Chè Bắp Recipe

Lastest Updated April 21, 2024
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Vietnamese sweet corn pudding is a delicious dessert made with tender corn and rich coconut milk flavored with pandan leaves. This combination of texture and flavor creates an impeccable sweet treat that anyone will love.

One spoonful of Che Bap and your taste buds will be delighted with the refreshing sweetness of corn, coconut milk’s fattiness, and aromatic pandan notes. If you like what you’re reading, scroll down to learn the easiest recipe to make this dessert at home!

Sweet Corn Pudding

What Is Vietnamese Corn Pudding?

Che Bap belongs to a group of mouth-watering Vietnamese desserts called “Che” (sweet soup). In Vietnam, corn is an important crop cultivated and consumed for generations.

As a result, the Vietnamese people have come up with many incredible ways to incorporate corn into their meals, and Che Bap is undoubtedly one of them.

Sweet corn kernels are the core ingredient of Che Bap. The corn kernels are sliced off fresh from the cobs, then cooked until tender in a pot of panda-infused water. The cobs are also not a waste here, as the locals will boil them with water beforehand to extract their sweetness.

Let’s not forget about the sweet coconut milk-based sauce, the cherry on top that perfects this dessert. This sauce has a thick consistency and adds a much-welcomed richness to the sweet soup. In addition, people also throw in some tapioca pearls to diversify the texture.

All in all, Che Bap is a fantastic recipe for any occasion, especially when you’re having afamily gathering or just want to treat yourself to a refreshing dessert.

Tools

Firstly, let’s review the tools you need to prepare to make Vietnamese corn pudding.

Ladle And Knife
  • Ladle: For stirring the sweet soup and helping the ingredients blend better.
  • Large pot: For cooking the sweet soup.
  • Knife: Helps you extract the corn kernels from the ears quickly.
  • Other valuable tools: Spoon, saucepan, etc.

Ingredients

Discover the essential ingredients for this scrumptious Che Bap recipe! These components combine to create a delightful Vietnamese dessert that will impress.

  • Ears of corn: I find that corn kernels extracted from fresh corn ears yield the best flavor. Opt for fresh, sweet corn with plump, juicy kernels. But you can also purchase frozen corn if that’s more convenient. Be sure to thaw and drain it before use.
  • Tapioca pearls: Give the soup a unique texture. You should use the small types. Sago pearls are great, too, if that’s more to your taste.
  • Pandan leaves: Add a distinct, aromatic flavor to Che Bap. When using fresh pandan leaves, tie them into a knot to release their natural oils and make it easier to remove them after cooking.

If you cannot find fresh leaves, use pandan extract as a substitute.

  • Cornstarch: For making a slurry that helps thicken the soup slightly. Tapioca flour and kudzu powder are great substitutes.
  • Roasted sesame seeds: For sprinkling over the corn pudding.
  • Palm sugar: Rock or brown sugar are good alternatives as well. Still, I like the gentle sweetness of palm sugar the best.
  • Grated coconut (optional): For garnishing.

For the Coconut Milk Sauce

  • Coconut milk: The base of the sauce. Opt for the unsweetened type.
  • Fresh milk: Likewise, you should buy sugar-free whole milk.
  • Cornstarch: You will also add a little bit of cornstarch slurry to the sauce.
  • Sweetened condensed milk: Adds sweetness to the sauce.
  • Pandan leaves: Infuse the coconut milk sauce with pandan’s aroma and flavor.
  • Other ingredients: Water and salt.

Directions

Bring a touch of Vietnam to your dessert table with Che Bap, a silky corn pudding that’s sure to become your new favorite treat, by following these simple steps.

Step 1: Prepare The Ingredients

Rinse the pandan leaves thoroughly. Then, fold them in half and tie them into bundles.

Remove the corn’s husk and silk (if needed). Starting from the top, make a straight cut to extract the kernels from the cob (see the included video for a better illustration).

Remove The Corn

Break the leftover corn cobs in half. Adding them during the cooking of the sweet soup will improve its sweetness and aroma.

Using a sieve, wash the tapioca pearls. Next, soak them in cold water for 20 minutes.

Soak Tapioca Pearls

Step 2: Cook The Sweet Soup

Boil 1.5 quarts of water together with the corn cobs, and pandan leaves for 10 minutes over medium-low heat. Cover the pot to prevent the water from evaporating.

Cook The Sweet Soup

Next, remove the corn cobs and leaves from the pot and add in the corn kernels. Give it a good stir and skim off the foam. Put the lid on and cook the sweet soup for 15 minutes over medium-low heat.

Remove The Corn Cobs And Leaves

Drain the tapioca pearls and add them to the pot. Season with palm sugar and stir well. Then cover the pot and cook for 10 minutes.

