A popular Vietnamese sweet soup (a category of desserts called "che") made from green mung beans, small tapioca pearls, and coconut milk.
Mung Bean Dessert (Che Dau Xanh)
Another day, another che! Che is a category of Vietnamese desserts that refers to sweet soups and puddings.
We have several che recipes on this blog including one for Banana Tapioca (Che Chuoi) and Purple Sweet Potato Tapioca (this one is more of a local Hawaii dessert and not a Vietnamese dessert, but the concept is the same).
Che Dau Xanh is a specific type of che. It goes by many names including:
- Vietnamese Mung Bean Pudding
- Mung Bean Sweet Soup
- Mung Bean Dessert
- Mung Bean Che
- Che Dau Xanh
However you call it, it is delicious! Dried green mung beans are the main ingredient. They get sweetened with a bit of sugar and rounded out with a can of coconut milk. We also add tapioca pearls.
- Dried green mung beans - these are small, whole green mung beans.
- Small tapioca pearls
- Sugar - Feel free to use more or less sugar depending on your taste preferences.
- Coconut Milk - make sure you use a full fat coconut milk from a can (don't get it mixed up with the boxed coconut milk that you use for lattes, coffee, etc)
- Salt - We use salt twice in this recipe. First half of the salt is stirred directly into the dessert while cooking. The other half is for the optional salted peanut topping.
- Peanuts (optional) - this is for the salted peanut topping, more info on this in the "Toppings" section below.
- Coconut Flakes (optional) - this is also another topping option, more details in the "Toppings" section below.
In a large pot, combine the dried green mung beans and 8 cups of water. Bring to a boil. Turn the heat to low and simmer for 45 minutes (until the mung beans are nearly cooked through).
Add the small tapioca pearls. Bring the pot back to a boil. Then turn the heat to low and simmer for 10 minutes.
After the tapioca is fully cooked, add the sugar and half the salt. Stir to dissolve. Then add the coconut milk and stir to gently mix. Cook on low for 5 more minutes. Turn off the heat.
This next step is optional. If you want to make this salted peanut topping (which we always do): combine the peanuts and salt in a small food processor. Grind for 10-15 seconds until the peanuts are crushed. Pour into a small bowl and set aside.
To serve: spoon the che (sweet soup) into individual dessert bowls. Top with the crushed salted peanuts and coconut flakes (optional).
Serve hot or cold. Eat and enjoy. ^_^
Green Mung Beans
Green mung beans are delicious! Don't get them mixed up with lentils (two completely different things). Green mung beans can be found at all Chinese and Vietnamese markets and are sold dried. Look for whole, small green beans. They're used in both savory and sweet dishes, and believed to be very good for you.
Some people like to presoak the beans (4-6 hours) to help cut down on cooking time. Feel free to do that if you'd like.
Salted Peanut Topping
We use this salted peanut topping in early all our Vietnamese dessert / sweet soups / che recipes including this one for Banana Tapioca (Che Chuoi) and Purple Sweet Potato Tapioca.
It is easy to prepare. Just combine peanuts and salt in a food processor. Grind it for 10-15 seconds until the peanuts are roughly crushed (ok if they are all different sizes). Then pour into a bowl and set aside. Use as needed.
Most supermarkets carry coconut flakes (usually found in the baking aisle). I like to toast the flakes at 200F for 10 minutes to get them warmed up and extra crisp, before sprinkling on top of this dessert.
Questions and Tips
3-4 days in the refrigerator, in a sealed container.
Both! We eat it hot the day we make it and then chilled (straight from the refrigerator) the day after. If you buy this at Vietnamese dessert shop, it will most likely be served chilled.
No problem. So the traditional version of this dessert is made without small tapioca pearls. It has just green mung beans, sugar, and coconut milk. But in our family we always add the small tapioca pearls (just because it tastes so good!)
Feel free to skip the tapioca pearls and reduce the water by 1 cup.
Some people like this dessert thicker (more green beans and tapioca, less liquid). Others like it with thinner (more liquid), so you can drink it more like a soup. There is no right or wrong, it's just personal preference. If you want the dessert thinner, increase the water.
Mung Bean Dessert (Che Dau Xanh) Recipe
See below and enjoy ^_^
- In a large pot, combine the mung beans and 8 cups of water. Bring to a boil. Turn the heat to low and simmer for 45 minutes (until the mung beans are nearly cooked through).
- Add the small tapioca pearls. Bring the pot back to a boil. Then turn the heat to low and simmer for 10 minutes.
- After the tapioca is fully cooked, add the sugar and 1 teaspoon salt. Stir to dissolve.
- Add the coconut milk and stir to gently mix. Cook on low for 5 more minutes. Turn off the heat.
- Optional: prepare the salted peanut topping. Combine the peanuts and 1 teaspoon salt in a small food processor. Grind for 10-15 seconds until the peanuts are crushed. Pour into a small bowl and set aside.
- Spoon the che (sweet soup) into individual dessert bowls.
- Optional: top with the crushed salted peanuts and coconut flakes. Serve hot or cold. Eat and enjoy. ^_^