salt, press gently and rinse under water several times. Afterward, continue soaking in alum for several minutes to make the pomelo cubes crunchier. Rinse again under running water before mixing the cubes with sugar for 1-2 hours until the cubes become translucent. Next, roll them in tapioca starch and put all the cubes into a boiling pot. Cook until they float on the water. Then move the cubes to a bowl of ice, which helps make the cubes crunchier and chewier.”

Vietnamese Pomelo sweet soup  - ảnh 2The preparation is not difficult but it takes time and patience. The challenge of this recipe is to get rid of the bitterness associated with the white skin (Source: Emdep.vn)

 B: Making pomelo sweet soup is not as easy as I thought, B. Mixing with salt, alum, and sugar, and then tapioca starch. Goodness me, too many steps to follow

A: To make this dessert, the skilful hand of a cook is necessary. You should taste a pomelo cube before cooking to make sure it is not bitter anymore.
B: Got it. Now, Thuc will tell us how to finish this beautiful dessert. “The mung beans are soaked in water about 1 hour before being steamed. Steam the beans until tender. The beans should retain their shape, and not be crushed. In a pot, cook water with sugar and tapioca starch. Gently stir the mixture until it gets thick and clear. When it boils, add the steamed mung beans and pomelo cubes and stir gently until well-mixed. Finally, your dessert is finished. Scoop into small bowls, add crushed ice, pour a little coconut milk on top, and enjoy. This is a popular treat that can cool you off on these crazy hot summer days.”
A: You can add a pomelo flower or some vanilla to the boiling pot to make a more fragrant dessert, which delivers the flavor of crisp pomelo pulp, soft of mung beans, and creamy coconut milk. It’s light, easy to eat, and very good for your health.
B: You may become addicted to this dessert like me. Cook some and share your opinion and photos with us by emailing them to englishsection@vov.org.vn. Or tag us on Facebook at VOV5 English Section.
A: For more recipes, visit vovworld.vn/ Food-delight where several recipes are already waiting. We always love seeing what you guys come up with. Join us next week for more tips on diversifying your menu. And now, good bye.


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