Season With Palm Sugar

Combine the cornstarch with water to make a slurry. Add the slurry to the pot. Stir well, then cut the heat and allow the sweet soup to cool a little.

Combine The Cornstarch

Step 3: Make The Coconut Milk Sauce

Make another bowl of cornstarch slurry using 3 teaspoons of cornstarch and 3.5 tablespoons (about 50 milliliters) of water.

Add the coconut milk into a pot and pour in the fresh milk, pandan leaves, condensed milk, and 1 teaspoon of salt. Bring this mixture to a boil, then reduce the heat to low and pour in the cornstarch slurry.

Make The Coconut Milk Sauce

Step 4: Serve The Dish

Wait for everything to cool a little. Then, spoon the sweet soup into a glass or bowl and top it with the coconut milk sauce. Sprinkle some grated coconut and roasted sesame seeds. Enjoy!

Serve Che Bap

Important Notes

While making Che Bap is quite straightforward, there are a couple of notes you should know to avoid common mistakes.

  • Do not cook the pandan leaves for too long, as the pandan taste might overpower the corn.
  • Remember to remove the corn cobs from the pot before adding other ingredients. Otherwise, the tapioca pearls and corn kernels will stick to the cobs.
  • Be mindful of how much cornstarch slurry you add to the sweet soup in order not to thicken it too much.
  • Traditional Che Bap is moderately sweet, but you can adjust the sugar level according to your preference. You may also use alternative sweeteners like brown sugar or honey.
Making Che Bap

The Best Way to Store And Make in Advance

One of the things that I like most about this dessert/snack is that you can actually store it in the fridge for up to a week. You just need to keep the coconut milk sauce and the sweet soup in different containers. I don’t recommend freezing it, though, as I find the texture to be a little off.

Variations of Che Bap To Try

One more variation of Che Bap that I recommend you try out is the Southern-inspired version. To make this variety, you will use a box grater to shave the corn kernels off the cob, resulting in smaller pieces.

In addition, you’ll also add about ¼ cup of glutinous (sticky) rice to the pot after removing the pandan leaves and corn cobs. Cook the rice for about 10 to 15 minutes, then pour in the shaved corn.

Since the sticky rice has slightly thickened the sweet soup, you can choose not to add the cornstarch slurry if the consistency is already to your liking.

Furthermore, you can also add mung beans to the mixture, imparting a deliciously nutty and earthy flavor.

Remember to carefully sift through the mung beans and remove any impurities. Next, soak the beans in hot water for 15 minutes, then drain the water completely. Scoop out the mung beans and let them drain well.

When cooking, you should add the mung beans and simmer them until tender (about 20-30 minutes) before adding the corn kernels.

How To Serve Che Bap

Che Bap tastes phenomenal whether you serve it warm, at room temperature, or chilled. To chill the sweet soup, simply place it in the fridge for about 30 minutes or so. If someone in your family doesn’t like the coconut milk sauce, you can leave it out.

Some people prefer eating the whole corn kernel version warm or at room temperature and the shaved corn variation chilled. This is totally a personal preference, so feel free to experiment!

For a more indulgent treat, you can garnish the dessert with toasted coconut flakes or crushed peanuts for added texture and flavor.

Other Vietnamese Che You Should Not Miss

Besides today’s dish, Vietnam cuisine also offers many other delectable sweet soups I believe you’ll love. Here are a couple of recommendations:

FAQs

Coconut milk is a vital part of this dish, and I don’t recommend leaving it out. However, if you absolutely have to replace coconut milk, you can try using soy milk, unsweetened almond milk, or oat milk.

If you cannot find pandan leaves, you can use pandan extract or pandan flavoring as a substitute. Note that these ingredients will give your sweet soup a green color. If you don’t want this to happen, look for colorless versions.

Yes, you can use canned corn as a substitute for fresh corn. Just make sure to drain and rinse the corn thoroughly before using it.

Yes, you can make a vegan version of Che Bap by using plant-based alternatives, like sweetened coconut milk, instead of condensed milk. Then, replace the sugar with a vegan-friendly sweetener like maple syrup, agave nectar, or coconut sugar.

Che Bap – A Corn-erstone Of Yumminess

Che Bap is a heartwarming treat that brings people together, creating unforgettable memories over shared plates. The simplicity of its ingredients and ease of preparation make it a must-try for anyone seeking to expand their culinary horizons.

I’d be thrilled to hear about your experience with today’s recipe, so please leave a comment below. Also, kindly take a moment to like this recipe and share it on your favorite social media platforms. Thank you so much!

