Hue sweet soup, so-called “Che Hue”, is a popular Vietnamese street food. It can be either as dessert or mid-day snack. Che Hue is probably the most famous in the country. Like any dishes from Hue, Che Hue is delicious, sophisticated and subtle.
There are 36 kinds of Che Hue. However, in reality, there are much more than that. Che Hue comes in many different forms, colors, thickness and tastes. They often include very simple ingredients such as cereals, fruits, cassava flour, sticky rice flour, sugar, etc. There are two main types of Che Hue – Che cung dinh (Royal Sweet Soup) and Che hem (Street Sweet Soup). Each type has specific types of ingredients.
Various types of Hue sweet soup
The royal type was, of course, served to royalty in the past. They have luxury ingredients cooked meticulously. Some notable Che cung dinh are lotus seed sweet soup – Che hat sen; lotus seed wrapped in logan sweet soup – Che nhan boc hat sen; grilled pork wrapped in cassava flour sweet soup – Che bot loc boc thit quay; areca flower sweet soup – Che hoa cau; green sticky rice sweet soup- Che com; made from a variety of taro sweet soup – Che mon sap vang, etc. Fortunately, these ingredients were only expensive in the past. They are now affordable so we can enjoy food of the kings more easily.
The common type, Che hem, is sold commonly on the street. The recipes for this type feature more simple ingredients. Some popular Che hem are: corn sweet soup – Che bap; sticky rice cake and green pea paste sweet soup – Che troi nuoc; taro sweet soup – Che khoai mon; mung bean sweet soup – Che dau xanh; white kidney bean sweet soup – Che dau ngu; red kidney bean sweet soup – Che dau do; black turtle bean sweet soup – Che dau den; grapefruit sweet soup – Che buoi, etc. Some people like to mix all kinds of Che to create mix sweet soup – Che thap cam.
How to cook this Vietnamese street food
Cooking Hue sweet soup is mostly about boiling water, adding prepared ingredients in and some sugar. However, it is difficult to make it very delicious. It requires you to add the exact amount of ingredients at the precise moment. If not, your Che Hue will taste really bad. In some Vietnam tours, you can ask your travel agents to arrange a cooking class to learn how to cook Che Hue.
Traditionally, Che Hue is served in small bowls; but some restaurants or food stalls serves them in glasses, or transparent plastic bags for take-away as well. You can enjoy it in any kind of weather. It also provides a nutritious energy boost for the day.
Che is also part of Hue’s culture. If you have a chance to visit Hue, have Che on your top list of Vietnamese street foods in your Indochina tours or you will miss a big part of Vietnamese cuisine picture.