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Authentic Vietnamese Che Chuoi – Banana Pudding in Coconut Milk with Tapioca Pearls

Learn how to make a deliciously, sweet authentic Vietnamese dessert called Che Chuoi that has bananas swimming in coconut milk with delicious tapioca pearls.

If you want a warm dessert that features bananas with coconut flavors inside of a pudding, this Vietnamese recipe is something that you can make in less than 30 minutes. It can be served both warm (the best way served) and even chilled. If you want to expand your palate or even recreate some of your favorite Vietnamese restaurant desserts, give this recipe a try as it is sure to satisfy any sweet craving! Che Choi is a really easy, simple dessert to make. Best of all, it’s vegan and dairy free.

If you are ever in a position where you need to get rid of all of the ripe bananas in your house, instead of thinking about banana bread, why not try your hand at this easy pudding recipe? 

All About Vietnamese Che Choi

Authentic Vietnamese Che Chuoi is made of bananas (either plantains, chuoi xiam, or lady finger bananas), coconut cream, and tapioca pearls. You might find regional variations of this recipe which include toppings of peanuts and sesame seeds, but I find that authentic che chuoi does not include these toppings!

easy authentic Vietnamese dessert che chuoi - banana coconut and tapioca pudding served warm or chilled

What does Che Chuoi taste like?

Vietnamese che chuoi combines the sweetness of ripe, yellow bananas with the sweet, chewy texture of tapioca pearls, and the richness of coconut cream melded into a warm pudding.

The texture of Vietnamese banana pudding will be creamy and thick with tapioca pearls incorporated (and sometimes even zig zagged tapioca shreds on top) for a beautiful presentation.

How do you eat Che Chuoi?

Vietnamese banana pudding is eaten slightly warmed or at room temperature due to the use of tapioca pearls. However, it can also be served cold, but it may taste a little starchy when served chilled after a few hours. In some regional variations, it is sometimes topped with crushed peanuts and a sprinkling of toasted sesame seeds.

What are other names for Vietnamese banana pudding with tapioca pearls?

Vietnamese banana pudding has a variations of names it is referred to in translation. Below are some of the most common names for this deliciously sweet, banana pudding:

  • Che Chuoi
  • Vietnamese Banana, Coconut & Tapioca Dessert
  • Banana Coconut Tapioca Pudding
  • Banana Tapioca Pudding
  • Sweet Banana and Coconut Milk Soup
  • Banana Tapioca
  • Sweet Coconut Tapioca Soup with Bananas
  • Banana Coconut Milk with Tapioca Pearls
  • Plantains, Cassava, and Tapioca Pearls
  • Vietnamese Banana Pudding
  • Plantains, Cassava, and Tapioca Pearls Dessert

How do you pronounce Che Chuoi dessert?

Che Choi can be pronounced “cheh” which means sweet soup or pudding and “chjoiy” which means banana.

What is the definition of Vietnamese Che Chuoi and what does it mean?

Che is a word that means any sweet soup, pudding, or beverage. Chuoi means bananas. In Vietnamese, che generally describes sweet desserts that are liquid (generally), like pudding, beverages, drinks, and even soups. There are literally hundreds of che recipes. Che doesn’t require any special kitchen equipment, it just needs a pot, stove, and delicious ingredients to cook with it!

When is Vietnamese banana tapioca pudding Che Chuoi served?

Vietnamese Che Chuoi is often served after dinner warm. 

Asian Grocery Store List for Making Authentic Vietnamese Che Chuoi

authentic vietnamese banana pudding che chuoi with tapioca pearls 050

Coconut Cream (Full Fat)

For this recipe, you’ll want to use coconut cream. Coconut cream (the blue can variety) makes all the difference for this recipe because of the richness that it provides! Coconut cream provides the heartiness of this dessert. You can’t go wrong with the blue Savoy coconut cream because it adds the level of flavor and thickness of fat to this pudding recipe. Again, go canned, full fat coconut cream and NOT coconut milk.

Choosing the Right Banana Types or Plantains for Che Chuoi

The most important part of this pudding recipe is choosing the type of banana as well as ensuring it is ripe. Below are the banana types that could be used for this recipe:

  • Chuối sứ or Chuối xiêm – These are the bananas that are authentically used in Vietnam. They are soft and sweet.
  • Plantains – I use plantains in this recipe because they keep their firmness during the cooking process as well as keep in their moisture.
  • Lady Fingers – These are smaller, fatter bananas that are also great for this recipe as well.
  • Saba or Apple Bananas – These are also soft and sweet.
  • Cavendish – It’s easy to get and is available all year round
  • Regular Bananas – Just make sure they aren’t too ripe or else they will become smushed during the cooking process.

