Vietnamese Tapioca Dessert (Che Bot Loc)

Vietnamese Tapioca Dessert (Chè Bột Lọc) is one of the traditional desserts simply made from tapioca starch and peanuts. Easy but delicious, it’s a must-try dish when discovering Vietnamese desserts. Let’s make it.

Vietnamese tapioca dessert
A bowl of Che bot loc (Vietnamese Tapioca Dessert)

Ingredients for Vietnamese Tapioca Dessert

Che bot loc requires very basic and simple ingredients, consisting of tapioca starch, roasted peanuts, sugar, and ginger. Roasted peanuts are wrapped in tapioca dough, becoming tapioca pearls. You can also enhance it by incorporating various types of nuts or seeds as fillings for the tapioca pearls, such as coconut meat, lotus seeds, cashew nuts, hazelnuts, or macadamia nuts, as long as they are round or nearly round in shape to create beautiful pearls.

vietnamese tapioca dessert

The liquid component of this dessert is a mixture of sugar, water, and shredded ginger. It’s warm and lightly sweet, complementing the chewy and crunchy tapioca pearls.

Here’s the recipe for 4 bowls of Vietnamese Tapioca Dessert:

  • 150g (10.5oz) tapioca starch
  • 6 tbsp (90ml) boiling water
  • 60g (1 oz) roasted peanuts, or other nuts/cooked lotus seeds/coconut meat
  • 1 liter (~4 cups) water
  • 70g – 100g (2.5 – 3.5oz) sugar
  • 10g (1 tbsp) shredded ginger
  • 2-3 pandan leaves (optional)

Instruction

Step 1. Preparation

  • If you don’t have roasted peanuts, roast some on medium heat. You can use peeled or unpeeled peanuts, roast until it turns golden brown. Otherwise, just simply buy a bag of roasted peanuts from a nearby store or supermarket. If you use coconut meat as the fillings, peel the brown skin and cut coconut meat into small cubes.
  • Peel the ginger, wash it thoroughly, and slice thinly to make the sweet soup.
  • If you use pandan leaves, clean the pandan leaves and tie them into bundles.

Step 2. Kneading tapioca dough

  • Add tapioca starch into a mixing bowl and gradually pour in boiling water (100°C). While pouring the water, use a spoon to stir until the flour is moist enough to knead into a cohesive mass.
  • Once the water has cooled down slightly, continue kneading the dough thoroughly with your hands until it becomes soft, elastic, and smooth, without being sticky to the touch. Then, wrap the dough tightly and let it rest for about 15 minutes.
Vietnamese tapioca dessert
  • If you would like to dye the dough pink or green, add 1/2 tsp of beetroot juice/pandan extract to the dough and knead until it turns into an even pink/green dough.

Step 3. Shaping Tapioca Pearls

  • After resting the dough, take it out and divide it into small portions, then place each portion of dough into plastic bags and tie them tightly to prevent drying. Next, take a portion of the dough and roll it into a long cylinder shape, then cut it into small pieces, each about 5g. Repeat this process for the remaining dough.
  • After cutting the small pieces of dough, round and flatten them, then place a peanut in the center of each piece of dough, wrap it up, and roll it to form a beautiful round tapioca pearl.
Vietnamese tapioca dessert

Step 4. Boil the tapioca pearls

  • Pour water into a pot and bring it to a boil, then add the tapioca pearls and boil for about 7-10 minutes. Wait until the pearls float to the surface, indicating they are cooked.
  • Then, prepare a bowl of ice water to transfer the tapioca pearls into, to prevent them from sticking together and to make them firmer.
Vietnamese tapioca dessert

Step 5. Cooking the sweet soup

  • In a pot, add 1 liter of water, 70-100g of sugar, pandan leaves, a pinch of salt, and thinly shredded ginger. Then, turn on the heat and bring the water to a boil. After that, transfer the cooked tapioca pearls into the pot of sweetened water and bring it to a boil again.
  • Once boiled, you can dissolve about 2 tbsp of tapioca starch in a little water and slowly pour it into the sweet soup pot, stirring constantly until the soup thickens to the desired consistency. Let it boil for another 1-2 minutes, then turn off the heat. Enjoy Vietnamese tapioca dessert with roasted peanuts, coconut cubes, and coconut flakes. You can also add ice if you would like to eat it chilled.

