Tag Archives: 蕃薯

chinese sweet potato dessert (蕃薯糖水)

Chinese Sweet Potato Dessert

When I was trying to make the Western desserts, I seem to have almost forgotten my hometown desserts. Well, I have to say my family do not eat desserts very much, my mom does not have sweet teeth at all and so is my dad. The sweet potato dessert is one of the few that my mom makes occasionally, it is extremely easy to make and a very typical dessert you can find in Hong Kong. It can be eaten all year round but particularly suitable during winter, as ginger will warm you up. You may ask why brown sugar, it gives a distinct taste, more natural and a nice brownish color to the dessert. Chinese brown sugar is also said to have a detoxification function. Overall, this is a very healthy dessert.

Tell you a little something, when I was little, during Winter, from time to time, we would take a hot bath with a bar of Chinese brown sugar dissolved in the water, this is to make our skin less dry, a simple and cost effective spa, isn’t it? In the past, there were not so many skincare products and even if there were, a lot of people would not be willing to spend on these luxurious products.  I still occasionally do this in Switzerland. I am not sure if it really helps but there is no harm to do it, reminds me my childhood : )


Serves 2

  • 1 big sweet potato or about 400g, cut into cubes
  • 1 bar of chinese brown sugar (see picture below)
  • 2 slices of ginger
  • 300ml water


  1. Put the ginger, sweet potato cubes, brown sugar into a medium pan and add in the water.
  2. Bring to boil and then turn to medium heat, simmer for about 30 mins or until the sweet potatoes are soft enough and the brown sugar water has slightly immersed into the sweet potatoes.
  3. Discard the ginger and serve while it is hot.


Chinese Brown Sugar

sweet potato rice congee (地瓜粥/ 蕃薯粥)

Sweet Potato Rice Congee

Feel miserable the whole day because of the headache keeps coming and going. Just having the Ginger, Lemon & Honey (GLH) tea and Chinese Herbal tea, Xia Sang Giu (夏桑菊) are not enough. Time to eat something but no appetite tonight. Having a sweet potato sitting at home, it reminds me of my mom used to cook Sweet potato rice congee (rice porridge) occasionally at home.

My mom told me that this congee was very common in the old days in South of China when the poor people did not have enough money to buy proper food but have to fill up their stomach. The sweet potatoes which give a tint of sweet taste to the congee make it possible that no extra seasonings are required to add to the congee. In the past, people makes this congee to fill up their stomach but in the modern days, at home we cook this occasionally to cleanse or detox our body after a lot of good meals or when we are feeling unwell. The sweet potato does not only serve the purpose of making the congee taste less plain but it also provides a very good source of fibre. We sometimes like to use this as part of our dieting program! But I have already forgotten and should use it again. There is one celebrity in Hong Kong which spare one day just to eat congee for keep fit purpose.

We are so fortunate nowadays that we have too much good food that we have to find ways to diet;  on the contrary, this simple dish was an important dish that people cooked to fill up their stomachs! When I think of this, I will blessed of how lucky we are today and should treasure what we have each day! My mom has always taught us not to waste food: Don’t have eyes bigger than one’s stomach“. That’s also one of the motives behind why I would join BloggerAid without hesistation!


Makes 2 bowls for one person


  • 1/2 cup of long grain rice
  • a small sweet potato (~200g), peeled and cut into cubes
  • 1 slice of ginger



  1. Wash the long grain rice in a deep pan.
  2. Add about 1 litre of water into the deep pan and add in the sweet potato cubes and ginger.
  3. Bring to boil and then turn to medium heat and cook with the lid half closed, (to avoid spilling) for about 45 mins.
  4. Stir occasionally to avoid sticking at the bottom of the pan.



  1. If the porridge begins to stick, this means it should be cook and ready to serve.
  2. Best to finish the porridge on the same day, keeping it overnight is possible but may create wind and not suitable to do especially when you are unwell, just sharing some old Chinese believes…