Vietspices Search

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Chè Chuối (Sweet Banana Coconut Tapioca Pudding)

In one of the dessert posts - Banana Cake with Coconut Sauce (Bánh Chuối Hấp Nước Cốt Dừa) - I blogged awhile back, I mentioned about the dessert house Chè Bà Dũng located just around the corner from my house in Pleiku.  She served and I hear she is still serving over 30 different types of chè (sweet pudding desserts). Her place is always packed especially when night falls. One of my favorite chè was steamed banana cake served with coconut sauce and fresh durian topped with crushed roasted peanuts and shaved ice. I miss it!

But today I am blogging about a different kind of banana pudding dessert - sweet banana coconut tapioca pudding. Though I don't have a sweet tooth, the natural sweet bananas surrounded by soft creamy coconut sauce with little tapioca pearls and the slightly chewy texture of  tapioca shreds with a touch of saltiness of the slightly salty roasted crushed peanuts or sesame seeds - all in one spoon -  is just comforting and warm.

This Chè Chuối (Sweet Banana Coconut Tapioca Pudding) does require a specific type of bananas - the short, small, thin-peel Asian bananas called chuối xiêm. They are more firm, less sweet than the regular bananas. You can find this type of banana at most of the Asian market. Another type of bananas that would also work for this chè is plantain bananas. Make sure the bananas are ripe before making this chè otherwise it will have a bitter and sour taste.
RECIPE: Chè Chuối

7 Bananas, I used the short plantain 
7 cups Water
2-3 Pandan Leaves, tied each into knots
1/3 cup Tapioca Pearls
1 cup Tapioca Shreds
1 cup Shredded Young Coconut, available in the frozen section
1 1/2 cups Sugar
1 teaspoon Salt
1 teaspoon Vanilla Powder
1 can or paper carton (500 ml) Coconut Cream, I prefer the paper carton one


Preparing Tapioca

Rinse and soak tapioca pearls and shreds in two seperate bowls. Set aside.

Preparing Bananas

Cut bananas into 1 inch round or diagonal shapes.  If used plantain, you might want to boil these cut bananas first to eliminate the bitter and sour taste.  Bring a pot of water to a boil then add bananas and cook for about 2 minutes.  Strain and rinse with cold water.  Set aside.

I wasn't focus when cutting bananas.  It's too thin.

Preparing Roasted Peanuts or Sesame Seeds

Toast peanuts or sesame seeds. Let it cool down. Place it in a ziploc and slightly smash it to release the wonderful aroma of the sesame seeds or peanuts.  Mix it with salt.  Set aside. 
Cooking Chè

In a large pot, place water and pandan leaves and bring to a boil. My pandan leaves are pre-cut so they're too short for me to tie into knots. 

Strain the water in the tapioca pearls and shreds bowls, then add them in the boiling water. 

Once the water is boiling again, reduce heat to medium-low and cook until translucent, about 10 minutes. Do not overcook, as the pearls will continue cooking in the coconut sauce. Stir occasionally so tapioca doesn't stick to the bottom of the pot.  

Add banana, shredded young coconut, salt and sugar into the pot. 

Cook for about 5 minutes.  Add coconut milk and cook for another 3 minutes. Turn of heat.  Add vanilla powder.  You might need to adjust the amount of sweetness depends on what type of sugar you use.  My rule of thumb is always remember to add a bit of salt to balance out the sweetness of dessert.  Let it cool down a little bit. Remove and discard the pandan leaves.  Pudding will continue to thicken as it cools.  

Chè Chuối can be enjoyed hot, at room temperature, or chilled. I personal like it warm.  Garnish it with sesame seeds or roasted peanuts before serving.


No comments:

Post a Comment