Tips for perfect Vietnamese Tapioca Dessert

The most important and difficult step of making tapioca dessert is kneading the tapioca dough. Therefore, when mixing the dough, pour water slowly to prevent lumps from forming. Knead the dough thoroughly to ensure the cake’s crust is not chewy when cooked.

When making tapioca pearls, also remember to wrap the roasted peanuts/coconut cubes tightly inside the dough; if it’s left exposed, the tapioca cakes may break apart, resulting in cloudy water and bland pearls.

To keep the sweet soup clear, avoid taking advantage of the water used to boil the tapioca pearls to make it. It’s better to make the sweet soup separately with sugar and ginger to maintain the best flavor.

Vietnamese Tapioca Dessert

Storing and Reheating Vietnamese Tapioca Dessert

It’s best to enjoy the sweet soup on the same day. If you’ve made a large batch and couldn’t finish it, store the leftover sweet soup separately in a tightly covered container in the refrigerator for 2-3 days. When reheating, simply microwave it or cook it again on the stove. After reheating, garnish the bowl with your favorite toppings like coconut flakes, roasted peanuts, or coconut cubes before serving.

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Vietnamese tapioca dessert

Vietnamese Tapioca Dessert (Che Bot Loc)

Vietnamese Tapioca Dessert (Chè Bột Lọc) is one of the traditional desserts simply made from tapioca starch and peanuts.
5 from 1 vote
Print Pin Rate
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: Vietnamese
Keyword: che bot loc, Vietnamese tapioca dessert
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Total Time: 45 minutes
Servings: 4 people
Calories: 265kcal
Author: Mia Pham

Ingredients

Instructions

Step 1. Preparation

  • If you don't have roasted peanuts, roast some on medium heat. You can use peeled or unpeeled peanuts, roast until it turns golden brown. Otherwise, just simply buy a bag of roasted peanuts from a nearby store or supermarket. If you use coconut meat as the fillings, peel the brown skin and cut coconut meat into small cubes.
  • Peel the ginger, wash it thoroughly, and slice thinly to make the sweet soup.
  • If you use pandan leaves, clean the pandan leaves and tie them into bundles.
    pandan leaves

Step 2. Kneading tapioca dough

  • Add tapioca starch into a mixing bowl and gradually pour in boiling water (100°C). While pouring the water, use a spoon to stir until the flour is moist enough to knead into a cohesive mass.
    Vietnamese tapioca dessert
  • Once the water has cooled down slightly, continue kneading the dough thoroughly with your hands until it becomes soft, elastic, and smooth, without being sticky to the touch. Then, wrap the dough tightly and let it rest for about 15 minutes.
  • If you would like to dye the dough pink or green, add 1/2 tsp of beetroot juice/pandan extract to the dough and knead until it turns into an even pink/green dough.
    Vietnamese tapioca dessert

Step 3. Shaping Tapioca Pearls

  • After resting the dough, take it out and divide it into small portions, then place each portion of dough into plastic bags and tie them tightly to prevent drying. Next, take a portion of the dough and roll it into a long cylinder shape, then cut it into small pieces, each about 5g. Repeat this process for the remaining dough.
  • After cutting the small pieces of dough, round and flatten them, then place a peanut in the center of each piece of dough, wrap it up, and roll it to form a beautiful round tapioca pearl.
    Vietnamese tapioca dessert

Step 4. Boil the tapioca pearls

  • Pour water into a pot and bring it to a boil, then add the tapioca pearls and boil for about 7-10 minutes. Wait until the pearls float to the surface, indicating they are cooked. Then, prepare a bowl of ice water to transfer the tapioca pearls into, to prevent them from sticking together and to make them firmer.
    Vietnamese tapioca dessert

Step 5. Cooking the sweet soup

  • In a pot, add 1 liter of water, 70-100g of sugar, pandan leaves (if any), a pinch of salt, and thinly shredded ginger.
    Vietnamese tapioca dessert
  • Then, turn on the heat and bring the water to a boil. After that, transfer the cooked tapioca pearls into the pot of sweetened water and bring it to a boil again.
  • Once boiled, you can dissolve about 2 tbsp of tapioca starch in a little water and slowly pour it into the sweet soup pot, stirring constantly until the soup thickens to the desired consistency. Let it boil for another 1-2 minutes, then turn off the heat. Enjoy Vietnamese tapioca dessert with roasted peanuts, coconut cubes, and coconut flakes. You can also add ice if you would like to eat it chilled.
    Vietnamese tapioca dessert

Nutrition

Serving: 300ml | Calories: 265kcal

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