This dessert recipe for Rice Pudding with Black-Eyed Peas (Che Dau Trang) may surprise and puzzle those not familiar with Asian desserts where beans are often a major component. Most beans are rather mild in flavor and absorb the flavors of the food they are cooked in and so, sweet or savory, beans are quite the versatile ingredient. This popular Viet dessert seems to be everyone’s favorite. The combination of sticky rice and black-eyed peas are cooked until they are thick and gooey. My favorite part of this dessert is the creamy coconut milk topping. Some recipes cook the sticky rice and peas in a soup of coconut milk. I find this way too rich. I make mine as a topping and add it sparingly. Like everything else that’s heavy and fattening, moderation is the key! Enjoy!
Watch the video for instructions.
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Rice Pudding with Black-Eyed Peas (Che Dau Trang)
15 oz can black-eyed peas
2 Tbsp + 1/2 cup sugar
3 3/4 cups water
3/4 cup long-grain glutinous rice/sweet rice
1 1/2 Tbsp tapioca starch + 2 Tbsp water
1/4 tsp vanilla extract
Making the Rice Pudding with Black-Eyed Peas
Drain the black-eyed peas and then rinse until water is clear, approximately 3 times. Shake off the excess water. Use a paring knife to shell the peas and discard any tough outer skin. (The skin can be a bit fibrous and removing it will make the beans creamier tasting.) Fill a medium saucepan with water and bring to a rapid boil. Add the black-eyed peas and blanch for 10 seconds. Scoop out peas using a slotted spoon and place into a small bowl. Add 2 Tbsp sugar to peas and toss together. Set aside for now.
Add 3 3/4 cups water into a medium saucepan. Cover and bring to a boil.
Wash and rinse the glutinous rice twice. Add the rice to the boiling water and stir together. Cover the pot leaving a slight opening. Set the heat to Medium and cook the rice for 20 minutes. Occasionally, stir the rice a few times to prevent it from sticking or clumping together.
In a small bowl, combine the tapioca starch and water and stir until smooth.
Uncover the pot, add the peas to the rice and stir together. Add the remaining 1/2 cup sugar and combine well. Stir the tapioca starch and water mixture again and then add to the pudding along with the vanilla extract. Stir together well. Simmer on low for another 5 minutes or until mixture thickens. Remove from the heat.
Making the Coconut Milk Topping
In a small saucepan, add the coconut milk. Pour water into the coconut milk can filling it 3/4 full. Pour the water into the saucepan. Add the sugar, salt and tapioca starch. Whisk together until well blended. Cook the coconut milk mixture over Medium heat, stir constantly until it starts to thicken, approximately 2-3 minutes. Remove from the heat.
Serve the Rice Pudding with Black-Eyed Peas topped with the coconut milk. Enjoy hot or cold.
Refrigerate any remaining pudding. Enjoy within the week.
Yields: 4 servings