Sugar cane juice, or “nuoc mia” in Vietnamese, is one of the most popular drinks on the streets of Vietnam – especially during these warmer days. As a local street food tour provider, we want to answer sugarcane juice in Vietnam related questions like why you or anyone visiting Hanoi should drink sugarcane juice.
What is sugar cane ?
Sugarcane is an herbaceous plant that can grow up to 6 meters tall when mature, with a fat, knobby and fibrous body. The plant is native to tropical countries such as Vietnam, where it is grown primarily for sugar production.
Sugarcane juice is a fresh, sweet, syrupy liquid obtained from dehulled sugarcane plants pressed through a machine or hand press. Juice is a key ingredient in many other products such as brown sugar, jaggery, rum, molasses, biofuels and ethanol.
On the streets of Vietnam, street vendors often press peeled sugarcane stalks with green kumquats for a sauce, sometimes adding a pinch of salt to balance the sweetness (but no ginger). The soft drink is then poured into a glass filled with ice for an irresistible refreshment.
How Much Nutrition and Calories Are in Sugarcane Juice?
Sugarcane juice is a source of several critical nutrients as well as a pleasant and tasty beverage. This natural drink is high in nutrients and provides a variety of health advantages. Let’s take a closer look at sugarcane juice’s nutritional profile:
- Potassium: Sugarcane juice is a good source of this element, which is essential for maintaining healthy heart and blood pressure functions. A healthy cardiovascular system may be maintained and the risk of stroke can be decreased with an adequate potassium intake.
- Magnesium and calcium are two minerals that are crucial for keeping healthy bones and teeth. Magnesium maintains a healthy immune system and adds to energy generation, while calcium also helps muscles operate.
- Iron: Iron, a vital mineral needed for the creation of red blood cells and the prevention of anemia, is present in sugarcane juice. Iron supports normal cognitive function and assists in the movement of oxygen throughout the body.
- B vitamins: Thiamine (vitamin B1) and riboflavin (vitamin B2) are two of the B vitamins that may be found naturally in sugarcane juice. These vitamins are essential for the efficient functioning of the neurological system, the metabolism of energy, and the maintenance of good skin and vision.
Sugarcane juice has the following nutritional value per cup (240 ml):
- Calories: Sugarcane juice has 183 calories per cup, which makes it a moderately calorie-dense beverage.
- Sugar: Sugarcane juice should be drank in moderation, especially by people with diabetes or those trying to reduce their sugar intake because it contains about 50g of sugar per cup.
- Fiber: Sugarcane juice has 13 grams of fiber per cup, which improves gut health, aids with digestion, and helps one maintain a healthy weight.
Despite the fact that sugarcane juice contains a variety of nutrients, due to its high sugar level, it must be consumed in moderation. For a healthy option, it is advised to use freshly squeezed sugarcane juice without any extra sweets.
Why is sugarcane juice popular in Vietnam?
Vietnam is sunny and ideal for growing sugar cane, one of the country’s staple crops since ancient times. Records show that raw sugar was part of Vietnam’s annual tribute to China more than 2,000 years ago.
Native to Vietnam, sugar cane has been featured in local cuisine for centuries. Most suppliers source their cane from the nearby countryside, and the short distance from farm to cart ensures that it remains mostly fresh and juicy before being eaten.
Plus, Vietnam is one of the hottest countries in the world, and summer weather isn’t good for anyone on the street. In the scorching sun, a glass of cool kumquat-flavored sugarcane juice is definitely a gift from heaven that everyone welcomes with open arms.
Apart from its instant cooling effect, sugarcane juice is one of the most popular drinks in Vietnam. A glass (240ml) costs just 15,000 VND (65 cents), which is considered reasonable for a drink like this.
So now you know that drinking a glass of sugarcane juice is convenient, refreshing, refreshing and cheap in Vietnam. Grab a glass of ice cane juice and enjoy it every time you feel the need to recharge and rehydrate during your culinary adventure.
How is sugarcane juice produced?
Since sugarcane juice is a favorite drink in Hanoi, it can be found in abundance. Any cane that doesn’t make it to the mills will have to lie under the heavy wheels of cane juicers and down the parched throats of thirsty locals and weary tourists.
