Sweet millet soup called Che Ke in Vietnamese has become a favorite part of the rural lives of people in the Quang area of central Vietnam.
The very simple ingredients used in this dish are only millet, ginger slices, molasses or sugar. However, the skills of an excellent cook are required to make a delicious bowl of Che Ke.
First, the millet chosen must be a dark yellow variety because this kind provides a better flavor as well as a thick starch. In order to get rid of sand particles, these tiny millet grains must be washed in a closely-woven basket and then soaked in clean water for nearly an hour.
Secondly, a pot of water is boiled on a stove and the soft wet millet is poured into this boiling water and slowly cooked on a low flame.
When the mixture begins to boil in the pot, it must be stirred regularly by a ladle until the millet is well-done.
At this stage you can add some sugar or molasses to taste and some crushed ginger into the pot.
To ensure the dish to have the desired taste, it is necessary to stop cooking as soon as the soup becomes thick. If timing is not adhered to at this stage, the finished dish will lose its millet flavor and the lovely sweet taste of molasses.
On festive occasions, celebrations and anniversaries, residents of the Quang area always cook this dish, creating nostalgic memories in the hearts of people living far away from their hometown.