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Vietnamese Rainbow Che

Vietnamese rainbow che is a refreshing vegan-friendly recipe that is very popular in Vietnam. The ingredients that make up this beautiful dessert are mung bean paste, faux pomegranate seeds, jelly, canned Asian fruits and coconut milk.
Course Dessert, Treat
Cuisine Vietnamese
Keyword Vietnamese Rainbow Coconut Dessert
Prep Time 45 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Servings 4 people
Author Steph


Mung bean paste

  • 1/2 cup dried split mung beans, (the ones with the husk removed and are yellow)
  • 1/2 tsp caster sugar
  • 1/4 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp reserved coconut sauce see below

Aloe vera jelly

  • 1 cup aloe vera juice (Note 1)
  • 1/2 tsp agar agar

Coconut sauce

  • 400 ml coconut milk
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 2 tbsp caster sugar
  • 1/4 tsp salt

Pomegranate seeds

  • 225 gm canned sliced water chestnuts, cut into small chunks (Note 2)
  • 1/2 cup tapioca starch
  • 1/2 tsp pandan extract (or substitute with green food colouring)
  • 4 drops red food colouring
  • ice cubes for ice bath

To serve

  • 1 can jackfruit in syrup cut into strips
  • 1 can longans in syrup
  • reserved syrup from canned longans
  • ice cubes / shaved ice


Mung bean paste

  • Rinse the mung beans, then cover with just-boiled water and leave to soak for about 15 minutes. While waiting make the aloe vera jelly.
  • Drain and rinse, then boil in a saucepan for 15 minutes. While boiling make the coconut sauce.
  • Drain, then add the sugar, salt and vanilla extract. Use a stick blender to process until smooth.
  • Stir through a tablespoon of the coconut sauce, then refrigerate.

Aloe vera jelly

  • Heat the aloe vera juice in a small saucepan until close to boiling point.
  • Add the agar agar, and whisk over medium heat for two minutes.
  • Pour into a container, leave for ten minutes or so to cool, then cover and refrigerate.
  • Once set, cut into thin strips.

Coconut sauce

  • Put all ingredients into a pot, heat over medium-high heat and stir until thickened (about four minutes). Pour into a jug, then refrigerate.

Pomegranate seeds

  • Chop the water chestnuts into small pieces, about the size of a pomegranate seed. Divide into two bowls.
  • Add the red food colouring to one bowl, and the green food colouring to the other bowl. Mix using separate spoons until each seed is completely coloured.
  • Add 1/4 cup of tapioca starch into each bowl, and stir until coated. Place the seeds into a sieve so that excess flour can be shaken off, then place seeds into a clean bowl. The one bowl for both colours is fine at this point.
  • Bring a medium-sized pot of water to the boil, and prepare an ice bath by placing ice cubes into a bowl and adding cold water.
  • Once the water is boiling, use your fingers to drop the pomegranate seeds in a few at a time. Stir to prevent seeds from sticking.
  • The seeds will be cooked once they start to float, and the water has returned to the boil - about a minute or so. Once cooked use a slotted spoon to remove and place immediately in the ice bath.
  • After five minutes or so in the ice bath, transfer to a clean container and add just enough water to cover, then refrigerate.


  • The dessert can be assembled once the jelly has set, and the coconut sauce has chilled. For best results assemble right before serving.
  • Layer the ingredients in a drinking glass as follows, starting from the bottom layer: mung bean paste, jackfruit, aloe vera jelly, longans, pomegranate seeds, syrup from the canned longans, ice, then top off with the coconut sauce. Give everything a stir before eating.


  1. Can be substituted with 1 cup water and 1.5 tsp caster sugar.
  2. Can be substituted with whole chestnuts, you'll just need to do more chopping.