My younger daughter apparently has more of a sweet tooth than I thought; she didn't have enough of Chè as she is requesting me to make more. I ran out of canned white beans but I still have a bag of froze shaved corn kernel. She loves corn in general, so Chè Bắp would please her palate.
I usually cook shaved corn with sweet rice but this time I wanted give it a try with tapioca pearl instead and it would be a good way of cleaning them from the pantry. The corn I used is a white corn, therefore, the color of Chè Bắp won't reveal the beautiful, vivid yellow color that we usually see in Chè Bắp. So, while I was cooking it, I remembered there are tons of kumquats sitting in the fridge; I had plan to trade these for sugar cane juice at the local store that makes kumquat flavored sugar cane. The rinds of these kumquats are super sweet and delicious. I thought it would go well with Chè Bắp and it will add a niece contrast to Chè; so I finely chopped the kumquats rinds and nervously added them into the Chè Bắp pot and hoped that it won't overpower the flavor of Chè Bắp. Luckily it turned out well.
This Chè Bắp is rich in flavours of coconut sauce, the gelatin of tapioca pearls mixed in with the sweet corn, sugar, the aroma of fresh pandan leaves and the beautiful fragnance and sweetness of kumquats rinds that's so delicately infused into the pudding which make it nearly impossible to resist.
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RECIPE: Chè Bắp
1/4 cup Tapioca Pearls
4 1/2 cups Water
1 (16 oz) bag frozen Shaved Corn Kernels (Bắp Bào), thawed or
4 ears of Corns, used a vegetable peeler to shave the kernels off the cob
3 fresh pandan leaves, tied togheter, optional
4 Kumquats, used only rinds, finely chopped, make about 2 tablespoons
about 1 cup Sugar
A pinch of salt
1 teaspoon, Pure Vanilla Extract
1 bag Vanilla Sugar, optional
Click here for Coconut Sauce recipe
Bring water and pandan leaves to boil. Add tapioca pearls and bring it back to boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low and cook it until the tapioca pearls are half way transculent. It should take about 10 minutes. Make sure to stir it to prevent tapioca pearls from sticking together. Add corn, sugar, salt and kumquats rinds. Bring it to slow boil for about 10 minutes. Remove from heat. Add vanilla extract and vanilla sugar. Stir it well.
Chè Bắp Presentation
Ladle Chè Bắp in a small bowl. Add a few teaspoons of coconut sauce on top. Enjoy Chè Bắp while it's still warm. Eating cold or at room temperature would be just as delicious.