A few nights ago, I was having dinner with Zen at one of our local pubs, 3 Weeds. After a succulent steak sandwich and the comfort of a bowl of chips, my mind was set on dessert.

Oh, how I wanted the vanilla panna cotta with mango jelly, mango sorbet & coconut tapioca. But Zen reminded me of my winning streak with the recent weight loss so I did the sensible thing and walked away… (I know that a steak sandwich and chips may not sound very healthy but I assure you I’ve been eating super lean every other night)

So anyway, as we settled back home onto the couch, I said I was going to make some tea…

On my way to the kettle, I swung open the fridge and grabbed some ginger, walked past the potato box and picked up two sweet potatoes.

And within 15-20 minutes, I was back on the couch with a bowl of this delicious tong sui.

Sweet Potato Tong Sui (番薯糖水)

Tong sui (糖水) translates directly to ‘sweet water’ and is used to describe any Chinese sweet soup or custard that is served as dessert.

This recipe for sweet potato sweet soup (番薯糖水: Fān shǔ táng shuǐ) is extremely simple. So easy that I managed to whip it up even without the intentions to cook, which is why we ate out in the first place!

I love how the hotness of the ginger balances out the sweetness of the soup. It is delightful to eat warm and so refreshing to have chilled. It also occurred to me that this was the first Chinese dessert I’ve ever made from scratch by myself. I’m sure there will be many more to come, especially if there are others as easy as this!

Sweet Potato Tong Sui (番薯糖水)
Serves 4
60 calories
14 g
0 g
0 g
1 g
0 g
244 g
43 g
4 g
0 g
0 g
Nutrition Facts
Serving Size
Amount Per Serving
Calories 60
Calories from Fat 0
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 0g
Saturated Fat 0g
Trans Fat 0g
Polyunsaturated Fat 0g
Monounsaturated Fat 0g
Cholesterol 0mg
Sodium 43mg
Total Carbohydrates 14g
Dietary Fiber 2g
Sugars 4g
Protein 1g
Vitamin A
Vitamin C
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your Daily Values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
  1. 2 large sweet potatoes
  2. 1 slab Chinese brown sugar
  3. 1 small knob of ginger
  4. 3 cups of water
  1. Peel sweet potatoes and cut into bite-sized pieces.
  2. Slice the ginger into 2 or 3 segments and bruise it and using a pestle and mortar.
  3. Bring the water to boil and add all the ingredients.
  4. Cover the pan with lid and boil for 15-20 minutes or until sweet potatoes are soft.
  5. Serve immediately or chilled.
I Ate My Way Through

So I suppose the moral of this story is that nothing stops a girl from getting her dessert 😉

Chinese sweet potato & ginger dessert soup

Previous articleChefs Gallery and a choc giveaway
Next articleTharen’s Restaurant & Bar
Jennifer is the founding blogger of I Ate My Way Through (originally, Growing up in the multicultural melting pot of Sydney’s Inner West as a second generation Australian (of Vietnamese refugee parents of Teochew Chinese ancestry), Jen has always had a deep curiosity about global cuisines, culinary heritage and the cultural assimilation of immigrants. For Jen and her family, food is always at the centre of all celebrations, life events and milestones. A lover of the finer things in life, as well as cheap eats, her blogging ethos is all about empowering and inspiring people to expand their culinary repertoire. When not running her two companies (she is also the Managing Director of The Bamboo Garden online marketing agency), Jen can be found exploring old-world charms at vintage markets and delving into local eats around the world. She has a weakness for fried chicken.

My fav is to use purple sweet potato, cut it using 'cracking' action- mum says is a traditonal method, the soup taste better. Here's how to do it: make a small cut into the sweet potato, left hand hold the root, right hand hold the knife firm against it- into the cut, twist the knief and let the potato crack out of it, you have to crack a small piece at a time and work your way down. The uneven cut edges will release more starch into the soup make the soup tastier!!

Yoshi Blade
Yoshi Blade

This soup sound quite good. Thanks for the recipe.


Oh my gosh! I remember that my mom used to make this all the time and I had NO idea how she did it! Thanks so much for providing a recipe, I'll try it out asap :)


love sweet potato tong sui! my old time favourite. :)

Jenny @ Musings and Morsels
Jenny @ Musings and Morsels

That looks especially soothing for a rainy day indoors or perhaps when I'm feeling down and blue. Scratch that, any day.


I love the use of ginger in soups. Have never tried making a sweet Chinese soup before, this one looks easy and delicious.

Gastronomous Anonymous
Gastronomous Anonymous

i love this dessert! can't believe you made it from scratch! will have to try it soon :)


This looks great Jen, so delicious. And amazing job for cooking your first Chinese dessert from scratch