Saturday, March 10, 2012

che ~ a Vietnamese dessert

These beautiful sunny days and a little extra time spent outdoors leave me craving something refreshing and a little sweet, too! This is our take on che - a classic and very diverse Vietnamese dessert. It's served often at our family gatherings, and at restaurants you'll likely order it as a drink.

This is a flexible recipe that can be switched up according to your taste or what ingredients you have access to. I often buy the canned version of these fruits (at the Asian market they come in a sweet syrup), but if you can get fresh tropical fruit (coconut meat, lychees, and jackfruit, for instance), all the better! 

1/2 Gallon whole milk (you can substitute with soy milk)
1 pint heavy cream, or 1 large can of sweetened coconut milk
1 20 ounce can each of:
    -palm seeds
    -coconut gel


1. Drain the syrup from the cans of fruit, reserving 1/4-1/2 of the syrup from the coconut gel.

2. Add the fruit to a large bowl, cutting up larger pieces into bite-sized chunks. I usually just use a pair of scissors, cutting each fruit in half or in strips over the bowl (except the coconut gel, which comes already cut into small cubes).

3. Add the milk and heavy cream, and stir. Feel free to add more milk (or less cream) if the consistency is too rich or thick for your liking.

4. Taste, and add up to 1/2 can of the reserved coconut gel syrup for extra sweetness, if desired.

5. Place a couple ice cubes in a drinking glass or bowl, pour a serving of the che over the ice, and eat with a spoon!

Best enjoyed outside or while browsing a hatchery catalog. 


  1. mmmm yummy!
    I'll try to do che with the fruits we have here :)

  2. This is a lovely post- great pictures. My flatmate at University made something similar so it brought back memories too. Hope you are having a great weekend. Nice to have found you, Jo x

    1. Hi Jo! Thank you :) Nice to have found you, too.

  3. I have never eaten ANY of those fruits...wait, I don't think I've ever even HEARD of most of them! LOL!!
    Your che looks delicious, kind of like Vietnamese fruit cocktail! :)

    1. That is a great way to describe it! You mean you don't grow tropical fruits in Arizona?! ;-)

  4. Ooh, this sounds yummy, like the beverage version of ambrosia! i have canned lychees in my fridge right now...and some mandarin oranges...i might just do an edited version of this tomorrow.

    when i was little my mother used to slice bananas into a bowl of milk, sprinkle on a little sugar, and there was a desserty/snack. this reminds me of that...yum.


  5. Oh gosh, that looks so good. So refreshing and tasty! I may have to try this one.

  6. Wow, this dessert sounds divine, though I have to admit to not hearing of many of the fruits you have listed :)

  7. delicious! I makes me think of summer....


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