Che chuoi, or Vietnamese banana and coconut pudding, is one of my favourite recipes. It is a thick mess of banana chunks, cassava cubes and tapioca pearls suspended in a sweet and refreshing coconut cream, then topped with crushed peanuts and black sesame seeds. It can be served warm but is absolutely amazing chilled. Che chuoi is one of the easiest desserts to make and it caters to practically everyone as it is vegan and dairy free.
Best Bananas to Use for Che Chuoi
I recommend using the common Cavendish banana because it tastes great, easy to get and is available all year round. Choose one that is just ripe. You do not want green bananas because they will taste bland and starchy. One the flip side, bananas that are too ripe will have good flavour but will be obliterated when cooked.
Cooking Tapioca for Che Chuoi
Most recipes will tell you to cook the tapioca ingredients in the pudding liquid itself. This makes the dessert quite thick which is OK when it is served warm. However, I prefer the tapioca cooked in another pot so that the pudding does not absorb the extra starch. By doing it this way, the pudding liquid is much more smoother which suits serving this dish cold. I honestly recommend you try it chilled first because it is like a whole new level of goodness!
Whether you are a dessert person or not I recommend you give this little gem of a recipe a try. It is cheap, easy and tastes delicious. Not sure it gets much better than that folks!
Other Recipes You May Like
- Vietnamese Rainbow Coconut Dessert (Che Suong Sa Hat Luu)
- Mango Sticky Rice (Quick Version)
- Layered Pastry and Mung Bean Cake (Banh Pia)
- My Cheat Vietnamese Sweet Coconut Sticky Rice – Xoi Nuoc Dua
- Banh Flan (Vietnamese Creme Caramel)
Vietnamese Banana and Coconut Pudding – Che Chuoi
- 200 gm frozen cassava (available at Asian groceries)
- Tap water for soaking
- 30 gm small tapioca pearls (available at Asian groceries)(Note 1)
- 30 gm tapioca zig zags / bot khoai (Optional and available at Asian groceries)(Note 2)
- 4 Cavendish bananas (just ripe), cut into quarters at an angle (Note 3)
- 400 ml coconut cream
- 600 ml water
- 4 pandan leaves, tied together in a reef knot (available at Asian groceries)
- 200 gm caster sugar
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 2 tbsp crushed unsalted roasted peanuts
- 1 tbsp black sesame seeds (optional)
- Defrost the cassava and remove any traces of the vein (brown stem). Cut into 1 cm cubes.
- In two separate bowls, soak the tapioca pearls and zig zags in cold tap water for 15 mins.
- Place two of the banana quarters into a bowl. Using a fork, finely mash the banana.
- In a third bowl, soak the remaining banana in plenty of cold water.
- Bring a pot of roughly 4 cups of water to the boil. Add the tapioca zig zags in and immediately stir the pot so that they don’t stick to each other. Cook for 12 mins and stir every 3 minutes.
- While the tapioca zig zags are cooking, in a large pot add the coconut cream, 600 ml of water, pandan leaves, cubed cassava, salt and the banana mash. Turn the heat on medium high and allow to boil.
- After 12 mins strain the tapioca pearls that are soaking and add it to the zig zags. Cook for 1 min and continue to stir the pot. Once done, strain and rinse the tapioca ingredients and add it straight into the coconut water mixture. (Note 4)
- When the coconut water is boiling, turn the heat down to low and add the sugar. Stir the pot until the sugar is completely dissolved.
- Add the chopped bananas and simmer on low for 16 mins. Gently stir the pot every few mins and try to loosen any tapioca balls or zig zags that are stuck on the bottom.
- After 16 mins, check the sweetness of the liquid. Adjust according to your taste.
- Take off the heat and allow to cool.
- I strongly recommend you serve this dessert chilled but it is OK warm. To chill, put it in the fridge for at least 3+ hours before serving. If you prefer it warm, then allow it to cool for roughly 45 mins in the fridge before serving.
- Just before serving, stir to redistribute the tapioca pearls and zig zags. Garnish with peanuts and black sesame seeds.
- You can always add more tapioca pearls if you enjoy them. Remember that the more you add, the thicker the pudding gets,
- The tapioca zig zags can be hard to find so at your Asian groceries, show them the term “bot khoai”. This will likely increase your chances of finding them. Also, you can omit this ingredient if its all too hard!
- If you are using the Asian bananas or lady fingers, then I suggest you use 5. This is because they are much smaller than the Cavendish variety. Use one whole banana to mash and cut the rest into thirds.
- There will be tapioca pearls sticking to the strainer. Use a spoon to scrape them off. It is inevitable that you will lose some!