In Vietnam,Chè are often prepared with one of a number of varieties of beans and/or glutinous rice, cooked in water and sweetened with sugar. Other ingredients may include tapioca starch, salt, and pandan leaf extract. Each variety of chè is designated by a descriptive word or phrase that follows the word chè, such as chè đậu đỏ (literally “red bean chè”).They may be served hot or cold in bowls, glasses, or over ice. As a child, the scent of chè simmering on family’s stove always had him jumping in excitement. Most favorite summer-time che was chilled chè đậu xanh with sweet, tender mung beans and coconut milk. Mung beans are said to have cooling properties, so this is especially appropriate for hot summer days.
As summer heat reaches tropical proportions, a cup of chè, cool mix of ice and sweets, is guaranteed to beat the heat. And of all the chè variant, thap cam, which never has any less than eight ingredients, is king.