Tapioca Pearls

Tapioca pearls are a must-have ingredient for this dish and lays the foundation for this recipe. They offer a chewy texture to this dessert, but they don’t necessarily have any flavor.

This is the tapioca pearl bag that I normally get at the grocery store to make most of my dishes that require them. When choosing from the somewhat endless aisle of tapioca pearls at the Asian market, the size of tapioca pearls you choose will matter due to the soak period prior to using as well as how it will look in your dessert when you’re done. The smaller variety of tapioca pearls works best for this recipe. 

For the record, you may also find versions of this recipe that have the colored, tapioca strips that are zig zag in green, blue, and pink to take the presentation style up a notch.

Tapioca pearls are made from cassava root starch, which is why you’ll find variations of this recipe including cassava rooot.

tapioca pearl bag from asian grocery store

Tips and Tricks Before Making Vietnamese Che Chuoi

Ensuring the Bananas or Plantains are Ripe

The best bananas for this recipe are when the bananas have a soft skin and just perfectly ripe without any green. Ripe bananas should feel firm so that they can maintain the firmness of their shape in the soup.If the banana chosen for this recipe is green, it will make the soup starchy and not as sweet. Bananas that are too ripened or brown, it will make the pudding mush.

Preparing the Tapioca Pearls

The tapioca pearls will need to be soaked prior to using in the dish for about 20 minutes in warm water. Allowing the tapioca pearls to soak prior to cooking will reduce the time that you need to come them later in the recipe. Once cooked, the tapioca pearls turn from white to.an opaque, translucent color during the cooking process.

Tapioca pearls might seem a bit daunting to cook with before you get the hang of it. After the soaking period under warm water, make sure you rinse with cool water to prevent the tapioca from sticking to each other and stop the cooking process before the next phase of incorporation into the main dish.

Another Optional Ingredient: Fresh Pandan Leaves

Other variations of this recipe also use pandan leaves, which provides another level of sweetness characterized with hints of almond, rose, and vanilla flavors. I tend to leave these out because I love keeping my recipes simple without having to resort to picking up another ingredient! Whatever you do, do not get the extract, always use fresh pandan leaves!

Toppings for Che Chuoi

There are so many toppings you can add on top of this pudding (kind of like breakfast yogurt). The most popular toppings for this recipe include salted, crushed peanuts to level out the sweetness and toasted sesame seeds for an additional layer of crunch and texture. Authentically, it’s not topped with anything at all!

How to Make Authentic Vietnamese Che Chuoi Recipe

Ingredients for Vietnamese Banana Pudding Recipe

  • 1 cup of warm water
  • 4 cups of water
  • 3 tablespoons of tapioca pearls
  • 1 14-ounce can of coconut cream
  • 3 cups on plantains
  • 4 cups of water
  • salt (to taste)

Instructions for Making Vietnamese Che Chuoi

  1. Put 1 cup of warm water in a bowl and add in tapioca pearls. Allow to soak for 20 minutes.
  2. Prepare plantains by peeling them and cutting them into ½ chunks. Set aside.
  3. On a stove, put 4 cups of water and bring to a boil. Add in the banana chunks.
  4. Drain the tapioca pearls in cold water and add into the the pot. Allow to simmer for 3 minutes or until the tapioca pearls turn an opaque translucent color.
  5. Next, add in sugar and coconut cream. Continue stirring gently to combine for another 3 minutes until simmering.
  6. Add salt to taste.
  7. Add toppings as desired.

Preserving Vietnamese Che Chuoi

Che Chuoi always taste better when eaten fresh that day. However, you can keep it in an airtight container for up to 3 days. Ensure that you mix the pudding prior to eating because the coconut cream at cold temperatures will thicken and you’ll want to re-incorporate all of the ingredients. you can reheat at 30 second intervals to eat Vietnamese banana pudding warmed up. It’s also great eaten chilled.

During the summer, che chuoi is best consumed chilled. During winter months, it is served warm.

Vietnamese Che Chuoi will last up to 3 days in the refridgerator.

