A common type of Vietnamese dessert is sweet soup called ‘chè’. Chè can be served warm, at room temperature, cold or over ice. Bean soup or ‘chè đậu’ can be made with green, red or yellow beans. There are red bean based desserts in many Asian cuisine (e.g., Chinese, Thai, Japanese). You may see the red bean packages labeled in Asian markets: azuki beans.
This is relatively simple recipe except for the time needed to soak the beans and to simmer the beans. So allow plenty of time – soak the beans overnight and about 4 hours of cooking time.
You can dress this dessert up with coconut milk and/or tapioca pearls if desired. If you prefer a nicer presentation, you can first ladle the bean soup into individual serving dishes and then drizzle the coconut milk over the top. Serve either warm or chilled.
Red Bean Dessert Soup/(Chè đậu)
- 14 oz dried red bean (2 cups), soaked overnight
- 12 cups of water
- 1/2 cup of sugar
- coconut milk (optional)
1. Drain the soaked beans and place in a pot filled with 10 cups of water. Stir in the sugar. Bring to a boil and then reduce heat to medium-low. Stir occasionally and continue to simmer for 4 hours – until beans are soft and the liquid is slightly thick. You may need to add the rest of the water, depending on the preferred consistency.
2. Remove the bean soup from the heat when the beans have reached the desired doneness. Serve warm or chilled. Optional, let it cool for 15 minutes and then stir in the coconut milk. Chè can be refrigerated for a week.