Vietnamese Sweet Potato Dessert (Che Khoai Lang)

Sweet potato is a wonderful ingredient for making desserts. It’s gluten-free, high in fiber, and low in calories. Moreover, I love sweet potato because of its natural sweet flavor, allowing me to reduce or even eliminate sugar in desserts. For example, sugar-free sweet potato filling for  mochi/snow skin mooncake. Healthy and tasty, that’s why you should definitely try Sweet Potato Dessert. Let me introduce you to my favorite: Vietnamese Sweet Potato Dessert.

Vietnamese Sweet Potato Dessert

Tips for Selecting the Best Sweet Potato

Sweet potatoes, known for their natural sweet flavor and starchy texture, are believed to originate from South America and have become popular worldwide. They are a nutritious food source, rich in vitamins and minerals, particularly vitamin A, vitamin C, and potassium.

In Vietnam, sweet potatoes are more common than regular potatoes. They are consumed boiled, baked, fried, or made into paste used as a filling for cakes and other desserts. Sweet potatoes come in various colors, including orange, white, yellow, and purple, each indicating the color of the flesh of the respective type.

For making Vietnamese Sweet Potato Dessert, you can use any type of sweet potato. The most common options are purple and orange sweet potatoes due to their vivid color and sweeter taste compared to white or yellow varieties. Here are some tips on how to choose the best sweet potatoes:

  • Look for firmness: Choose sweet potatoes that feel firm and have smooth, unblemished skin. Avoid any sweet potatoes that are soft, wrinkled, or have visible signs of damage, such as cuts, bruises, or mold.
  • Check the skin: The skin of a sweet potato should be free of any cracks, excessive blemishes, or black spots. A few minor spots or scratches are generally fine, but avoid those with extensive damage.
  • Examine the color: The skin color of sweet potatoes can vary depending on the variety, but it should be vibrant and uniform for that particular type. For example, orange sweet potatoes should have a brown-orange skin color. Purple sweet potatoes will have grey-to-purple skin.
  • Consider the size and shape: Choose sweet potatoes that have a uniform shape and size, as this will make them easier to cook evenly. Smaller to medium-sized sweet potatoes are often preferred for their tenderness and flavor.
  • Feel the weight: Heavier sweet potatoes are usually denser and have a higher moisture content, which can indicate freshness. However, this may not always be the case, so consider it along with other factors.
  • Smell it: A fresh sweet potato should have a slightly sweet and earthy aroma. If it has a sour or musty smell, it may be overripe or spoiled.

Ingredients

Firstly, prepare some types of sweet potatoes available in your region. I didn’t find purple sweet potatoes this time, so I used only orange sweet potatoes. Besides sweet potatoes, you’ll need another ingredient for this dessert, which is tapioca starch. Tapioca starch creates a clear, glossy, and chewy texture, so when mixed with mashed sweet potatoes, each piece of this dessert will be slightly chewy and glossy. The reason why you must add tapioca starch to sweet potatoes is that boiled/steamed sweet potatoes contain a large amount of water, making it impossible to roll them into small cubes in the dessert.

Orange Sweet Potato paste
Orange sweet potato

You shouldn’t substitute corn starch for tapioca starch because tapioca starch’s texture after cooking is glossier and chewier. It helps create a good-looking dessert with a unique, slightly chewy texture.

Finally, a small amount of sugar is required. Although sweet potato is indeed sweet, the amount of tapioca starch added to the mixture will need sugar so that the overall taste is sweet enough.

To enjoy Vietnamese sweet potato dessert, a type of milk is used. It can be whole milk, skimmed milk, soy milk, or coconut milk, so feel free to select your favorite milk.

Step 1. Boil/Steam Sweet Potato

  • Prepare a pot of boiling water to boil or steam sweet potatoes. Steaming could be better as the amount of water inside each sweet potato is as low as possible. However, if boiling is much more convenient, you can just boil it, but remember to keep the whole potatoes to prevent too much water from absorbing into them.
  • Boil/steam sweet potatoes in 30-40 minutes, then turn off the heat but still leave them in hot water/steam until cooling down. Test the doneness by using a fork to stab them, if it’s easy to stab, your sweet potatoes are well cooked. Then, peel the skin.
Orange sweet potato

Step 2. Making Sweet Potato Mixture

  • After peeling the skin from the boiled or steamed sweet potatoes, weigh them to ensure the exact required amount. Then, finely mash them using a potato masher or fork.
  • Next, add tapioca starch and sugar to the mashed sweet potatoes, and mix them thoroughly until they form a cohesive dough. To test the consistency of the dough, take a small amount and shape it into a cube. If this can be done easily, the dough is sufficiently thick. If it’s difficult to shape or rolls into a small piece, the dough may be too soft due to a higher-than-expected water content from the sweet potatoes, especially if they were boiled. To remedy this, gradually add more tapioca starch, mixing well each time, and repeat the shaping test until the desired consistency is achieved.
  • Dyeing the dough (optional): If you desire a colorful sweet potato dessert, you can dye the dough using food coloring. You can use natural food colorings, such as beetroot juice for red or pandan extract for green. Allow the dyed dough to rest for 10-15 minutes.
Vietnamese sweet potato dessert

