Vietnamese Black Bean Dessert

Vietnamese people love bean desserts: from mung bean to red bean, white bean, and many other types of beans. They have created a large number of desserts: bean cake, bean paste filled moon cake, bean dessert (“chè”), Vietnamese Glutinous Rice Balls and so on. Black beans are one of these versatile ingredients commonly used in desserts due to their nutritional value and flavor. Therefore, I am going to introduce to you an easy-to-make recipe using black beans: Vietnamese Black Bean Dessert, or Vietnamese Sweet Black Bean Soup, or “chè đậu đen”.

vietnamese black bean dessert

Ingredients for Vietnamese Black Bean Dessert

Let’s start by gathering the essential ingredients for our Vietnamese Black Bean Dessert. These are basic items that you can easily find at your local grocery store:

Black Beans: You’ll need 1-2 cups of black beans. These little legumes are packed with fiber and a lovely earthy flavor that will be the key to our dessert.

Water: To cook those black beans to perfection, you’ll require 3-8 cups of water, as long as the ratio between black beans and water is 1:3 to 1:4.

Sugar: You’ll use 3/4 to 1 cup of sugar. You can adjust this to your taste, making it a touch sweeter or slightly less so, depending on your preference. For me, I cut down the amount of sugar in order to not consume too much sugar per day.

Ginger (optional): Here’s the twist – add a thumb-sized piece of fresh ginger. This aromatic root will infuse the dessert with a subtle, warming flavor, elevating the overall experience. When I was a child, my mom always cooked black bean dessert with ginger.

Coconut Milk (optional): To add a creamy, tropical twist to our dessert, grab a can of coconut milk (about 13.5 oz). This will provide a luscious, velvety texture that complements the black beans wonderfully.

These ingredients, though basic, come together to create a blend of flavors that make Vietnamese Black Bean Dessert my favorite dessert of all time. Let’s start to cook it; believe me, it’s super easy. Although it can take time if you cook it in a regular pot, you can just leave the pot there and check every 30-40 minutes, as long as you don’t forget it.

Equipment: regular pot or pressure cooker

Pressure cookers and instant pots are definitely game changers for cooking beans as they can significantly shorten cooking time. Besides, they save energy efficiently compared to stovetop cooking.

However, using a regular pot also offers you some advantages: You can skim the foam while cooking to achieve smoother, cleaner bean water, as well as check the softness of black beans anytime to stop cooking at the right time.

Depending on your preference and situation, opt for the right pot to make this dessert. For me, a pressure cooker is still the best as it saves a lot of my cooking time

Vietnamese black bean dessert

Preparation before cooking

Firstly, you need to prepare the black beans and ginger for this dessert. The total time to prepare is around 10 minutes, including soaking the beans and slicing the ginger. Here’s what you need to do:

Soaking the Black Beans: Rinse 1 cup of black beans thoroughly under cold water with a pinch of salt in a bowl. Let the beans soak for at least 4 hours or, ideally, overnight. Soaking helps soften the beans and reduces cooking time.

vietnamese black bean dessert

Slicing the Ginger: While the beans are soaking, take your thumb-sized piece of fresh ginger. Use a knife to peel the ginger and then thinly slice it into thin rounds. Set aside the sliced ginger for later.

In short, you can make it all in 10 minutes but need to let it sit for at least 4 hours. So, once you would like to cook not only black beans but also other beans, remember to soak them in the morning to cook them at night, or soak them before going to sleep and start cooking the next morning.

