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a serving glass with longan, lotus seeds soup and crushed ice
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Lotus Seed Sweet Soup with Longan

Lotus seed sweet soup with longan (Che hat sen long nhan) is a delicious Vietnamese summer dessert. It has a pleasant aroma and sweetness, creating a relaxation effect.
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time40 mins
50 mins
Course: Dessert and Snack
Cuisine: Vietnamese
Keyword: che sen long nhan, lotus seed sweet soup
Servings: 3 people
Calories:
Author: Sophie

Ingredients

  • 7-8 oz lotus seeds (I use fresh seeds. See Notes if using dried white lotus seeds)
  • 20-24 dried longans
  • 3 cups water, divided
  • 4 teaspoon packed light brown sugar (to taste)
  • 1/4 cup rock sugar (to taste)
  • jasmine flowers or a few drops of vanilla extract.

Instructions

  • Inspect lotus seeds and remove the bitter green germs in the center. Steam for 20-25 minutes until they start to soften.
  • Give dried longans a quick rinse. Soak in 1/2 cup of water for several minutes. While steaming lotus seeds, place a small saucepan over medium heat. Add longans with the soaking water plus another 1/2 cup of water. Bring to a boil, then lower to a simmer. Add light brown sugar (to taste), stir to combine and simmer for 8-10 minutes until dried longans are plump. Transfer to a bowl to cool.
  • After steaming lotus seeds, place a saucepan over medium heat and add the remaining 2 cups of water. Once the water starts to boil, add lotus seeds and simmer very gently for about 10 minutes until they are soft to your liking. Add rock sugar (to taste) and simmer just until sugar is fully dissolved. Transfer to a container.
  • If you can find jasmine flowers, rinse them and add to the container with lotus seed soup and let it infuse for 15-20 minutes. Otherwise, just add a few drops of vanilla extract.
  • The soup can be enjoyed warm but it is tastier when cold. Chill the lotus seed soup and longan soup in the fridge for several hours. When serving, divide lotus seed soup among serving bowls and then top with longan soup. Or if you want to eat it right away, divide longan soup among serving glasses, then add lotus seed soup and top with some crushed ice.

Notes

If you use dried lotus seeds, soak them in warm water before using and adjust cooking time accordingly.
I like to steam the lotus seeds first before cooking them in water. The reason is if we simmer them for a long time, some parts may get really soft and mushy, and then broken into pieces. As a result, the soup will not look clear. If you just want to simmer the seeds right away, when serving, you can scoop out the seeds, let the sediments sink to the bottom. Then only transfer the clear soup into serving bowls (or glasses), leaving the sediments behind.
The soup is still tasty and fragrant without jasmine flowers or vanilla extract, so don't worry if you don't have those on hand.
This sweet soup should be enjoyed the same day or next day for the best taste.
When cooling and storing this dessert, store lotus seed soup and longan soup separately to preserve colors as well as their own flavors.