How to serve Chè Đậu Đen
Serving it hot
Have you ever gone to a Chinese restaurant to enjoy a family style meal and get a hot bowl of something sweet at the end of your meal? This is quite similar to that. You would serve the hot soup thickened with a bit of tapioca flour in a small cup or bowl, drizzled with some coconut milk for an additional layer of flavor.
Serving it cold
Cold “Chè” is actually more common, and is also a popular street food in Vietnam. You would layer it over a cup of crushed ice, add coconut milk and a variety of jelly and pearls for toppings, and serve it up as a refreshing drink to combat the hot and humid Summer days.
There are quite a variety of toppings you can add to this black bean dessert. Some you can make at home, and most you can purchase at an Asian market.
- Tapioca pearls, also called “boba” (or “bubble” in bubble tea). You can purchase bags of dried tapioca pearls and boil them prior to serving at home. They also come in different sizes, which can be fun for the added texture. They can be added to either the hot or cold version.
- Grass jelly is a black jelly, typically unsweetened. You can purchase this in a can at any Vietnamese supermarket and most Asian grocery stores. It is best served with the cold version but can be added to the hot version as well.
- Almond jelly is jelly with almond flavor, this one is typically sweetened. Again, it can be found in a can at Asian markets, or you can make it at home. Best with the cold dessert but again can be added to the hot dessert as well.
- Rice balls, you can make small rice balls from sweet rice flour or purchase a dry version (larger in size) at the Japanese grocery store. They will need to be boiled until softened. I prefer these in the hot black bean dessert.
I’m sure some of you might find it unusual to have beans as dessert, but imagine my surprise to find beans in savory dishes when I first moved to the States. I hope to introduce a little bit of my Vietnamese culture with you through this dish. And if you are already a fan of bean desserts, make sure to try this Anpan recipe.
If you make this recipe or would like to see more Vietnamese recipes, please let me know! Leave a comment, send me a photo, rate it and don’t forget to tag me @wildwildwhisk on Instagram. I’d love to see what’s cooking up in your kitchen. Cheers!
Pro Tip: You can use tapioca flour to thicken the hot sweet bean soup for serving right away. But if you want to serve it cold, you don’t need to add tapioca flour. The bean soup will thicken slightly as it cools. And cold bean dessert is served like a drink, so it doesn’t need to be thickened.
Prep time: 30 minutes
Cook time: 55 minutes
Resting time: 10 hours
Serve size: 119 grams
Calories: 196 kcal