Monday, June 3, 2013

Che dau van recipe - Vietnamese bean dessert

Chè đậu ván - Vietnamese bean dessert

There are many types of bean desserts in Vietnamese cuisine. But Che Dau Van is my most favorite! On the package of Dau Van beans I bought from an Asian grocery store, it's translated into English as "Broad Beans." But after doing some research on Wikipedia, I realized that the plant, shape, and color of broad beans is not the same as the Dau Van we use to make Che Dau Van in Vietnam. Rather, "Hyacinth bean" is the English name for the bean we use in this sweet. Good thing that I chose Dau Van at the store by looking for its special shape, and more than that, that I could read Vietnamese! If you want to try this dessert out, be sure to pick up the right bean! (^^)

In my efforts to make this dessert both appear good and taste good, I have to confess that I have failed 3 times trying to make this dessert before. It turned out that either the beans fell apart and got mushy, or they held their shape, but were too hard. This dessert requires a delicate balance: tenderness while preserving the bean shape.

So here comes the new way: steaming the beans by a pressure cooker! It is just a great way to cook the beans perfectly as they are supposed to be. And on top of that, it is super fast!

Chè đậu ván - Vietnamese bean dessert
Ingredients: (6 portions)

12 oz (340 g) dried hyacinth bean (broad bean)
½ - 1 cup(100 g - 200 g) sugar (to taste)
¼ tsp salt
¼ cup tapioca flour
½ tsp vanilla extract
yellow food coloring (optional)

Coconut milk:
½ can (200 ml) coconut milk
½ tbsp sugar
a pinch of salt
1 tsp tapioca flour


Wash the beans and soak them in water for at least 8 hours, or until they double in size, then remove the skins (try your best to keep them in whole shape ;). Also, be sure to discard wrinkled beans. The wrinkled beans tend to be very hard even cooked.
Rinse well after removing all the skins.
Steam the beans in a pressure cooker for 4-5 minutes. Then open the pressure cooker, and let the beans cool.

  • Older pressure cooker may take a bit longer, so adjust the steaming time the first time you use yours!

Add sugar, salt in 2 and a half cups of water. Set over medium-high heat. Stir until the sugar dissolves.
In a small cup, stir the tapioca flour in half a cup of water. When the sauce pan starts to boil, pour the tapioca mixture into the pan and stir until the mixture thickens, becomes transparent.
Let it boil again then lower the heat. Continuing simmer for 5 minutes. Stir often.
Add food coloring if you want and stir well.
Add vanilla and stir well.
When it starts boiling again, add the beans. Gently stir to combine. Let it simmer for 5 minutes, then remove from the heat. Pour in small portions when it’s still warm.

Making the coconut milk

Add coconut milk, sugar, salt and tapioca flour in a small saucepan. Set over medium heat. Stir until it’s all combined. Continue stirring until it thickens and starts to boil, then immediately remove from the heat. Be sure not overcook!

Before serving, add coconut milk, mix well, and serve. The dessert can be served warm, or at room temperature.

Xin mời!
Chè đậu ván - Vietnamese bean dessert
Here are a few of the tools I used in the video:

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