Vietnamese Sweet Corn Pudding

Chè Bắp (Vietnamese Sweet Corn Pudding)

Vietnamese Corn Pudding (Che Bap) is a blend of sweet, tender corn kernels and creamy coconut milk that creates a heartwarming, scrumptious dessert perfect for any occasion.
5 from 1 vote
Print Pin Rate
Course: Dessert, Snack
Cuisine: Vietnamese
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour
Servings: 5 servings
Calories: 347kcal

Ingredients

  • 2 ears of corn
  • 3.5 ounces (100 grams tapioca pearls
  • 0.35 ounces (10 grams) pandan leaves
  • 0.35 ounces (10 grams) cornstarch
  • 0.35 ounces (10 grams) roasted sesame seeds
  • 5.3 ounces (150 grams) palm sugar
  • 0.7 ounces (20 grams) grated coconut

For the coconut milk sauce:

  • 0.85 cups (200 milliliters) coconut milk
  • 0.4 cups (100 milliliters) fresh milk, sugar-free
  • 3.5 tablespoons (50 milliliters) water
  • 3 teaspoons cornstarch
  • 2 teaspoons sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 0.7 ounces (20 grams) pandan leaves

Instructions 

  • Rinse the pandan leaves thoroughly.
  • Fold them in half and tie them into bundles.
  • Remove the corn’s husk and silk.
  • Starting from the top, make a straight cut to extract the kernels from the cob.
    Remove The Corn
  • Break the leftover corn cobs in half.
  • Using a sieve, wash the tapioca pearls. Soak them in cold water for 20 minutes.
    Soak Tapioca Pearls
  • Boil water together with the corn cobs, and pandan leaves for 10 minutes over medium-low heat. Cover the pot.
    Cook The Sweet Soup
  • Remove the corn cobs and leaves from the pot and add in the corn kernels.
  • Give it a good stir and skim off the foam.
  • Put the lid on and cook the sweet for 15 minutes over medium-low heat.
    Remove The Corn Cobs And Leaves
  • Drain the tapioca pearls and add them to the pot.
  • Season with palm sugar and stir well.
  • Cover the pot and cook for 10 minutes.
    Season With Palm Sugar
  • Combine the cornstarch with water to make a slurry.
  • Add the slurry to the pot.
  • Stir well, then cut the heat and allow the sweet soup to cool a little.
    Combine The Cornstarch
  • Make another bowl of cornstarch slurry.
  • Add the coconut milk into a pot and add the fresh milk, pandan leaves, condensed milk, and salt.
  • Bring this mixture to a boil, then reduce the heat to low and pour in the cornstarch slurry.
    Make The Coconut Milk Sauce
  • Wait for everything to cool a little.
  • Then, spoon the sweet soup into a glass or bowl and top it with the coconut milk sauce.
  • Sprinkle some grated coconut and roasted sesame seeds. Enjoy!
    Serve Che Bap

Video

Notes

  • The cooking time above is for making 5 servings.
  • Do not cook the pandan leaves for too long, as the pandan taste might overpower the corn.
  • Remember to remove the corn cobs from the pot before adding other ingredients. Otherwise, the tapioca pearls and corn kernels will stick to the cobs.
  • Be mindful of how much cornstarch slurry you add to the sweet soup in order not to thicken it too much.
  • Traditional Che Bap is moderately sweet, but you can adjust the sugar level according to your preference. You may also use alternative sweeteners like brown sugar or honey

Nutrition

Calories: 347kcal | Carbohydrates: 58g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 13g | Saturated Fat: 11g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 1g | Trans Fat: 0.002g | Cholesterol: 3mg | Sodium: 547mg | Potassium: 255mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 25g | Vitamin A: 103IU | Vitamin C: 3mg | Calcium: 62mg | Iron: 2mg
Richie

Richie

Content Writer

Expertise

Home Cooking, Meal Planning, Food Styling, Food Photography, Cooking-video Maker, Beverage Evaluation Expert

Education

Saigon Culinary Arts Centre, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam

  • Program: Diploma in Culinary Arts
  • Focus: Vietnamese and Asian cuisines with intensive training and hands-on approach.

Vietnam Australia Vocational School (VAAC), Hanoi, Vietnam

  • Program: Bartender
  • Focus: Basic knowledge on how to store, preserve and select ingredients, and practice cocktails, mocktails, hot and cold drinks.

Richie, based in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, is a dynamic Content Writer with a talent for capturing the essence of culinary art.

Richie specializes in creating visually appealing and tasty content, offering a new angle on Vietnamese and other culinary traditions. With a background in graphic design and a love for food styling and photography, he expertly combines beauty with food narratives, encouraging his audience to discover the culinary world through his imaginative perspective.

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