ngọt: gingery sweet beans dessert recipe / chè đậu gừng

Hopefully I did not lose you at beans for dessert. Stick with me on this.Bean desserts are common in Vietnamese cuisine (che đậu). Lots of variety and add-ins (pandan, coconut, tapioca pearls). They likely started with digestive benefit in mind, which for this recipe is hypothetically applied given the ginger (gừng). You should just eat them because you like them or maybe your mother in law made them and it gets you brownie points (mmm, brownies).

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chè đậu gừng / gingery sweet beans dessert recipe

Ingredients for generous 4-6 servings in a bowl or lots of spoon-sized bites (~ 40)

  • 1 cup dried beans
  • 4 cups of water plus a lot more for overnight soaking
  • Crushed ginger  in a jar or smashed whole ginger, about 2 tablespoons
  • at least 1 cup of sugar
  • 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon of salt to balance out sweet at the end
  • Crystallized ginger for topping
  • re-useable tea bag or holder if using crushed ginger

Instructions:

  • Soak the dry beans at least overnight, 12 -16 hours. Rinse beans and discard the soaking/rinsing water.
  • In a saucepan, add 4 cups fresh water and beans. Bring to a boil and then let them simmer for about an hour. Stir occasionally and check to see how they are softening up. You could also do this in your pressure cooker and dramatically reduce the time but I like to taste and adjust as I go with this recipe.
  • Add in the sugar and ginger. I put the crushed ginger from the jar in a loose tea bag (the paper kind) but you could use a tea ball etc. Basically you want to be able to remove the ginger before serving. Stir and keep simmering for another 30 minutes. Add in some additional water 1/2 cup or so if it has evaporated.
  • Taste and see if the balance of sweet and ginger is how YOU like it. Add a little salt. Mix last again. If you want sweeter, add more sugar, a little at a time, maybe a teaspoon or so. More ginger, add more or let it steep longer.
  • If you have the time, make the day before and after simmering leave the ginger bag in to steep.
  • When ready to serve, remove ginger, stir well and either heat back up and serve hot or serve cold.
  • Optional but nice touch, add some sliced crystallized ginger either on top or mixed in.
  • For this recipe I used mixed dried beans from my CSA box. Suggested beans to try include: black-eyed peas, kidney, broad (hyacinth) or red beans. Do not limit yourself. You can also use canned beans but need to watch the cooking time to avoid mush.
  • Recipe is adapted from Diana  My Tran’s book The Vietnamese Cookbook.

Other Vietnamese Dessert Recipes:

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Trio of bite sized Vietnamese desserts: coffee jello, ginger beans and banana cake.

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