Traditional Chinese Sweet Potato & Ginger Dessert Soup

"This is a traditional favorite in Hong Kong, found in most dessert houses and revered for its heartwarming and revitalizing properties. It can just be as easily prepared at home, and is sure to warm even the coolest of days (though it's popular all year-round). Yellow, red, and purple sweet potatoes are commonly found in the market, though yellow ones are ideal given its richer flavor. The amount of ginger may be adjusted according to level of tanginess desired. Red dates are natural sweeteners that add more flavor (optional). Raw slab sugar is commonly used in Southeastern Chinese desserts, and can be readily found in Asian groceries. The slab sugar is ideal for this recipe as it not only enhances the taste but also adds a nice golden color. A light, non-creamy, easy and healthy dessert that works great for any time of the day... and especially when you are down with a cold."
photo by c.k. Alvin photo by c.k. Alvin
photo by c.k. Alvin
Ready In:


  • 2 large sweet potatoes
  • 2 inches fresh gingerroot, skinned and sliced (approx. 45g)
  • 3 12 cups water
  • 8 dried red dates (optional)
  • 1 (60 g) slab raw brown sugar (approx. 60g, if not available, can be substituted with rock sugar)


  • Peel, wash and chop sweet potatoes into chunks.
  • Bring water to a boil; add ginger, sweet potatoes and red dates and simmer for 12-15 minutes.
  • Upon boiling, add slab sugar and boil until sugar dissolves.
  • serve hot or cold!

Questions & Replies

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  1. Gourmet Traveller
    You got it! I don't have a cold but not got a headache all day. Just made a bowl with the half sweet potato left at home. I like using brown sugar as my mom always used this and brown sugar was said to have a detox feature, not sure if this is true but heard from old people telling me that when I was a kid. Making this dessert makes me feel like home in HK. I am now in Switzerland. Adv of making this is that, for us who are from HK, we don't really need a recipe and can still make it. Cheers
  2. heypristo
    This was absolutely perfect! I used light brown sugar in place of the raw brown sugar. Thank you so much!


  1. heypristo
    This was absolutely perfect! I used light brown sugar in place of the raw brown sugar. Thank you so much!


I am a 24-year-old from Hong Kong; my years of studies abroad have taken me from the West Coast to the Northeast in the US and from rural Central Mexico to tropical Panama. Now in Hong Kong jet setting as a Flight Attendant I am continuing my journeys all across the globe and discovering food pleasures in every corner!
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