Sunday, October 2, 2011

Che Tao Xon - mung bean dessert

I'm a huge fan of mung bean desserts. One of my favorite that mom makes is this sweet, gloppy dessert she calls: chè táo xọn...or that's what it sounds like. In my limited knowledge of my mom's Vietnamese language, I thought it translates to round bits or stones of apples porridge, which makes no sense since there are no apples in it. So I google'd this dessert and found it's actually known as Tao Suan or Tau Suan and its origin is more Thai or Chinese.  My mom learned about the dessert from my aunts, and my aunts learned about it from their friends, so the recipe travels. And now I share my mom's recipe here, so I won't forget about it when I want to try making it myself (which I haven't by the way). 

1) Prepare the store-bought peeled split mung bean. Submerge/soak one-half package amount in water for at least 3 hours or more in whatever available bowl/bucket/pot.
2) Rinse and strain the water out of the mung beans by pouring into something like a sifter/strainer basket.
3) Prepare steamer. Put some water in the bottom pot and boil. Then dump the mung beans into the top steamer pot, and steam for 20 minutes.  (I swear my mom just dumped the whole thing into the pot without a dish or paper filter lining the pot. Not sure why the mung beans did not fall through the holes of the steamer....probably need more reseach into this). Set steamed mung beans aside (may let it cool in another clean bowl).
4) Gather up the ingredients for the rest:
Water, sugar, a big pot, a little pot, a long wooden spoon to stir, and a spoon for measuring.
tapioca starch
coconut cream and coconut cream powder
Pandan flavoring and Amyl Acetate (optional)
5)  Pour 4 cups of water in the big pot. Add 1.5 cups of sugar and 1 cup tapioca starch. Stir all over medium heat until it gels up and the color is clear (see-through). Then lower the heat, and add 1 teaspoon of the pandan flavour (and optional 1 teaspoon of amyl acetate). Stir till the gel is clear and flavor seems good and even. Turn off heat. Start stirring in the mung bean till it looks consistent throughout the gel. 

6) Make the coconut topping: in small pot, pour in a whole can (13.5 oz) of coconut cream and 2 tablespoon of coconut powder. Stir on low heat.  Add some tapioca starch to thicken coconut cream and 2-3 spoon of sugar to taste (based on your preference). Let cool. May put coconut cream in another clean bowl/cup for easy serving later. 

7) Ready to serve! My mom likes to put the che Tao Suan in individual cups. So spoon the mung bean mixture into cups. When ready to eat, just plop some of the coconut cream on top, and enjoy! Makes about 8 servings.

So that's the recipe my mom showed me. I'm sure there are many different and better variations on this Tao Suan dessert. Here's some links I found that might be worth a try if my recipe above makes no sense, haha:

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