The famous Kim Long Ginger Jam in Hue has a distinct, spicy flavor. The ginger can neither be too old (as the final product will then lack smooth texture), nor can it be too young, because it will not have its characteristic pungency.
First, the ginger is peeled and sliced. Thin ginger slices are soaked in cold water with squeezed lemon juice for about 30 minutes in order to clean them, then mixed with sugar.
The ginger is then cooked in sugar syrup on wood fires for about an hour until the slices become more firm and the sugar is neatly wrapped around each slice.
To make this happen, the mixture has to be continuously stirred with chopsticks, so that it does not get burnt.
The ginger jam is then placed on a tray where it is cooled. Here, the jam-maker uses thin bamboo sticks to separate the ginger slices as they can easily stick together when hot.
What makes the Kim Long ginger jam special is that every step is done by hand, and it has no other ingredient except ginger and sugar – no additives are used. Regular buyers love the Kim Long ginger jam for its pure spicy-sweet flavour.
Currently, the Kim Long Ward has about 20 households making the jam in the traditional way.
Besides serving locals during Tet holiday, Kim Long ginger jam is also ordered year-round by dealers in cities across central Vietnam and also Ho Chi Minh City.