1. What is Vietnamese Che?
Vietnamese Che, also called sweet soup, is a type of food made with sugar, and the main ingredients are beans, seeds, or fruits. Che can have a soup-like texture or a thick consistency. The popular habit of eating Che in Vietnam is to taste it with ice, both eating and drinking.
Che is the common name for a unique dessert food. However, you need to pay attention to some places in the North of Vietnam, like Thai Nguyen, people call Che the type of dried tea. So, make sure you call it “Che Ngot” (sweet soup) in the Northern regions if you want to find a place to enjoy this typical food.
2. Five reasons make Che well-known
Che can be eaten hot or cold in any season
Most people in Vietnam like to eat Che with ice. On summer days, when the temperature is usually above 35 degrees Celsius along with high humidity, it causes a lot of sweating, which causes the body to lose water. At that time, a cup of sweet soup with ice to compensate for the necessary amount of water and refreshment.
With some types of tea such as green bean sweet soup, sticky rice Che, millet seed Che, sticky-rice ball sweet soup, etc., many people like to enjoy them when they are still hot or warm. Eating without ice will create a delicious sweet taste.
It can be said that Che is present in most seasons of the year, rainy seasons or sunny times. Vietnamese Che contributes to enriching the local cuisine, supplying the eating needs of everyone.
Che is a nutritious food, rich in vitamins and energy
With nutritious ingredients such as beans and seeds, or rich in vitamins from many tropical Vietnamese fruits such as bananas, jackfruit, and watermelons, this dish becomes a useful food for the body.
Abundant energy from sugar can supplement strength for physical activities and manual labor. A cup of sweet soup combines many factors to help the body have enough minerals and energy for daily activities.
The price of a cup of sweet soup is not high, so anyone can make an effort
A cup of tea costs 10,000 VND, but some places sell 15,000 VND. This price is considered reasonable for most consumers when they can get enough energy to eat and drink.
Therefore, in addition to filling foods such as banh mi or Hue beef noodle soup, Vietnamese sweet soup is a popular dessert choice for a brunch or lundinner.
Food easy to find in street corner or market
In almost any city in Vietnam, you can find some tasty sweet soup shops. If you are a new visitor, just ask the locals and they will show you the famous ones.
More simply, most local markets in Vietnam have at least one sweet soup load. Come to the food area of the market, in addition to the local dishes, you will notice Che with a variety of beans cooked in the pots and the colorful colors of the fruits in the cups in front of the stalls that attract diners.
Easy to prepare Vietnamese Che
Che is an easy food to prepare because using one or several types of beans combined together, cooked with sugar and a little ginger, you have a delicious sweet soup.
However, with some types of Hue royal sweet soup, such as longan lotus seed sweet soup, roasted pork filter powder sweet soup, etc., the processing method becomes extremely complicated. This cooking is an advanced step of the traditional Che, which is not popular in daily life, just professional chefs can cook it well.
So, if you have the opportunity to come to Hue City, you should enjoy this type of sweet soup. Surely, roasted pork soup will not be found anywhere in Vietnam, except Hue.
3. Ways to eat Che in Vietnam
There are two ways to eat Che in Vietnam: eating hot and cold.
Eating hot means that after cooking Che, you can eat it while it’s still hot, or you can let it cool down a bit and then taste it without ice.
Eating cold means tasting Che with ice, especially on hot days. Che is cooled, then added plenty of tiny ice into a cup of sweet soup. Use a small spoon to mix until you see almost the ice has dissolved into water, and then you can start scooping it to eat. The water remains in the cup, and if you can’t scoop it up, raise the glass and drink it right away.
Che is a popular food, so the way to enjoy it is very comfortable, you don’t pay too much attention to how you eat it. Just don’t make a lot of noise when drinking a cup of sweet soup.
4. Popular types of Che
Vietnam has hundreds of types of Che, but can be classified as follows:
- Bean Sweet Soup: The main ingredients include beans and seeds, such as black bean, red bean, big bean, etc.
- Flour Sweet Soup: The main ingredient is the filtered tapioca powder, which is common in Hue, such as sweet soup of filter tapioca with coconut, roasted pork filter tapioca powder,… Also, sticky rice flour is used to cooked Che, such as sticky-rice ball sweet soup.
- Fruit Sweet Soup: The main ingredients are fruits, such as banana sweet soup, mixed fruit sweet soup, corn sweet soup…
There is also a common type of Che considered as a combination of all the above types, which is Che Thap Cam (mixed sweet soup), meaning ten types of ingredients mixed together. This sweet-soup cup has a little bit of each type, including beans, fruit, filter powder, coconut water… creating a mess that mixes.
5. FAQ about Vietnamese Che
Can I eat Vietnamese Che without ice?
Yes, you can. But, the taste of Che is very sweet, so it is better to eat with ice to make it balanced and to get juice to drink as well. When you have a plan to enjoy sweet soup without ice, you should cook it and add less sugar.
When is Che eaten?
Che or sweet soup is sold and eaten even time of day and all year round, in the monsoon season or dry time. However, depending on the seasons and time, there are different types of sweet soups that suit for trying. Most people use Che as a drink when tasting with ice during hot days, the others taste it as dessert after main meals.
Can I carry sweet soup?
Yes, you can. When you carry sweet soup to another place or back home to taste, the seller usually packs it in a plastic bag with separate ice. But, we recommend you eat sweet soup for half of the day, do not keep it longer because the quality comes down.