As we get closer to the traditional Thingyan water festival in mid-April, I would like to share recipes for Vietnamese-style sweet snacks you might like to enjoy during the holiday period.
The first recipe is similar to the famous Myanmar snack mont let saung, one of the main differences being that the Vietnamese version uses maung beans. It makes a great alternative if you want something a little different from mont let saung. In Vietnam it is called che ba mau, and it’s also known as three-colour dessert.
I am sharing the base recipe but you can use your imagination to create new variations by adding jelly, agar agar, or fresh or fried fruit.
Vietnamese three-colour dessert
600g of hot rice paste (mont let saung phet)
½ cup of pae lun (black-eyed beans)
11/3 to 1½ cups of sugar
1 cup of pae ti seain (maung beans)
Coconut jelly (optional)
½ cup of tapioca balls
1 can of coconut cream
1 teaspoon of salt
Wash the pae lun and soak in water overnight.
Boil 1 cup of water with 1/3 cup of sugar. When the water comes to a boil, add the pae lun and simmer until the beans are cooked through.
If more water is needed, add warm water into the pot 1 cup at a time. Stir frequently and let the water be completely absorbed by the beans. Once cooked, allow the beans to cool and then refrigerate.
Also soak the pae ti seain in water overnight, then remove the husks by rubbing the beans in your palms in the water. Wash out all the husks by letting them float on the water. Once they are removed, cook the beans in 1 cup of water and 1/3 cup of sugar in the same way that the pae lun were cooked.
Dissolve 2/3 cup of sugar and ½ teaspoon of salt into 3½ cups of water over low heat. Then add ½ cup of tapioca balls and cook them until the white eyes have disappeared. Add 1 can (1 1/3 cup) of coconut cream into the mixture. Simmer for 3-4 minutes and let it cool down, then refrigerate.
Place a couple of small ice cubes in a big, wide glass. Add a tablespoon of pae lun, then a couple of tablespoons of coconut mixture, then a tablespoon of pae ti seain, then more coconut mixture. Top it up with mont let saung phet, and then add more coconut mixture.
If you prefer, you can add colourful tapioca balls, jelly or agar agar. For a sweeter taste you can add more sugar syrup when you are preparing the beans. You can also add more coconut mixture or sugar syrup during the final step.