Chinese Sweet Potato Dessert Soup 番薯糖水

Tong Sui, literally “sugar water”, refers to the sweet and soup like dessert served at the end of a meal in the Chinese culture. Dessert soup made with sweet potatoes is one of the easiest ones to make. All you need is to dump the cubed sweet potatoes and ginger slices into water, boil until they are tender and then season with sugar. My mom used to make it over the stove but I’m now making it with my Instant Pot (an electric pressure cooker).
糖水是中菜裡常見的飯後甜品,而番薯糖水則是較易做的種類。只需把番薯塊和薑片加水煮至番薯軟化,再加糖調味便行。EC媽媽一般用爐火煮糖水,自從購買了電子壓力鍋Instant Pot之後,它便成為EC煮糖水的小幫手。

If you have ever made dessert soup that is very cloudy with mushy sweet potatoes, there is one tip I’d like to share with you. The trick is to soak the sweet potatoes in water before cooking. Soaking removes some amylose (a kind of starch molecule) in the sweet potatoes. When you look into the bowl of water you will notice cloudiness and starch sediment on the bottom. With less starches the color of your dessert soup will be much clearer and the sweet potatoes will be tender yet firm in texture. It is also a great news for ladies who are concerned about carbohydrate intake.

Chinese Sweet Potato Dessert Soup

Serves 6


500 g sweet potatoes, peeled and cubed (from about 3 medium sweet potatoes, I used 1 sweet potato and 2 Okinawan sweet potatoes)
3 slices of ginger
1 L water
1 piece slab sugar (or to taste)


番薯(去皮切塊) 500克 (約3個中型番薯,EC用了1個橙肉番薯和2個夏威夷紫薯)
薑 3片
片糖 1塊(可按喜好增減)
水 1公升

Directions 做法

Wash, peel and cut the sweet potatoes into cubes. Place them in a large bowl and soak in water for 30 to 60 minutes. Change the water once or twice with rinsing in between to remove any starch sediment. Drain and set aside.

Place sweet potato cubes, ginger slices and the slab sugar into the Instant Pot. Add water to cover the ingredients (I add hot water to speed up the heating process). Cover the pot, turn venting knob to sealing position and select “manual” function. Set to low pressure and pressure cook for 5 minutes. When timer beeps, wait 10 minutes before releasing pressure. Carefully remove the lid and serve. The soup dessert can be served hot or chilled.
把番薯塊,薑片和片糖放入Instant Pot內鍋後加水(水量須蓋過所有材料,想快一點可用熱水),關上鍋蓋把排氣閥調整到密封“sealing”位置,按“manual” 鍵選擇低壓煮5分鐘,煮好後待10分鐘才放壓排氣,小心打開蓋子後可取出享用,熱或冷吃皆可。

Stovetop method:  Place 1.5 L of water into a pot and bring to a boil. Add sweet potato cubes and ginger slices. When it comes to a boil again, cover and reduce to low heat and simmer for 15 to 20 minutes until the sweet potatoes are tender. Add slab sugar and boil until sugar dissolves. Remove from heat.

This one was made with Korean sweet potato and Okinawan sweet potato. I added tang yuan (glutinous rice balls) after making the soup with Instant Pot.

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