I fell in love with this dessert on my latest visit to Vietnam. The ones I tried from the States are overly sweet, the ones in Vietnam are not as heavy and more refreshing. I love eating the "hot luu" which are suppose to be mock pomegranate seed made from tapioca and jicama. It's like eating the tapioca balls in bubble tea but with something in the center. I made this che on a hot sunny day during my last trip home and it was a hit! My mom really appreciate me making a batch for everybody because she thought it was such as hassle, but it really isn't that bad to make.
You simply prepare are the components of the che; I used suong sa, hot luu, mung beans, coconut milk, sugar water, and crushed ice. Once that is all done you can just put together a cup to your liking. To cut back one some of the work I used canned suong sa which tasted just as good, but you can always make your own. I couldn't find any fresh jicama so I used canned water chestnut. Semi-homemade didn't cut back on taste here!
2 quart of water
3 cans of coconut milk
1 cup of already peeled and split mung bean
1 bag of tapioca start
1 can of water chestnut
3 can of suong sa ( I bought two different version, one in a lime green color and one that dark greenish black)
1. Boil 2 quart of water with 3-4 cups of sugar. Set aside in fridge to chill.
2. Cut dark suong sa into cubes, and lime green suong sa into long strips.
3. Soak the mung beans in water.
3. Finely diced the water chestnut. Separate into 3-4 batch. Add a different food coloring into each batch and mix.
4. Place tapioca starch into a large mixing bowl. Place one batch of water chestnut in a strainer and place in the large mixing bowl of tapioca starch. Add tapioca starch to the water chestnut and then shake excess off. This whole process can be done in the mixing bowl. Keep adding tapioca starch to the water chestnut until it is evenly coated.
5. Boil some water in a pot. And prepare a cold bowl of water with some ice cubes.
6. Once the water boil add the first batch of tapioca/water chestnut mixture to the pot. The tapioca mixture will coagulate so you chopstick to help separate.
7. Once the color "pomegranate seed" float to the top, dump the whole pot into a colander and rinse with cold water. Place fresh "pomegranate seed" aside in the the bowl of ice water to cool. You can remove pomegranate seed from ice bath once it has cooled.
8. Repeat with remaining batch of water chestnut. You don't have to change tapioca starch between batch.
9. Strain the water from the mung beans. Boil mung beans with 1/4 cup of sugar, and 1/2 cup of water. Boil until all the water have been absorbed and mung bean are soft. Remove from heat and mash into a paste (I used a potato masher).
10. Boil the coconut milk with 1/2 cup of sugar. Set aside to cool.
Now you are ready to build your cup of che. I build mine like so; a layer of mung bean, pomegranate seed, suong sa, another layer of mung beans, more suong sa and pomegranate seed, fill the cup with the sugar water, add coconut milk to your liking, and finally top off with crush ice. Stir everything together and enjoy!