Traditional Vietnamese Desserts

Traditional Vietnamese Desserts

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Traditional Vietnamese desserts – a sweet culinary escape that has been satisfying local taste buds for years! Are you ready to dig in?

Chè (dessert soup)

Chè is one of the traditional Vietnamese desserts that means soup or pudding. It comes in several flavors and ingredients. Despite being frequently served in local restaurants and food shops, chè is traditionally served during special occasions such as birthdays, Tet Festival, and family gatherings.

Its base is usually coconut milk, while toppings include sago pearls, mung beans, kidney beans, tapioca, sweet potatoes and glutinous rice, as well as fresh fruits such as bananas, jackfruit, durian and mangos.

Chè (dessert soup) in Vietnam

Rau Cau Trai Dua (Coconut Jelly)

Rau cau trai dua is known for its light, refreshing and just the right blend of sweetness, you can find numerous dessert cafes in Da Nang selling rau cau trai dua (coconut jelly) especially along Bach Dang Street, facing the Han River.

This dessert is served in a coconut shell (with its flesh still intact). Its top layer is custard-like coconut cream while the bottom consists of jelly that’s made with coconut water.

Rau cau trai dua is also a good dessert option for travelling vegans as the jelly is made from seaweed called agar-agar.

Rau Cau Trai Dua (Coconut Jelly) in Vietnam

Bánh Bò (Honeycomb Cake)

One of the traditional Vietnamese desserts is Bánh bò. It is coconut-flavored Vietnamese sponge cakes that are prepared with a light yeast-based batter.

This dessert has a variety to choose from based on its shape, ingredients, and the method of preparation, but all of them have a distinct, airy texture which is why they are occasionally known as honeycomb or beehive cakes.

Bánh bò cakes can be baked or steamed and tinted with various natural colorings, while their base is usually made with rice or tapioca flour.

Its name roughly translates to a cow or to crawl, but it is not clear how and why the cakes were given their current name.

Bánh Bò (Honeycomb Cake) in Vietnam

Bánh Da Lợn (Steamed Layer Cake)

Bánh Da Lợn is translated directly as “pig skin cake” because each layer has the thickness of a pig’s skin, although there isn’t any trace of pork or pig skin in these cakes.

These steamed layer cakes have alternating layers of chewy tapioca flour and soft mung bean, so you can have some fun while eating by eating it layer by layer.

Bánh Da Lợn often has a pleasant green color. Instead of using food coloring, chefs use pandan leaves extract to create this color, thus ensuring it is healthy and appealing at the same time.

Bánh Da Lợn (Steamed Layer Cake) in Vietnam

Tàu Hũ Nước Đường – Tofu Dessert in Ginger Syrup

Tofu dessert in ginger syrup used to be a popular food sold on the beaches, especially in areas with a lot of tourists and travelers.

When taking a break from swimming, a bowl of hot tofu dessert in sweet ginger syrup both satisfy your hunger and warms you up after playing in the cool ocean water.

Tàu hũ nước đường often includes small balls made from tapioca flour. While these flour balls don’t necessarily taste sweet, they add a nice chewiness to the mix.

Combined with the silky tofu and the sweet syrup, tapioca balls bring a texture that complements the whole dish extremely well.

Tàu Hũ Nước Đường – Tofu Dessert in Ginger Syrup, Vietnam

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