Vietnamese Banana Pudding

There’s a video tutorial at the end of this post.

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Weather update: I haven’t seen blue sky here for the past few weeks. It’s the burning season, when people burn newly harvested rice stalks to prepare for the next crop.  So the rice paddies behind my house have been all smoky and fiery. It looks like part of a battlefield, or my grandmother’s countryside kitchen back in the 1980s when she cooked with leaves, straw and rice husks in humid and rainy weather…

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Two weeks ago my husband and I discovered a new restaurant where they served amazing banana flambé using Vietnamese short bananas. I’m not the world’s biggest fan of regular bananas, but I would die hard for these chubby Vietnamese ones. If you are not familiar with them, I wrote about them briefly last August in this banana fritter recipe. And so after having dessert at the restaurant, I’ve been hooked on experimenting with Vietnamese bananas in different desserts. That is unusual for me because I love them so much I normally rush to eat them fresh off the bunch.

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The dish I’m introducing today is chè chuối, or banana chè. Chè is Vietnamese traditional slow-cooked dessert. It’s usually bean, rice or corn-based, served warm in the winter and cold with shaved ice in the summer. I wrote more about chè here in this Vietnamese floating mochi dessert in case you missed it.

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Besides bananas, this dish uses coconut milk, tapioca and roasted peanuts, three popular ingredients in Southern Vietnamese desserts. I slow cook banana in coconut milk until soft, then add tapioca to enhance the texture. Finally, I drizzle smashed roasted peanuts on top before serving. It’s super hot here so I want mine cold, but it’s also delicious when it’s served warm.

Watch the video below to see how to make it for yourself. Chúc ngon miệng!

 

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