Desserts in Vietnam: Not all Vietnamese eat desserts as we know them, although an array are always on sale to tempt children and sweet-toothed adults. Generally, meals are finished off with platters of fresh fruit. Here are a few popular Vietnamese dessert recipes;
Fruits In Syrup (Try Cai)
- 2 tb Sugar
- 4 tb – water
- 2 tb Dry sherry
- 2 ts Lemon or lime juice
- 1 Orange
- 2 c Fresh pineapple; cubed
- 1 1/2 c Fresh or canned lichees
- Cook the sugar and water into a syrup.
- Cool and stir in sherry and lemon/lime juice.
- Peel and segment the orange;
- Toss with the pineapple and lichees.
- Pour the syrup over the fruits.
- Chill 1 hour.
Coconut Flan With Caramel (Banh Dua Ca Ra Men)
- 1/4 c Sugar
- 1/4 c Hot water
- 1 c Fresh or canned coconut milk
- 1 c Milk
- 1/4 c Sugar
- 4 Eggs
- 1 ts Vanilla extract
This is the ultimate coconut dessert++an adaptation of the classic “Creme renversee”, or “Flan au caramel”. The technique used is distinctly French but the flavors are all Vietnamese.
This custard is at its best when prepared a day in advance and refrigerated so the flavors can mellow. If you just can’t wait, you might try the Vietnamese method of rapid cooling for dishes such as this: place a small scoop of shaved ice on top of each custard before serving!
Preheat the oven to 325F.
Make the caramel: Cook the sugar in a small heavy saucepan over low heat, swirling the pan constantly, until brown. Stir the hot water into the caramel, being careful to guard against splattering (the mixture will bubble vigorously). Boil the mixture, swirling the pan occasionally, until the sugar is thoroughly dissolved, about 2 minutes.
Pour the caramel syrup into a 1-quart souffle dish or five 4-ounce ramekins. Tilt the molds to coat all of the surfaces with caramel.
Make the custard: Combine the coconut milk, milk and sugar in a medium saucepan over low heat. Scald until the sugar dissolves completely. Remove from heat.
In a large bowl, whisk the eggs and vanilla. Gradually whisk the hot coconut milk mixture into the eggs, blending thoroughly.
Strain the custard through a fine sieve into a bowl. Carefully pour into the caramel-lined souffle dish or ramekins.
Line a large roasting pan with 2 layers of paper towels (see Note). Put the souffle dish in the roasting pan and add hot water to reach halfway up the side of the dish. Bake in the center of the oven for 50 minutes (30 minutes if using ramekins), or until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean. Be careful not to let the water boil; do not disturb the custard while baking. This is the only “secret” to producing a smooth and velvety custard.
Remove the souffle dish immediately from the hot water. Allow to cool in a cold-water bath. Chill thoroughly.
To serve, run a knife around the edge of the custard and turn out onto dessert plates. Serve with shaved ice or whipped cream, if desired.
Note: The paper towels in the roasting pan serve a twofold purpose: First, they allow the hot water to circulate under the souffle dish while baking to distribute the heat evenly; second, if using small ramekins, it stabilizes them and keeps them from moving around while baking.
Yield: 5 servings.
Bananas in Coconut Cream
- 6 bananas
- 12fl oz/375ml/ 2 cups coconut milk
- 2tbs/30 ml granulated sugar
- 0.5 tsp/2.5ml salt
Peel the bananas and chop into 2in/5cm segments. In a saucepan, heat the coconut milk with the sugar and salt, and cook gently until the sugar dissolved. Add the banana pieces and cook gently for 5 minutes. Divide the mixturee into 6-8 small bowls and serve warm.
Baked Coconut Rice Pudding
- 90g / 3oz scant 1 cup short or sround-grain pudding rice
- 600ml/1 pint/2.5 cups coconut milk
- 300ml cups milk
- 1 large strip lime rind
- 60g/2oz cup caster sugar
- stick of butter
- pinch of ground star anise
- fresh or stewed fruit, to serve
Mix the rice with the coconut milk, milk, lime rind and sugar.
Pour the rice mixture into a lightly-greased 1.4 litre shollow ovenproff dish and dot the surface with a little butter. Bake in the oven for about 30 minutes.
Remove and discard the strip of lime. Stir the pudding well, add the pinch of ground star anise, if using, return to the oven and cook for a further 1-2 hours or until almost all the milk has been absorbed and a golden brown skin has baked on the top of the pudding.
