Vietnamese Rainbow Dessert with Pandan Jelly, Faux Pomegranate Seeds and Mung Bean (Che Suong Sa Hat Luu)
- 1/2 cup dried split mung bean (wash and rinse until water runs clear then soak for 4 hours or overnight; mung bean will double in size so make sure to soak in a large container)
- 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
- 1 6-oz package Golden Coins agar agar powder (this particular brand has both agar agar powder and sugar combined; no need for added sugar)
- 8 cups water
- 1 teaspoon pandan extract
- 2 8-oz cans whole water chestnut (drain and rinse; cut into small pomegranate-size cubes)
- 1/3 cup tapioca starch
- 3-4 drops red food coloring gel
- 1 cup water
- 1 cup brown sugar
- Coconut Sauce for Vietnamese Dessert
- Crushed ice
Pandan Agar-Agar Jelly
Faux Pomegranate Seeds
Brown Sugar Simple Syrup
- Rinse the mung beans and transfer to a saucepan. Add water to cover by one inch. Heat on medium high for 5-7 minutes or until softened. We want the mung beans to retain its shape so avoid overcooking. Drain mung beans through a sieve and discard water. Transfer to a bowl and mix mung beans with sugar and salt while still hot. Set aside.
- Make the pandan agar-agar jelly: In a small saucepan, bring water to a boil. Add agar agar powder and mix until fully dissolved. Continue to cook for 1-2 minutes. Turn off heat and mix in pandan extract. Pour mixture into a square mold. Allow the mixture to cool off then transfer to the fridge to chill for 3 hours. Once chilled, remove the jelly from the mold by loosening up the sides with a knife. Gently slice into thin strips and set aside. You may also use a mandoline slicer for quicker cutting.
- Make the faux pomegranate seeds: To a medium size saucepan, bring about 2 quarts of water to a boil. Prepare an ice bath and set aside. In the meantime, add chopped water chestnut to a large bowl and add red food coloring. Toss until evenly covered. Add tapioca starch and toss evenly. Transfer coated water chestnut to a sieve or colander to remove excess starch. Add water chestnuts to the boiling water and let it cook for 2-3 minutes until they all float to the top and the tapioca starch turns translucent (clear; not white). Using a slotted spoon or seive, transfer water chestnut to the ice bath for 2 minutes then transfer to a bowl and set aside.
- Make the simple syrup. Add water and sugar to a small saucepan and heat on medium high. Once mixture comes to a boil, turn off heat and set aside.
- Make the coconut sauce. Follow the link in the ingredients list (https://www.vickypham.com/blog/sweetened-coconut-milksauce-asian-desserts-nuoc-cot-dua-an-che).
- To serve, divide the mung beans, agar-agar jelly and faux pomegranate seeds into 5 or 6 tall glasses, layering each ingredient each time. Add a tablespoon of simple syrup (more or less depending on your taste), about 1/2 cup crushed ice and 2-3 tablespoons of coconut sauce. Serve immediately for best results.