Step 3. Shaping and cooking sweet potato cube/ball

  • Take a small portion of the dough and roll it into a ball or shape it into a cube. Repeat this process until you have used up all of the dough.
  • Next, turn on the heat and bring a pot of water to a rolling boil. Once the water is boiling, carefully drop the cubes or balls of dough into the pot. Allow them to cook until they float to the surface of the boiling water. Once they are floating, remove them from the pot and immediately transfer them to a bowl of cool water. This will prevent the cubes or balls from sticking together.
Vietnamese sweet potato dessert

Step 5. Serving

  • To serve Vietnamese Sweet Potato Dessert, optionally add ice to a bowl if desired. Then, place a desired amount of sweet potato cubes or balls into the bowl. Pour coconut milk, soy milk, or cow milk over the sweet potatoes, according to preference. Finally, garnish the dessert with roasted peanuts and white sesame seeds. Enjoy!
Vietnamese Sweet Potato Dessert

Variations of Vietnamese Sweet Potato Dessert


There are many variations of Vietnamese sweet potato dessert. You can skip adding tapioca starch and simply make sweet potato paste by steaming sweet potatoes, smashing them, and cooking on the stove with a bit of sugar, then roll it into balls to enjoy with milk.

Additionally, you are free to add more toppings to your dessert, such as steamed or boiled mung beans, black bean, etc.

Another version of sweet potato dessert is like a smooth sweet soup. Add water and sugar to boiled and peeled sweet potatoes, then blend the mixture to get a smooth soup. Garnish it with coconut milk on top.

In short, you are free to be creative with sweet potato dessert. Try it yourself and find your favorite recipe with this wonderful ingredient!

Vietnamese Sweet Potato Dessert

Vietnamese Sweet Potato Dessert

Yield: 4
Cook Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour

Healthy and tasty, that’s why you should definitely try Sweet Potato Dessert. Let me introduce my favorite: Vietnamese Sweet Potato Dessert.

Ingredients

Instructions

Step 1. Boil/Steam Sweet Potato

  • Prepare a pot of boiling water to boil or steam sweet potatoes. Steaming could be better as the amount of water inside each sweet potato is as low as possible. However, if boiling is much more convenient, you can just boil it, but remember to keep the whole potatoes to prevent too much water from absorbing into them.Orange Sweet Potato paste
  • Boil/steam sweet potatoes in 30-40 minutes, then turn off the heat but still leave them in hot water/steam until cooling down. Test the doneness by using a fork to stab them, if it’s easy to stab, your sweet potatoes are well cooked. Then, peel the skin.Orange sweet potato

Step 2. Making Sweet Potato Mixture

  • After peeling the skin from the boiled or steamed sweet potatoes, weigh them to ensure the exact required amount. Then, finely mash them using a potato masher or fork.Vietnamese sweet potato dessert
  • Next, add tapioca starch and sugar to the mashed sweet potatoes, and mix them thoroughly until they form a cohesive dough. To test the consistency of the dough, take a small amount and shape it into a cube. If this can be done easily, the dough is sufficiently thick. If it's difficult to shape or rolls into a small piece, the dough may be too soft due to a higher-than-expected water content from the sweet potatoes, especially if they were boiled. To remedy this, gradually add more tapioca starch, mixing well each time, and repeat the shaping test until the desired consistency is achieved.Vietnamese sweet potato dessert
  • Dyeing the dough (optional): If you desire a colorful sweet potato dessert, you can dye the dough using food coloring. You can use natural food colorings, such as beetroot juice for red or pandan extract for green. Allow the dyed dough to rest for 10-15 minutes.Vietnamese sweet potato dessert

Step 3. Shaping and cooking sweet potato cube/ball

  • Take a small portion of the dough and roll it into a ball or shape it into a cube. Repeat this process until you have used up all of the dough.Vietnamese sweet potato dessert
  • Next, turn on the heat and bring a pot of water to a rolling boil. Once the water is boiling, carefully drop the cubes or balls of dough into the pot. Allow them to cook until they float to the surface of the boiling water. Once they are floating, remove them from the pot and immediately transfer them to a bowl of cool water. This will prevent the cubes or balls from sticking together.Vietnamese sweet potato dessert

Step 5. Serving

  • To serve Vietnamese Sweet Potato Dessert, optionally add ice to a bowl if desired. Then, place a desired amount of sweet potato cubes or balls into the bowl. Pour coconut milk, soy milk, or cow milk over the sweet potatoes, according to preference. Finally, garnish the dessert with roasted peanuts and white sesame seeds. Enjoy! Vietnamese sweet potato dessert

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Nutrition Information:
Yield: 4 Serving Size: 200
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 430

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