Cover the top of the pudding with foil if it starts to brown too much to wards the end of the cooking time.
Banana Rice Pudding
1 1/2 cups brown rice — cooked
1 cup nonfat milk
1 medium banana — cut in slices
1 can fruit (15-ounce can) — cut in slices
1/4 cup water
2 tablespoons honey
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
In a medium-size saucepan, combine the banana and fruit slices, water, honey, vanilla, cinnamon and nutmeg. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat, and simmer for 10 minutes, or until quite tender but not mushy. Add the rice and milk and mix thoroughly. Bring to a boil and simmer 10 more minutes. Serve warm.
Another Viet Style Banana Recipe
- 3 tbsp shredded fresh coconut 60g/2oz cup unsalted butter
- 1tbsp grated ginger root
- grated zest of 1 orange
- 6 bananas
- 60g/2oz cup caster sugar
- 4tbsp fresh lime juice
- 6tbsp orange liqueur
- 3tsp toasted seasme seed
- lime slices, to decorate
- ice-cream, to serve
Heat a small non-stick frying pan until hot. Add the coconut and cook, stirring constantly, for about 1 minute until lightly coloured. Remove from the pan and allow to cool.
Heat the butter in a large fring pan until it melys. Add the ginger and orange zest and mix well.
Pell and slice the bananas lengthways.
Place the bananas cut-side down in the butter mixture and cook for 1-2 minutes or until the sauce mixture starts to become sticky. Turn to coat in the sauce.
Remove the bananas from the pan and place on heated serving plates. Keep warm.
Return the pan to the heat and add the orange liqueur, stirring well to blend. Ignite with a taper, allow the flames to die down, then pour over the bananas.
Sprinkle with the coconut and sesame seeds and serve at once, decorated with slices of lime.
Sweet Banana Soup With Tapioca & Coconut
A very common dessert in Hanoi. You can serve it hot, cold, or room temp. I personally prefer it hot in winter (yes it does get cold in Hanoi in winter, very actually!)
- 2 cups water
- 1/2 cup sugar (less, if the bananas are very ripe)
- 1 (14 ounce) can light coconut milk
- 1/4 cup minute tapioca
- 2 large ripe bananas, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1-2 teaspoon sesame seeds, toasted (optional)
4 servings Change size or US/metric
- Bring water and coconut milk to boil in a medium saucepan.
- Add sugar, salt, tapioca.
- Reduce heat to medium low, let it cook for about 30 minutes, stir frequently.
- Stir in bananas, remove from heat and let stand for 15 minutes.
- Note: after you add the bananas, don’t stir too much, it’ll break up the fruit.
- Serve hot, or chill for 3-4 hours.
Husband and Wife Cake (banh Phu The)
A Hue dessert. Traditionally, a guy would offer these to the girl he wants to marry. Now these cakes are still an essential part of a wedding banquet, or the gift packages that the groom’s family send over to the bride’s.
- 4 cups water
- 1 lb starch flour
- 1 1/3 cups sugar
- 1/2 cup flaked coconut
- 5 ounces yellow mung beans, soaked in water
- 2/3 sugar syrup
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
- 2 tablespoons lemon extract or pomelo blossom fruit essence
Mix water, flour, sugar and shredded coconut, heat on low flame and stir for about 10 minutes. Cook mung bean until tender, may take up to 1 hour on stove top. Drain then put back on stove. Pour in sugar syrup and oil. When most of the liquid has evaporate, add extract and remove from heat. Put a thin layer of dough in small individual molds or cupcake tins, layer a small spoon of stuffing on top and top with another layer of dough. Place them in steamer for about 20 minutes or until the dough is transparent. Remove from molds, let cool and serve with green tea.
Mung Bean Pudding (Vietnamese Che Kho)
My mom doesn’t make this dish unless it’s Lunar New Year. But we can buy it in corner stores in Hanoi all year round. Prep time doesn’t include overnight soaking.
- 1 kg mung beans (still in shell)
- 1 kg granulated sugar
- 3 tablespoons sesame seeds
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- Soak mung bean overnight, pick out all bad beans.
- Remove shell/skin of the rest, let dry.
- Dry toast sesame in a hot shallow pan.
- Let cool.
- Boil mung beans in a pot until tender, about 50 minutes to 1 hour.
- Strain off water and process them into paste (using mortar, food processor).
- Add sugar, mix thoroughly and leave for 1 hour.
