Vietnamese Mung Bean Pudding is one of the classic Northern sweet dessert soups. This healthy and tasty dessert has the right amount of sweetness and richness. The best part is you can make it with a pressure cooker in 15-20 minutes.
What is Vietnamese Sweet Soup (Chè)?
Sweet soup (called chè in Vietnamese) is the most popular form of desserts in Vietnam. This highly customizable dessert can contain a wide range of ingredients, such as beans, root veggies and fruits, cooked in water until soft, sweetened with sugar and then sometimes thickened to likings. Some chè recipes you can find on my blog are che troi nuoc (glutinous rice balls in ginger syrup) and che chuoi (banana tapioca pudding).
This mung bean pudding, or you can also call it mung bean sweet soup, is a common dish in Northern Vietnam. We call it chè đỗ xanh (mung bean means “đỗ xanh” in Vietnamese) or che hoa cau.
My mom often makes mung bean pudding as a dessert in the family banquet for special occasions, such as new year or mid autumn festival. It is also easy to come across che do xanh at many sweet soup stalls on the streets in Northern Vietnam.
Ingredients for Vietnamese Mung Bean Pudding
Strictly speaking, Vietnamese mung bean pudding (chè đỗ xanh) only calls for split mung bean, sugar, thickener and water. My family usually eat it with steamed sticky rice, so I also add sticky rice for extra flavors and texture. Sticky rice also acts as a natural thickener. For your information, when sticky rice is added to sweet soup, we call it xôi chè.
The traditional thickening agent for chè is kudzu root (bột sắn). Kudzu root starch is white and usually in “rock” forms. In Vietnam, kudzu root starch is often infused with jasmine fragrance so when used it in chè, it gives the sweet soup a very pleasant aroma.
I once saw kudzu root at my local health food store in Illinois, and I also saw it on Amazon but I guess it is not something easy to find outside of Vietnam. You can also use cornstarch or tapioca starch to thicken this dessert soup.
Additionally, you can add a drop of vanilla extract or some pandan leaves to enhance the flavors. When eating it, you can drizzle some coconut milk on top for extra richness.
As you can see, this mung bean sweet soup is plant-based, totally vegan, gluten-free and dairy-free.
How to Cook Vietnamese Mung Bean Pudding
The traditional method to cook mung bean pudding is on the stovetop. However, this method requires soaking split mung bean in water for 1-2 hours. And if you want to eat it with sticky rice, you will also have to soak sticky rice for several hours before steaming. That’s why I love to make it with a pressure cooker (such as an Instant Pot). No soaking is needed and it’s ready in 15-20 minutes.
All you need to do is washing the split mung bean and sticky rice, then adding them to your pressure cooker. Once ready, sweeten and thicken the mung bean pudding to your liking and serve with coconut milk if desired. It’s best to serve this dessert warm. I personally like a high ratio of bean and rice to water, but feel free to adjust with more water if you want.
I’d love to hear what you think about the dish, so please feel free to leave a comment. New recipes are added every week so let’s connect on Facebook, Pinterest and Instagram for the latest updates. You can find my collection of Vietnamese recipes here.
Pressure Cooker Vietnamese Mung Bean Pudding
- 2/3 cup split mung bean
- 2/4 cup sticky rice
- 4 1/2 cups water
- pinch of salt
- 1/4 cup sugar
- coconut milk (to serve, optional)
For the starch slurry
- 1 teaspoon cornstarch, tapioca starch or kudzu root starch
- 1 tablespoon water
- Wash split mung bean and sticky rice. Drain and add to the pressure cooker. Also add 4 1/2 cups of water and a pinch of salt. Cook on high pressure for 2 minutes.
- Let the pressure cooker depressurize naturally for 5-7 minutes, and then quick release the remaining pressure. Turn on Sauté mode.
- Mix starch with water to create the starch slurry. Slowly add it the the mung bean pudding while stirring to thicken it to your liking. Use only as much as you need, and the pudding will also continue to thicken while cooling.
- Stir in sugar, use more or less to your liking. Transfer the mung bean pudding to serving bowls, drizzle some coconut milk on top if desired and serve.