Lychee and mung bean che (Chè đậu xanh trái vải)


    This dessert requires no skill in the making, but it ranks way up in the chè hierarchy, topping taro che and my own banana tapioca pudding. Beside the fact that Little Mom invented it, I always like things with lychee. ;-)

    Because everyone’s sweet tooth differs, it doesn’t make sense to have a fixed recipe for this simple dessert. One package of halved mung bean (with the green skin on), 1 can of whole lychee, 1 can of coconut milk, raisins, sugar and water are all there is to the pot.

    The mung bean need to be soaked in water overnight to soften and cook faster. The coconut milk and the syrup from the lychee can are mixed with water to cook the bean. More or less water depends on how thick you like your chè; the more liquidy chè served cold, which I prefer, is suitable as a palate cleanser after a big meal, and the thicker version is best as a midday snack. When the mixture boils and the bean becomes soft enough to dissolve in your mouth, add raisins and sugar to taste. Wait until it boils again to add the lychees, and you’re done cooking.

    If the famous Chinese imperial consort Yang Guifei could have a taste of this chè, I’m sure it’d become her favorite dessert. ;-) Happy Tết! May the Year of the Dragon be sweet for everyone!

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