- Pour mixture into a large surface pan or pot and cook over low heat, stir constantly until it becomes a thick paste (thicker than mashed potatoes).
- Mix in vanilla.
- Spoon the pudding onto 6 small plates, press them down firmly.
- Sprinkle sesame seeds on top
- . Best served with green tea.
Chinese Sweet Red Bean Soup
This is a wonderful dessert that you can serve hot or cold. Amazingly fresh, perfect for summer. And it’s very versatile. You can use mung beans, white beans instead of red beans.
- 1/3-1/2 cup sugar
- 1 cup red beans (soaked in cold water overnight)
- 1/3 cup dried lotus seeds (at asian grocery stores or health food stores, soaked in cold water overnight)
- 1 tablespoon vanilla
- 1/4 cup pearl tapioca (optional)
- 1/4 cup glutten rice balls (can be found at asian grocery stores) (optional)
- 7 cups water
- Combine water and beans in a large pot, bring to a boil.
- Reduce heat to simmer, cook uncovered till beans are tender (about 2 hours?).
- Add lotus seed and sugar (plus tapioca and rice balls if you choose to), cook until soup thickens a little and lotus seeds are tender, but not mushy (20 minutes).
- Add vanilla, serve hot for a perfect winter dessert, or you can let the soup cool down, then add ice.
- With this basic recipe, you can take out all the beans, increase the amount of lotus seeds and have a lotus seeds sweet soup instead.
Rainbow Drink (Che Ba Mau)
- 3/4 cup skinless split mung beans, soaked for 3 hours and drained
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 1/2 cup red azuki beans, soaked for 4 hours and drained
- 1-1/2 cups coconut milk
- 1/4 cup tapioca pearls
- 1 can longan, drained
- Bring 2 cups water to a simmer in a pot over medium heat. Add the mung beans and 1/4 cup sugar. Cook, stirring constantly, until the water is completely absorbed, about 20 minutes. Remove from the heat and allow to cool. Refrigerate until ready to use.
- Bring 2 cups of water just to a boil in a pot over medium heat. Reduce the heat to low, add the azuki beans and 1/4 cup sugar. Cover and simmer until the beans are cooked through, about 3 hours. Remove from the heat and allow to cool. Refrigerate until ready to use.
- Meanwhile, bring the coconut milk and 1-1/2 cups water to a boil. Reduce the heat to low, add the remaining sugar and tapioca pearls, and simmer until the tapioca pearls have become completely transparent. Remove from the heat and allow to cool. Refrigerate until ready to use.
- In an ice cream soda glass, working in layers, place 2 tablespoons shaved ice in between 3 tablespoons each of everything else starting with shaved ice, coconut tapioca, shaved ice (again), azuki beans, shaved ice (again), coconut tapioca (again), and a few longans on top. Use ice cream spoons to eat and a straw to sip.
Che Xung Xa Hot Luu
- 1 .88 oz bag agar-agar powder
- 6 cups of water
- 2 cup of fresh (or 1 can) water chestnuts
- red food coloring
- 1/2 cup of dry mung beans
- tapioca starch
- 1 cup of sugar
- 1/2 cup of water
- 1 can of coconut milk
- crushed ice
To make mungbean:
Soak the mung beans for 2 hrs. Then drain and wash them. Finally, steam the beans for 20 mins and set aside for cooling.
To make strands of jelly:
1. Stir 1 cup of cold water with agar-agar powder and set aside.
2. Boil 5 cups of water, add agar-agar, reduce heat and simmer for 3-5 mins.
3. Pour this into 9-inches square bakin pan and refrigerate until firm. Then slice the jelly into thin long strands.
To make Red Tapioca:
1. Cut the chestnuts into 1/4 inches cubes. Add a few drops of red food coloring. Coat the cubes with tapioca starch and quickly throw then into boiling water.
2. Cook the cubes for 30 mins, drain and set them aside in a bowl of cold water to keep them from stickin together.
Syrup: – Combine 1/2 cup of water with 1 cup of sugar and boil for a few minute, then cool.
Arrange “Che” in the order from bottom to top of the tall glass:
Che` Trai’ Ca^Y
- 1 can of logan
- 1 can of su*o*ng xa (get the can that’s has green jello not black jello)cut this into small squares
- 1 can of jack fruit (cut this into little thin strings or strips)
- 1 quart of milk
- 2 cups of sugar (you can add more if you want it sweeter)
Chè Thái Recipe
- – 2 bags frozen jackfruit (mít ngh?)
