Chewy, slightly sweet, and delicious. Those are words that come to mind when thinking of this week’s Mom’s 52 recipe. Che Troi Nuoc – Mung Bean & Ginger Dessert is a Vietnamese classic, so much so that this dish was a part of a cooking class I attended when visiting Vietnam a few years ago. Che Troi Nuoc (“chay-uh troy nook”) is quite simply glutinous rice balls filled with a slightly sweetened mung bean paste, and served in a sweet ginger syrup. Give yourself a little under an hour, and wow your family and friends with this dessert recipe.
Che Troi Nuoc – Mung Bean & Ginger Dessert
INGREDIENTS – makes 4 servings
For the Che Troi Nuoc mung bean paste:
- 1/2 C. split mung beans
- 1 C. water
- 1/2 Tbsp. sugar
For the Che Troi Nuoc dough:
- scant 1 C. bot nep (glutinous rice flour) – a tad less than 1 full cup
- 1/2 C. water
- 1 additional Tbsp. of bot nep
For the Che Troi Nuoc syrup:
- 2 C. water
- 8 Tbsp. sugar (here, we used white sugar, but also try substituting in light brown sugar to yield a lovely, auburn syrup)
- 1″ x 2″ knob of ginger, peeled & sliced into 4 long pieces
Also: Toasted sesame seeds, for garnish.
STEP 1: MAKE THE CHE TROI NUOC MUNG BEAN PASTE
- In a small saucepan, combine the three mung bean paste ingredients and turn on medium heat. Simmer the mung beans for 40 minutes. To keep the mung beans from burning, stir occasionally for the first 35 minutes, and constantly for the last 5 minutes. While this cooks, move on to making the dough in Step 2 below.
- When the mung beans are done, they should be mushy, and the water level should be almost fully evaporated. ***Depending on variations in pans and stovetops, your water level may dry out before the 40 minutes are over. Should this happen, you can add a bit more water to the pot as the mung beans cook.
- Transfer the cooked mung beans to a small bowl. There should be very minimal excess liquid in the beans. Use the back end of a spoon to stir and mash the mung beans into a paste. Alternatively, you can use a small food processor, but the beans should be soft enough that a spoon will suffice. Set the mung bean paste aside to cool.
STEP 2: MAKE THE CHE TROI NUOC DOUGH
- Place scant 1 C. bot nep (glutinous rice flour) into a large mixing bowl and add the water. Mix well to make a dough. The dough should pull away from the sides of the bowl.
- Return to the mung beans, and finalize that Step 1 above.
STEP 3: FORM THE CHE TROI NUOC BALLS
- Once the mung bean paste has cooled, use your palms to roll them into small balls, using 1/2 Tbsp. of mung bean paste for each ball. Set the mung bean balls aside.
- Place 1 Tbsp. bot nep (glutinous rice flour) into a small ramekin dish.
- Take a bit of bot nep from the ramekin to flour your hands.
- Use your palms to roll 1 Tbsp. dough into a ball.
- Take another bit of bot nep from the ramekin to flour your hands again.
- Use your palms to flatten the ball of dough into a pancake. If it sticks to your hand as you flatten, add a tad more bot nep to your hand.
- Take one of the mung bean balls and place it into the center of the flattened dough. Pinch up the sides of the dough to enclose the mung bean ball. It’s okay if a small hole forms in the dough – this will be fixed in the next step.
- Use your palms to roll the pinched dough around the mung bean until the white dough is smooth.
- Set aside, and repeat Steps 2-8 for the remaining dough.
STEP 4: MAKE THE CHE TROI NUOC SYRUP & FINALIZE
- In the most narrow saucepan you can find, combine the Che Troi Nuoc syrup ingredients, and turn on the heat to medium. Stir to dissolve the sugar.
- As the syrup heats up, gently drop the bean-filled dough into the syrup. The dough will stick to the bottom at first. Simply nudge them a bit with a spoon to loosen.
- Maintain a heat level to just below a simmer, and cook for 15 minutes. The dough should float by then.
- Serve Che Troi Nuoc topped with toasted sesame seeds. Enjoy!
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