Cooking Instructions

With your black beans soaked and ginger prepared, it’s time to bring this Vietnamese Black Bean Dessert to life. The pressure cooker or Instant Pot will make this step a breeze. Here’s how it’s done:

Combining Ingredients: After 4 hours, place the rinsed black beans in your pressure cooker, Instant Pot or a regular pot. Add the sliced ginger, sugar, and a pinch of salt to the pot. Pour in 3 cups of water to cover the beans and ginger.

vietnamese black bean dessert

Pressure Cooking/ Stovetop cooking:

  • Pressure cooking: Close the lid of your pressure cooker or Instant Pot, ensuring it’s properly sealed. Set the cooker to high pressure and cook the beans for about 25-30 minutes. Exact timing may vary depending on your appliance, so consult the manual for guidance. Then, let the cooker release the steam slowly in the next 10-15 minutes before opening and check the beans. If they have not been cooked thoroughly yet, close the lid and cook for an additional 10-15 minutes.
  • Stovetop cooking: With stovetop, your waiting time will obviously be longer. It can take 2-3 hours for the black beans to soften over medium heat. Add more water if necessary and check the beans every 30 minutes. Turn off the heat once the beans reach your preferred level of softness.

The flavors have melded beautifully, creating a sweet and aromatic treat. Adjust the taste the last time. To serve Vietnamese Black Bean Dessert, you can top it with coconut milk, grated coconut, and crushed peanuts. You can also try to make tapioca pearls from tapioca starch (or just buy them at an Asian market), boil them separately and add them to the dessert.

Roasting method to enhance the flavor

The method to cook Vietnamese Black Bean Dessert above is the easiest one. If you want to enhance the flavor of the beans more, there is one additional step: after soaking, roast the black beans in a skillet for 5 minutes until the beans’ skin wrinkles; after that, you can cook the beans following the steps above.

So now you know all about one of the popular bean desserts in Vietnam. Try making it and enjoy it with your family and friends one day! You can also try Xoi Dau Den, a dish made from Black Beans and Sticky Rice, which is often eaten for breakfast in Vietnam.

vietnamese black bean dessert

Vietnamese Black Bean Dessert (chè đậu đen)

Yield: 4
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Additional Time: 2 hours
Total Time: 2 hours 30 minutes

I am going to introduce an easy-to-make recipe with black bean, a great ingredient for dessert: Vietnamese Black Bean Dessert or "chè đậu đen".

Ingredients

Instructions

Step 1. Preparation

  • Soaking the Black Beans: Rinse the 1 cup of black beans thoroughly under cold water with a pinch of salt in a bowl. Let the beans soak for at least 4 hours or, ideally, overnight. Soaking helps soften the beans and reduces cooking time.Xoi Dau Den
  • Roasting the Black Beans (optional): If you want to enhance the flavor of the beans more, there is one step more: after soaking, roast black beans in a skillet in 5 minutes until the beans' skin wrinkles; after that, you can cook the bean following the steps above.
  • Slicing the Ginger: While the beans are soaking, take your thumb-sized piece of fresh ginger. Use a knife to peel the ginger and then thinly slice it into thin rounds. Set aside the sliced ginger for later.

Step 2. Combine ingredients

  • After 4 hours, place the rinsed black beans in your pressure cooker, Instant Pot or a regular pot. Add the sliced ginger, sugar and a pinch of salt to the pot. Pour in 3 cups of water to cover the beans and ginger.Vietnamese Black Bean Dessert

Step 3. Cooking

  • Pressure cooking: Close the lid of your pressure cooker or Instant Pot, ensuring it's properly sealed. Set the cooker to high pressure and cook the beans for about 25-30 minutes. Exact timing may vary depending on your appliance, so consult the manual for guidance. Then, let the cooker release the steam slowly in the next 10-15 minutes before opening and check the beans. If it has not been cooked thoroughly yet, close the lid and cook in 10-15 minutes more.Vietnamese Black Bean Dessert
  • Stovetop cooking: With stovetop, your waiting time will obviously be longer. It can take you 2-3 hours for the black bean to soften over medium heat. Add more water if necessary and check the beans every 30 minutes. Turn off the heat once the bean reaches your prefered softness.
  • Adjust the taste the last time. To serve Vietnamese Black Bean Dessert, you can top with coconut milk, grated coconut and crushed peanuts. You can also try to make tapioca pearl from tapioca starch (or just buy it in Asian market), boil it separately and add to the dessert.vietnamese black bean dessert
Nutrition Information:
Yield: 4 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 419

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