Frequently Asked Questions About Vietnamese Che Chuoi

What can I substitute in place of tapioca pearls in Che Chuoi?

There are no substitutions for tapioca pearls when making Che Chuoi because they are the foundation of this recipe.

What type of bananas are used in authentic Vietnamese banana pudding?

Chuối sứ or Chuối xiêm – These are the bananas that are authentically used in Vietnam for this dessert because they are soft, sweet, and can keep their form during the cooking process.

  • Plantains – I use plantains in this recipe because they keep their firmness during the cooking process as well as keep in their moisture.
  • Lady Fingers – These are smaller, fatter bananas that are also great for this recipe as well.
  • Saba or Apple Bananas – These are also soft and sweet.
  • Cavendish – It’s easy to get and is available all year round
  • Regular Bananas – Just make sure they aren’t too ripe or else they will become smushed during the cooking process.

Can I use coconut milk for Vietnamese Che Chuoi?

Coconut milk with full fat (also known as coconut cream) should be used for making Che Chuoi. Using coconut milk with no fat will lessen the richness that Che Chuoi is known for.

Can you freeze banana tapioca pudding?

Vietnamese banana pudding is not recommended to be frozen. It can be preserved in the refrigerator for up to 3 days until it goes bad.

Summary About Vietnamese Dessert Che Chuoi Recipe

I hope you loved this no fuss Vietnamese banana, tapioca, coconut pudding. The rich coconut cream sauce with the chewiness of the tapioca pearl and a bite of the soft, cooked banana takes the sweetness out of this world. It’s so versatile that during winter months, it is a warm dessert that can be eaten while cozying up next to a fireplace, and during summer months it can be a delightful dessert eaten chilled while soaking in the sun’s rays. The creamy sweet coconut with the aroma of bananas and the texture of the tapioca pearls is what makes this dessert delicious and satisfying.

Vietnamese Banana Pudding (with Coconut and Tapioca Pearls) - Che Chuoi

Vietnamese Banana Pudding (with Coconut and Tapioca Pearls) - Che Chuoi

Yield: 4
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes

This is an authentic and traditional Vietnamese banana pudding recipe that is popular made from bananas, coconut cream, and tapioca pearls. It can be served warm or chilled that takes less than 30 minutes to make.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup of warm water
  • 4 cups of water
  • 3 tablespoons of tapioca pearls
  • 1 14-ounce can of coconut cream
  • 3 cups on plantains
  • 4 cups of water
  • salt (to taste)

Instructions

  1. Put 1 cup of warm water in a bowl and add in tapioca pearls. Allow to soak for 20 minutes.
  2. Prepare plantains by peeling them and cutting them into ½ chunks. Set aside.
  3. On a stove, put 4 cups of water and bring to a boil. Add in the banana chunks.
  4. Drain the tapioca pearls in cold water and add into the the pot. Allow to simmer for 3 minutes or until the tapioca pearls turn an opaque translucent color.
  5. Next, add in sugar and coconut cream. Continue stirring gently to combine for another 3 minutes until simmering.
  6. Add salt to taste.
  7. Add toppings as desired.

Notes

This dessert can last up to 3 days refridgerated in an airtight container.

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Nutrition Information:
Yield: 4 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 534Total Fat: 16gSaturated Fat: 15gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 1gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 209mgCarbohydrates: 100gFiber: 3gSugar: 70gProtein: 2g

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easy authentic Vietnamese dessert che chuoi - banana coconut and tapioca pudding served warm or chilled

easy authentic Vietnamese dessert che chuoi - banana coconut and tapioca pudding served warm or chilled

easy authentic Vietnamese dessert che chuoi - banana coconut and tapioca pudding served warm or chilled

easy authentic Vietnamese dessert che chuoi - banana coconut and tapioca pudding served warm or chilled

easy authentic Vietnamese dessert che chuoi - banana coconut and tapioca pudding served warm or chilled

easy authentic Vietnamese dessert che chuoi - banana coconut and tapioca pudding served warm or chilled

easy authentic Vietnamese dessert che chuoi - banana coconut and tapioca pudding served warm or chilled

easy authentic Vietnamese dessert che chuoi - banana coconut and tapioca pudding served warm or chilled

easy authentic Vietnamese dessert che chuoi - banana coconut and tapioca pudding served warm or chilled

 

easy authentic Vietnamese dessert che chuoi - banana coconut and tapioca pudding served warm or chilled

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