Chè, Vietnamese sweet soup, is the most popular form of dessert in Vietnamese cuisine. The ingredients can range from fresh fruits, fried fruits, beans, roots such as taro, casava to mini sweet cakes like sweet rice dumplings. Topping with coconut milk, Chè is not only a great dessert, it is also a great snack in between meals, and every often, they are served as an afternoon or an evening snack. In this kind of Chè, with added ginger to the sauce, this great sweet soup can be served hot or cold, a great treat for a cold winter day.
Recipe for Chè Trôi Nước – Sweet Rice Mung Beans Dumpling in Ginger Sauce
Mung bean filling:
1/4 cup split yellow mung beans, soaked in water overnight, until doubled in size
2 tbsp oil
3 scallions, white part only
1 Pinch of salt
1 tbsp coconut cream
couple slices of ginger
3 inch piece of ginger, slice into slivers
3 cups sugar
1 cup glutinous rice flour
1 pinch of salt
3/4 cup warm water
1 1/2 cup of coconut cream
1 tbsp toasted sesame seeds
To make the ginger sauce, put 4 cups of water, ginger and sugar in a saucepan over high heat. Stir to dissolve the sugar while bringing to a boil, then decrease the heat to a slow simmer and cook for 30 mins. Strain the ginger from the sauce and reserve for later use, then allow the sauce to cool.
To make the dumpling dough, sieve the rice flour and a pinch of salt into a bowl, then stir in the warm water until combined. Turn out onto a lightly floured work surface and gently knead the dough into a ball, then cover with a damp cloth. Allow to rest for 10 mins, then use your hands to roll it out into a long sausage, about 3/4 inch in diameter.
To make the mung bean filling, steam the mung bean until soft and set aside. Pour the oil in a saucepan over medium heat and cook the scallions until fragrant. Stir in the mung beans, then add a pinch of salt and 1 tbsp of coconut cream and stir to combine. Put the contents of the saucepan in a mortar, or in a blender, add some of the reserved ginger slivers, and work it all into a smooth paste.
To assemble the dumplings, cut the dough into 3/4 inch long sections, around 15 small pieces, make an indentation in the center with your thumb, then spoon 1/3 tsp of the mung bean mixture into the hollow. Draw up all the sides to cover the mung bean, pinch together, then gently roll into a ball in the palm of your hand. Repeat until you have filled all of the dough. Cook the dumplings in boiling water. When they float to the surface, remove and plunge into ice water to cool, then set aside.
To serve, divide the dumplings among the bowls, bring the ginger sauce to a boil, and pour over the dumplings. Drizzle with the sweetened coconut cream and garnish with the roasted sesame seeds. The dumplings can be made in advance and are best kept refrigerated in the ginger syrup.
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