food for thought

by michelle

desserts in Vietnam

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Before leaving Vietnam it would be remiss of me not to mention the sweet courses which are not necessarily eaten after dinner but often as an afternoon snack.


cheSome of the most popular desserts are chè, a term which describes sweet drinks, soups and puddings. The various ones I tried were multi-textured, delicious and not too sweet. They are often made with azuki beans, black-eyed peas, mung beans, red beans, glutinous rice, tapioca, taro, or cassava. Other ingredients include lotus seeds, corn, sesame seeds, peanuts, tofu and water chestnuts. Coconut milk is often used as flavouring, many tropical fruits and sometimes ginger or honey. Jelly and tapioca pearls provide texture as well. Here is a typical chè with jelly, tapioca pearls, water chestnut and coconut milk.


Thạch or jellies, like in most Asian countries, are made with agar-agar which has a firmer texture than gelatine and less springiness in the mouth.

chiffon-cake-with-pandan-cream-and-coconutThe Vietnamese are also excellent bakers of biscuits and cakes, influenced by the French. This chiffon cake with pandan cream and coconut was the lightest I’ve ever eaten.


Written by michelle picker

April 16, 2013 at 8:40 am

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