Chè Thái is a refreshing Vietnamese dessert drink made of tropical canned fruits, jellies, and coconut milk. It's the perfect dessert to serve when you're hosting for a lot of people, it's easy, quick, and delicious! It serves up to 10 people and will be ready under 30 minutes.
This dessert reminds us of Che Ba Mau, which is an another Vietnamese dessert drink that we grew up with, or even Halo Halo, a filipino dessert drink. But not gonna lie... This one is by far our favourite! What can beat tropical fruits, jellies and coconut milk?! The perfect summer desert, and all the colors make it so beautiful to look at!
What Is Chè Thái
Che is a Vietnamese word that refers to any dessert in liquid form. It can be a drink, a pudding, or even a sweet soup. Chè Thái is basically an Asian version of fruit cocktail with coconut milk. It was inspired by a Thai dessert known as tub tim krob, hence the work "Thai" added to che.
Che desserts are very popular in Vietnam and usually served in a plastic cup. They are the perfect refreshing summer drinks. Because of how easy it is to make, you just need to chop fruits and pour coconut milk, it's the perfect dessert to serve for a large gathering. It's fool-proof since there's not baking or cooking involved!
More Related Recipes:
- Crispy and chewy pandan waffle
- Pandan French cacarons with coconut buttermilk filling
- Pandan pancakes with coconut custard filling
- Coconut raspberry tapioca pudding
The beauty of this recipe is that you can swap and switch for any fruits that you like. Generally, you would use exotic fruits, so you can chose to use rambutan, mango, mangosteen or even durian. As for the jellies, those are also very easy to omit or exchange. We chose to use Ai-yu jelly, but have made this che with homemade pandan jelly. It can also be found in local vietnamese supermarket. As for the red rubies, you could replace by tapioca or sago pearls, and even add grass jelly. The possibilities are endless!
What are Red Rubies (Tub Tim Krob)?
Red rubies, from the Thai dessert known as tub tim krob, are made out of water chestnut and tapioca starch. They are chewy on the outside, and perfectly crisp on the inside. The literally translation from Thai is actually "crispy rubies". Traditionally, the red color comes from pomegranate juice, hence why red rubies are sometimes referred as pomegranate seeds.
- Water chestnut: they can easily be found canned in the can aisle in your local Asian supermarket,
- tapioca starch: this is the magic ingredient to make the chewy coating to your red rubies,
- red food coloring: make sure to chose a food safe coloring, or you can also use natural coloring such as beet juice or pomegranate juice.
- Toddy palm's seed: cut in slices, these add a nice chewy but firm texture,
- lychee: cut in thin slices,
- jackfruit: cut in thin slices, it's our personal favorite and will never replace it with another fruit,
- longan: cut in halves,
- young coconut meat: cut in slices,
- ai-yu jelly: cut in 1 inch cubes, if you can't find them in your supermarket, you can replace with grass jelly although we love the green color it adds, alternatively you can also replace by pandan jelly,
- coconut milk, we love using this one.
Make sure to keep the juices from the young coconut milk and one other canned fruit of your choice.
Yes! You can replace with half and half to keep to mimic the creaminess from the coconut milk.
Keep in the fridge for up to 3 days in a sealed container. The fruits and red rubies might absorb some of the coconut milk mixture, so add more juice or coconut milk before serving.
To make the red rubies, you first need to cut your water chestnut in 1/4 inch pieces. We use canned ones.
Add red food coloring, enough so that it becomes a bright red. We added about 20 drops.
Pour in your tapioca starch and mix well, so that every water chestnut pieces are covered. Sift through to get rid of extra starch. If you skip this step, your water will become starchy.
Boil water, and pour in your water chestnut. Stir to make sure they don't stick together.
Once ready, the red rubies will float to the top. It will only take about 60-120 seconds.
Drain water and immediately place red rubies in ice cold water. Let sit for 10 minutes to make them chewier.
- Prep. Open all your canned fruits and save the juice from the young coconut meat and your preferred canned fruit. We like the lychee juice. We don't recommend mixing all the juices because it creating a muddled taste that we personally don't love.
- Cut your fruits. Slice lychee and jackfruit in thin 1 inch pieces, longan in halves, and toddy palm seeds and young coconut meat in larger slices. Cut ai-yu jelly in 1 inch cubes.
- Make your coconut milk mixture. In a large bowl, pour coconut milk and the juice from the young coconut meat can. Taste the mixture, and add juice from your preferred canned fruit if you like a sweeter taste. We personally prefer lychee and add 1/4 cup at a time to adjust sweetness. As we don't love super sweet drinks, we usually end up just using the coconut milk with the young coconut juice.
- Assemble. Pour in your prepared fruits in your large bowl and mix. Refrigerate for 2 hours, or add ice before serving.
- 1/2 can water chestnuts 20 oz
- 3/4 cup tapioca starch
- 20 drops food coloring red
- 1 can toddy palm's seed 20 oz
- 1 can lychee 20 oz
- 1 can jackfruit 20 oz
- 1 can longan 20 oz
- 1 can young coconut meat 15 oz
- 1 can ai-yu jelly 19 oz
- 1 can coconut milk 14 oz
- Cut your water chestnuts in 1/4 inch pieces.
- Add around 20 drops of food coloring, or enough to make them turn bright red. Mix well.
- Pour tapioca starch and mix until all pieces are coated. Using a strainer, sift the water chestnuts to ensure to get rid of extra tapioca starch.
- Boil around 4 cups of water in a pot. Put in your red rubies and stir to prevent sticking.
- Cook for around 60-120 seconds or until the pieces start to float. Drain water and immediately transfer the red rubies to a bowl of ice cold water.
- Let sit in cold water for 10 minutes.
- Open all your canned fruits and save the juice from the young coconut meat and your preferred canned fruit. We like the lychee juice.
- Slice lychee and jackfruit in thin 1 inch pieces, longan in halves, and toddy palm seeds and young coconut meat in larger slices. Cut ai-yu jelly in 1 inch cubes.
- In a large bowl, pour coconut milk and the juice from the young coconut meat can. Taste the mixture, and add juice from your preferred canned fruit if you like a sweeter taste. We personally prefer lychee and add 1/4 cup at a time to adjust sweetness.
- Pour in your prepared fruits in your large bowl and mix. Refrigerate for 2 hours, or add ice before serving.