Vietnamese Desserts Recipes

View All | View Summaries
Xoi Vo Recipe (Coconut Sticky Rice with Mung Beans) Recipe

First of all, chúc mừng năm mới (Happy New Year of the Horse!). A new, fabulous year is beginning, and to celebrate, I started the day very early this morning wrapping and rolling a lot of vegetarian eggrolls to ring in the New Year! I also prepared xôi vò, which is a popular Vietnamese snack consisting of coconut milk sticky rice and mung beans. Cậu Hoà (my uncle) is going to be stopping by today and I plan on serving this to him with green tea. It's his favorite.

Xôi vò is a very simple, easy snack to prepare. Simply soak mung beans (hulled and split yellow beans) and sticky rice separately ahead of time, then cook and steam the pandan-scented rice, coconut milk and a sprinkle of sugar. That's it. If you're Asian, you know how lightly sweetened Asian desserts are. If you're like my husband, "lightly sweet" is an understatement and you probably won't call this a dessert. Again, I guess it's a cultural thing. If you’re tasting xôi vò for the first time, consider it a nutritious, fragrant snack with a light hint of sweetness that pairs wonderfully with tea. 


Full Recipe...
Tet Celebrations: Vietnamese Dessert Recipes Recipe

We're a week away from the Vietnamese New Year celebrations (called Tết). I've decorated the entrance of our home with cherry blossom flowers that I decorated with red envelopes that contain "lucky money", called lì xì. I've also picked up brand new dollar bills and placed them in the red envelopes to give to children. The tradition dictates that the first morning of the New Year, adults congratulate children on becoming a year older by giving them these lì xì envelopes.

Many Vietnamese desserts are served as well, before "offering" them to ancestors. I've gathered some of the Asian sweets that are prepared for this celebration. 


Full Recipe...
Vietnamese Dessert with Lotus Seeds and Longans: Chè Sen Nhãn Recipe

According to the Lunar calendar, Tết (Vietnamese New Year) falls on January 30th, 2014. It's customary to serve chè (typical Vietnamese dessert) to offer to ancestors during prayers. Today's dessert recipe is chè sen nhãn. It's made from dried lotus seeds and dried longans, which are perfect for the winter season. 

I prepared a syrup sweetened with Chinese rock sugar. It can be thickened with tapioca starch but the quality of the dried lotus seeds and longans I used was so amazing, it was unnecessary. I feel very blessed because I always have family and friends bringing me delicious, exotic ingredients from their travels to Vietnam. I received lotus seeds threaded as necklaces and the longans had been sun-dried and unsweetened. They came out just perfect: perky and plump, with a hint of natural sweetness. I could have eaten bowls and bowls of this lovely chè.


Full Recipe...
Che Chuoi Recipe (Vietnamese Dessert) Recipe

Chè chuối is a popular dessert from South Vietnam, where my parents are from. Bananas are simmered whole until softened in a coconut milk tapioca pudding. It takes less time to prepare than Western desserts, plus chè chuối is made exclusively with vegan ingredients.

If you like Vietnamese desserts or Vietnamese sweets in general, you've probably noticed they don't always have the nicest presentation, especially chè desserts. They often have a very neutral, grayish color and  soupy texture. If you get past that, you're guaranteed to at least get a completely fresh take on dessert.


Full Recipe...
Rau Cau Dua: Vietnamese Coconut Jello Recipe Recipe

Rau câu is Vietnamese jello made with agar agar, which is a seaweed by-product, similar to gelatin (except it's vegetal). Several months ago, family friends came for dinner and brought delicious rau câu made with nước dừa ("coconut juice" in Vietnamese). We usually serve the more traditional Vietnamese dessert made with sweetened condensed milk and flavor it with layers of chocolate, mocha, pandan and sometimes durian, but I really like the flavor of this variation. I was also pleasantly surprised at how easy this version was to make. All you need is a few cans of coconut juice with pulp and agar agar. How simple is that?

The coconut jello has another great advantage. It has the same texture as pana cotta, so you can serve it to children without being scared of any spilling or any accidents on your floor. I've adopted this cube version whenever I make it for kids. You can use the same recipe using your children's favorite drinks. It's mess-free and melts in your mouth. They’ll love it!


Full Recipe...