In Hanoi, sugarcane juice is usually hand-pressed between two heavy drums. The seller inserts two to three sticks about 50 cm long in the middle of the drum, and the milky white viscous juice flows down the plastic tank, waiting to be picked up.
After the second pressing, he folded the kumquat in half and sandwiched two blueberries, the taste blended perfectly with the soda. It is then poured into ice-filled glasses and delivered quickly to customers.
As well as the traditional sugar cane juice, there are newer versions that attract the flocks of young Hanoi. New products include Coconut Cane Juice, Black Pearl Cane Juice and Passion Fruit Juice.
Why Drink Sugarcane Juice ?
During our walking street food tour, our customers will taste different local products such as the famous Pho, Egg Coffee, Bread and Sugarcane Juice. As food guides, we get a lot of questions about Hanoi and what the city has to offer.
To answer the question of why you should drink sugarcane juice, we would like to list some of the benefits of sugarcane juice as follows:
- A cool glass of sugarcane juice instantly cools the body and energizes it.
- Sugarcane juice retains all the minerals and vitamins we need because it is squeezed directly from fresh sugarcane.
- It promotes smoother liver and kidney function by removing accumulated toxins while replenishing the body with nutrients and protein.
- The moisture in sugarcane juice not only refreshes and hydrates your body, it also gives your skin a youthful glow.
Can I drink sugarcane juice if I have diabetes?
Like other sugary drinks, sugar cane juice is a good choice if you have diabetes. Its high sugar content can dangerously raise your blood sugar. Despite some articles pointing to anti-diabetic effects, sugarcane juice is not suitable for diabetics. Therefore, we ask our customers participating in the Hanoi food tour to avoid this drink altogether.
Should you be making sugarcane juice at home?
You can find sugarcane juice recipes online and make your own at home, but it still takes a lot of effort to reap the small rewards. We’re going to be very honest here. And the taste is unmatched by the rich, thick, milky sweetness of the freshly squeezed sugar cane sold on the street.
Sugar cane juice just doesn’t stand up. After a few minutes of juicing the cloudiness disappears and becomes clear, almost like sugar water, but with a hint of kumquat.
In Hanoi’s French Quarter, you can now find hygienic versions of sugarcane juice produced by big corporations with fancy logos. For us, it’s cheating, you’ll never actually taste this delicious juice unless you’re drinking ice crystals at an old-fashioned stand on the corner. cunning.
If using a blender, you will need to chop the cane into small pieces and add water to dilute the juice. It’s still delicious chilled over ice, but for the real experience, you want to go out onto the street.
Some things in the world taste best where they are found, and the same goes for street food. Copying them is great, but the real reward is the joy you get when your food and drinks are served by suppliers who have spent years perfecting them.
Where can I buy sugarcane juice?
Now you know why you should be drinking sugarcane juice, and you might be wondering where you can get it. As with most places in Southeast Asia, street vendors bring fresh food and drinks from around the world to your corner, and sometimes even to your hotel door.
Sugarcane juice is not for the faint of heart, however, go ahead and try it. It’s a local staple and cane juice bars can often be found on bustling street corners. They’re definitely a taste of Hanoi, cold and sweet in a dusty plastic jar.
In Hanoi, almost every street sells sugarcane juice, and you can buy it at any store that sells sugarcane juice. Just go to one of these stalls and ask for a drink. Here are our favorite sugarcane juice bars:
- Hang Dieu Sugar Cane Juice: 77 Hang Dieu, Hoan Kiem, Hanoi
- No Lo Sugar Cane Juice: 61 Quoc Tu Giam, Dong Da, Hanoi
In summary, sugarcane juice gives a tasty and cool method to drink while also offering a variety of minerals including potassium, calcium, magnesium, iron, thiamine, and riboflavin. Despite having calories and sugar, sugarcane juice can be used in moderation as part of a healthy diet. So appreciate the natural sweetness and potential health advantages of a glass of freshly squeezed sugarcane juice. Try sugarcane juice in Vietnam for a refreshing and delicious experience that captures the essence of the country’s culinary delights.