Monday, 30 April 2012

Flavours of my Vietnam: Mung Bean Puree Dessert - Chè Đậu Xanh

Wow, I'm so glad to be back from my one week break!! Haven't written in ages, but first week of school was pretty hectic.  Haha, the feeling of rushing school homework on the "pupil-free" day, coming back to school on the Tuesday and getting another anticipated load of year 12 homework, the ANZAC day holiday we had after - in which I enjoyed watching The Avengers, omg this movie is seriously good stuff!! The whole crowd was laughing at every joke.  Tix sold out when I waited at 12.20pm for the 1pm shift, so I had to come back for the 5.50pm shift, but man it was worth it.  I heart TONY STARK :P!! And then school resumed Thursday and Friday, got our reports back, and now that the HSC exam timetables are released, it means I can plan more future food outings :)

But yeah, it's been a while since my first "Flavours of my Vietnam" post, and so I'm back with one of my favourite che desserts --> Chè Đậu Xanh

It's a tradition that we make xôi vò and chè đậu xanh for days like death anniversaries, weddings, and other important days.  But over here, I eat this quite a lot each year, because my mum's got a sweet tooth.  She lurvveeeessss Viet desserts :) And she knows I love my xôi vò and chè đậu xanh.  Mmmmm, talk about microwaved xôi vò with a cool bowl of chè đậu xanh straight from the freezer.  Man, this is like melt-in-the-mouth stuff!!! Soooo good :)  And what I like about my mum's dessert making and recipes is that it's all instinct-based.  Never any real specific measurements, just whatever fits our palates :)  Different for every family, but seriously this is so good you have got to try it :)  This is kinda hard when I gotta write out a recipe for it, but it gives room for your own experimentation :)

My mum said the secret to having a superduper creamy puree is to soak the mung beans overnight, and steam them as well.

Chè Đậu Xanh - Mung Bean Puree Dessert
Prep time: Needs overnight, but it'd be about 40 minutes.

- 125 to 250g of dried mung bean - these dried mung beans are sold in 250g bags in Asian groceries (we usually use either 125g or 250g, but it doesn't matter, because all the other ingredients will be measured out by comparing it with the amount of mung bean you choose to make the dessert with)
- 200ml carton of coconut cream (I use Kara Coconut Cream)
- water
- approx 200g sugar
(I used 125g mung bean, 200ml coconut cream, I measured the volume of water to add through just looking at the volume of the mung bean while it was in the blender, and about 100g sugar)

1. Soak the mung bean in water overnight.
2. The next morning, steam the mung bean for 10-20 minutes - the 20 minute mark is usually when it's very soft, there isn't a failure point, like whether it's overcooked or not at the 20 minute mark, because the softer it is, the better the puree will become.  Check for softness of the mung bean by picking up a random mung bean and smearing it between your fingers.  Do this to several mung beans. If it's soft and creamy, then it's done, but yes, usually at the 20 minute mark, it should be very soft.

steamer thing
3. Knead the mung beans in a cloth, or pound with a ladle or large spoon of some sort.
4. Place the amount of this warm mung bean you chose in the blender (leaving it to cool will result in a batch of puree dessert that's not as consistently creamy). The water amount should be around the same volume as the mung bean volume.  Put about 50g of sugar in the blender, and blend.  Now you can add as much sugar as your palate desires here.
5. Pour this puree into a saucepan and pour coconut cream in. (If you used 125g of mung bean, 100ml of coconut cream is ample, but you can add up to 200ml of coconut cream to it if you want, it gets really creamy, trust me. So just pour to your palate's desire :))
6. Stir to reduce it to become even creamier. And also, if you left your amount of mung bean to cool down because you were busy, this stirring step helps to even the consistency as well (but it's mainly just to stir in the coconut cream)
7. Spoon out into bowls.

I experimented with the flavours and tastes. Warning: don't try this at home, as you might be spending the entire time just eating it from the blender.
- licking the mung bean + water + sugar puree from the blender - it's got a really strong mung bean taste
- licking the final puree from the saucepan - it's much much much creamier, and the coconut cream is underlying the mung bean taste all the way.

Final result :)

Oh and by the way, you know what a good smoothie avocado and mung bean make? :) Both melt-in-the-mouth, creamy and lovely to lick off your lips, or the spoon, or the bowl, or spoon out of the blender.... ;)

(Blogpost edited 24/2/13)


  1. Hi, thanks for the above recipe. Looking forward to trying it sometime. What sort of rice is in the pictures? Is the rice mixed with something? kinda looks eggy.

    1. Hey Ray :)

      The rice is a special rice dish called "xôi đậu xanh", which is "mung bean rice" - the texture of the rice is not like sticky rice, it's a very soft and fluffy rice with steamed mung beans mixed into it.

      But yes, definitely try this mung bean puree recipe, i'ts very delicious!! :)


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