- – 1 can Coconut gel (D?a d?o) – d?a nu?c
- – 1 can lychee or logan (Nh?n hay dz?i)
- – 1 can White Grass Jelly (Suong Sáo Tr?ng)
- – 2 can Thai Tea (Trà Thái)
- – 1 pint half and half cream (Không bi?t g?i là gì BêDê cream )
Slice White grass Jelly, coconut gel in small square pieces, also slice jack fruit into small strips and cut lychee into half Then everything in 1 big bowl now you mix w/ Cream and ThaiTea… Add some milk in if it tastes so sweet …
Green Bean Paste with Coconut Milk Recipe (Che Dau Xanh Danh)
Ingredients: Serves 4
Coconut milk syrup
Split green beans, soaked overnight
Tapioca flour, mixed with 125 ml water
- Drain green beans and boil in 2 liters water until soft.
- Alternatively, steam green beans until soft.
- Blend (process) green beans well with sugar and 100 ml water to mix well into a paste.
Set aside to cool.
- Prepare coconut milk syrup. In a small pot, bring to the boil water and screwpine leaves for 10 minutes. Remove and discard screwpine leaves.
- Lower heat to a simmer then stir in sugar and coconut milk. Gradually add in tapioca flour mixture and stir until thick
- Serve green bean paste in a glass topped with shaved ice and coconut milk syrup.
Banh Bo Nuomg Recipe
– 150g rice flour
– 150g thin coconut milk
– 1/2 tlsp baking powder
B. Sugar Mixture:
- – 200g sugar
- – 150g coconut milk
- – 1/2 tlsp baking powder
- – oil for pan coating
- – 1 tsp vanilla
- – Wax paper for bottom pan lining.
To finish this cake, there are three steps:
+ Step 1: mixing flour.
Bring to boil the coconut milk, add sugar, mix well, cool down, then add baking powder and vanilla.
+ Step2: combine sugar mixture and flour mixture.
Pour the sugar mixture into the flour mixture, mix well and wait 30 minutes for the batter raising well.
+ Step 3: baking
1. Preheat oven at 350 degrees and put the pan inside until it hot .
2. Remove, grease and paper lining bottom of the pan.
3. Putting a small basket on top of the heating pan and pour the batter over. The batter will drift down slowly until finish.
4. Put back the pan to the oven at 350 degrees for 10 minutes and lower the heat to 300 degrees until you can smell it (around 30 minutes) .
5. Use a tooth pick to test; if it comes out clean, remove the pan from the oven.
6. Let it cool down before serving. ENJOY…
Vietnamese Pancake (Banh Xeo)
AUTHOR: Loan Nguyen
Banh xeo (Vietnamese pancakes) is a favorite dish inside and outside Vietnam. Making it from scratch is a very time-consuming task, but you can buy bags of prepared flour which speeds up the process considerably. The following recipe makes between 10 and 12 pancakes, depending on the desired size.
1 package of prepared flour (bot banh xeo) with attached turmeric package.
1 lb peeled shrimp
3/4 lb of ground pork or 1/2 lb of bacon
1 cup of coconut milk
7 oz (200g) of peeled split mung bean
4 cups of cold water
2 lb fresh bean sprouts
2 yellow onions, finely chopped
some green onion, finely chopped
salt and pepper
Put mung beans in a pan with water and boil until tender. Drain water, cover, and cook on low heat for about 5 to 7 minutes.
Take mung beans out of the pan and mash them.
Step 1: Mix the prepared flour with the tumeric package in a large bowl. Add 4 cups of cold water and 1 cup of coconut milk. Add finely chopped green onions, mix well and wait for 5-10 minutes.
Step 2: Saute’ finely chopped onions, shrimp and ground pork with a little vegetable oil. Stir occasionally until shrimp and pork are cooked.
Step 3: Put a little vegetable oil in a medium wok on medium heat. Spread out oil in the pan. Once the oil is hot, put 1/3 cup of batter in the pan. Spread batter in pan similarly to cooking omelets.
Step 4: Put shrimp and pork mixture, bean sprouts, and mung beans on top of the uncooked pancake. Fold it in half when firm and cover the wok for a minute. Flip the pancake over and cover the wok for a minute to cook the other side.
Step 5: Put the pancake on a plate and its ready to serve.
Step 6: Repeat the steps until batter is used.