I’m running so late for this month Delicious Vietnam! Blaming it on the weather, interstate trips or whatever. Life has been hectic around here…
Anyway, I managed to whip us a lovely and utterly simple dessert for the event: sweet corn pudding (chè bắp or chè ngô). Like most other Viet dishes, it relies on simple ingredients and quite minimal cooking. In this case, fresh corn kernels are must. Usually, sticky rice is added to bind the whole pudding together. I didn’t have any on hand, so tapioca pearls were used instead. This substitution is quite nice since it gives the pudding somewhat a lighter texture.
The pudding is best served warm with some coconut milk sauce and toasted sesame. A lovely sweet dessert to warm up the cold nights we still have recently in Melbourne.
(I think this kind of dessert can be found in all places in Asia. To be truly Vietnamese, or truly Hanoi style strictly speaking, an essence made from pomelo blossom (dầu hoa bưởi) should be used – Again, I didn’t have any so pandan leaves were used here )
This post is submitted to Delicious Vietnam #4, hosted this month by Bonniebella.
3 corn cobs
5-6 cups water
A pinch of salt
Around 100g sugar (to taste)
1-2 pandan leaves, knotted
1/4 cup tapioca pearls
Coconut sauce: 250ml coconut cream, 1 tsp sugar, 1 tsp potato or corn starch, 1 pinch of salt
Toasted sesame seeds, to serve
Clean the corn cobs. Using a thin blade knife, cut the corn kernels from the cob.
Put all the corn kernels in a large sauce pan. Add in water (the water level should be 2 inches above the corn surface) and the pandan leaves. Bring to the boil, and simmer around 10-15 mins or until the corn kernels are just tender, but still retain the ‘biteness’. Remove any foam.
While the corn mixture is cooking, prepare the tapioca pearls. Put them in a small saucepan and cover them with water. Slowly bring the mixture to the boil, stirring constantly to prevent it to burn. Keep on stirring until most of the perls are opaque.
When the corn mixture is almost done, remove the pandan leaves and stir in the tapioca pearls. Bring the whole thing to a simmer, then, put in enough sugar to taste. Keep warm.
Now, prepare the coconut sauce by mixing all ingredients together, and bring to the boil with gentle heat. Stir until the mixture thickens.
To serve: laddle the warm pudding to a bowl, then add in enough (more or less to taste) coconut sauce and a sprinkle of sesame seeds. Enjoy!
The pudding is equally delicious served cold!