Chè Thưng, is Vietnamese sweet mung bean with coconut cream soup from the Mekong Delta. This tasty and fragrant dessert can be served hot or cold. In a summer day, Che Thung is the best refresh cold drink by serving it with crushed ice.
Che Thung - Sweet Mung Bean with Coconut Cream Soup
Prepared time=1 hr, Cook Time= 15 mins
2 cups of peeled split mung beans (about 1/2 bag)
- 1 can of savory coconut cream
- 1 1/2 cups of sugar (adjust to your taste)
- 5 cups of water
- 1 cup. shredded dried seaweed (kelps)
- Pandan leaves, washed (or 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract )
- Cook mung bean (best to steam mung beans since we want whole beans). Do this step in advance.
- Make sugar kelps (optional). This step helps to reduce the “sea” flavor from kelps. Best to prepare a day before.
- Soak dried kelps in hot water for about 1 hour, seaweeds will expand volume. Wash well and rinse well.
- In a bowl, mix kelps with 1 cup water and 1/2 cup of sugar.
- Cook kelp in microwave for 5 minutes. Keep sugar kelp in the refrigerator.
Make Sweet Soup
- In a pot, bring water, pandan leaves and remained sugar to boil over medium-high heat. Add mung bean, and coconut milk, stir and bring to boil. Lower the heat, add vanilla extract (if pandan leaves not used), simmer for another 10 minutes, stir occasionally. Add seaweeds, mix and simmer for another 5 minutes, stir occasionally. Add extra water if soup too thick. Taste, add extra sugar if the soup is not sweet enough.
- Serve warm or cold. Keep “Che Thung” in refrigerator.
- The seaweeds taste best after absorbing sugar, and coconut flavor (no “sea” flavor) after 24 hours.
- Use 1/2 coconut milk, 1/2 of whole milk, so it’s not too creamy.
- It’s a refresh drink, served with ice in a summer day.
- Add cooked Tapioca Pearls (Bột Báng).
- In Tra Vinh, “Che Thung” is cooked with slices of young coconut meat and dried jujubes. Add these ingredients, if you have them.
- “chè thưng” is totally different from “Che Ba Ba,” although they are both sweet mung bean soup. Many websites made mistake due to the similarity between the 2 “Che.”
- In the old time, “Chị Hóa” was famous for Che Thung and Che Dau Trang at Tra Vinh Market,
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