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Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Chè Táo Xọn Vỏ Quýt (Sweet Mung Bean with Tangerine Peel)

My mother always like to create various chè for a certain ritual or ceremony. There would always be extra chè to share with every household in our neighborhood.  Though I've never been fond of sweets, I always like to make desserts for my family and friends to enjoy after a meal. Especially when the summer ends, and the cold starts creeping in, I love to bake and cook warm chè.  The warm, wonderful aroma of fresh baked goods and chè give the home a sense of warmth and comfort.  

Most of the time, my pantry and freezer are filled with frozen corn, grated cassava, pandan leaves, coconut milk and all kinds of dried bean and flour.  All these ingredients are readily available for me to make desserts should an occasion or spontaneity arise.

Once of the desserts that I like to make when I have little time is Chè Táo Xọn Vỏ Quýt.  I've learned from  my cousin in Vietnam that the reason why people in southern Vietnam call this sweet mung bean dessert  chè "Táo Xọn". It's simply a literal translation. "Táo Xọn" is Chinese for mung bean.  In northern Vietnam, they called it chè Hoa Cau which is suitable as these tiny yellow mung beans look like the flower of  Areca.

As I always like to incorporate natural ingredients in my food, I decided to throw tangerine peel in chè and called it Táo Xọn Vỏ Quýt (Sweet Mung Bean with Tangerine Peel).  The pleasantly fresh, sweet and citrusy aroma of tangerine peels mixed with the starchy and mildly sweet taste of mung bean blended in cool  and    clear tapioca starch is just perfect.

To make this chè, all I need are mung beans, coconut milk, sugar and  tangerine peels; I can produce a pot of chè in less than 30 minutes. The two healthhy ingredients in this chè are mung beans and tangerine peels.  According to, mung bean is popular as the perfect food for reducing weight. It is recommended as a food replacement in many slimming programs, as it has a very low fat content. It is a rich source of protein and fiber, which helps one lower the high  cholesterol level in the blood system. While tangerine peels has two major benefits such as its cholesterol lowering capabilities and cancer fighting properties. The disease fighting flavonoids tangeretin and nobiletin are found in higher concentrations in peels that in the juice we commonly drink. The only downside of this chè is the amount of sugar and coconut milk.   I think the benefits outweighs the risks here though.
RECIPE: Chè Táo Xọn Vỏ Quýt

Printable Recipe


1 bag (1 1/2 cups) Mung Beans, peeled
1 Tangerine Peel, finely chopped
10 cups Water
1 1/4-1 1/2 cups Sugar, 
2 teaspoons Salt
1/2 cup Tapioca Starch Flour
1 cup Water
1 Pandan Leave, tied in a knot 
1 bag Vanilla Sugar, optional
Coconut Milk Topping
1 can (14 oz) Coconut Milk
1 tablespoon Sugar
1 teaspoon Tapioca Flour
2 teaspoons Water
1/2 teaspoon Salt
1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract  or
1 Pandan Leaf,  tied in a knot
Preparing Mung Bean

If you're not pressed for time, soak mung beans in water for 1 hour or overnight, this will shorten the cooking time and make the beans more digestible. Then rinse a few times until the water is clear.

Otherwise, skip the soaking process.  Place mung beans in a steamer, and steam for about 20 minutes.  If steaming pre-soak mung beans, it takes about 10 minutes to cook.

Preparing Tapioca Flour

In a bowl, combine flour and water and mix well.  Set aside.

Cooking Chè Táo Xọn

Bring 10 cups of water and a knot of pandan leaf to a boil.

Add sugar, salt, and tangerine peel then stir until melted. Bring it back to boil.  Reduce heat to low while waiting for mung beans to be cooked.

When mung beans are ready, stir the tapioca flour mixture again then slowly pour it into the pot while constantly stirring it gently so that flour won't clump.

The consistency should be thicker at this stage. 
Add cooked mung bean and stir gently.  Bring it back to boil at medium heat. Reduce heat to low, add vanilla extract or vanilla sugar if used, and stir gently for a  minute.

Preparing Coconut Milk Sauce

In a sauce pan, bring coconut milk, sugar, salt and a knot of pandan leave to a low heat.  Once the coconut sauce starts boiling, reduce heat to low.
In a small bowl, mix tapioca starch with  water to dissolve, then add to the pot while constantly stirring it.

Add vanilla extract if used.  Remove from heat. Set aside.

Ladle c  into a small bowl, then top with coconut milk.

Ăn Ngon!


  1. Hi Loan.
    Question: After you melt the sugar in the boiling water, you reduce the heat to low then add in the steamed mung bean then add in the tapioca mixture? Do we have to wait til the mung bean to cool after steaming before putting it in the sugar water?

  2. Add the tapioca mixture first then cooked mung bean.

    The only reason I reduced the heat to low after sugar is melted in the boiling water is because my mung bean was still being cooked.

    No, you don't need to wait for the mung bean to cool.

  3. Ms. Loan, Happy Holidays to you and your family. Are you ok? Please come back soon

    1. Hi Ann,
      I am here :-). My laptop broke down for almost a year already; therefore, I haven't blogged for so long. I am hoping Santa will deliver me a new laptop real soon. :-)
      In the mean time, I use my iPhone to take pictures and post my daily cooking on my FB page. There is a link of my FB page located on the right side of my blog. You can head over there when you miss me. :-)
      Have a wonderful holidays to you and your family too.

  4. Hello! I don't have a steamer. Would it be okay to boil the mung beans? If so, how long would you recommend? Thank you. Love your blog! Your recipes are amazing. :)

  5. You can use a pot then put a small bowl inside the pot. Fill the pot and inside of the bowl with water. Place a plate on top of the bowl. Put mung bean on the plate and steam it.
    The mung beans will get mushy if boiled.