Sweet Mung Bean Pudding, a classic Viet dessert, is the perfect treat when you want to make yourself something a little indulgent or need a simple dessert everyone will enjoy. All of the ingredients are pantry staples and so making this dessert doesn’t require much shopping or advanced planning. You just need to soak the beans ahead of time. I recommend soaking overnight but if you’re short on time, soaking for a few hours is fine, just adjust the steaming time accordingly.
Notes on the Recipe, Tips and Tricks
Making this dessert with success requires that you keep the beans whole and intact. Over steaming the beans, stirring the cooked beans or not allowing them to cool before handling may cause the beans to get broken or smashed. Another indicator of success is getting the consistency of the pudding just right so the beans are suspended in the starch mixture. Make it too runny and the beans sink to the bottom. Make it too thick and the pudding is gluey and even lumpy. Keep in mind the pudding thickens further as it cools.
The coconut sauce is optional but it seems to be the topping of choice for most Vietnamese desserts. If you’re counting calories, skip the sauce or substitute with a low-calorie whipped topping. Feel free to adjust the sweetness to your taste. The recipe below is plenty sweet. If you want it just mildly sweet, use 1/2 cup sugar.
This dessert can be enjoyed warm or at room temperature. Refrigerate any uneaten portions and consume within the week. To reheat, use the microwave. Enjoy!
Rinse the beans with cool water several times until the water is clear. Fill the bowl with water and allow to soak for 4 hours or overnight.
Rinse the beans with water one more time and then drain well. Add salt and combine with the beans.
Line a steamer rack with steamer paper or cheesecloth. Place beans in the steamer and spread into an even layer.
Wrap a dish towel around the steamer lid fasten with a rubber band.
Steam the beans on High heat until they are soft, approximately 25-30 minutes.
Sprinkle 1 Tbsp sugar and gently combine with the beans. Allow beans to cool for 15 minutes.
In a measuring cup, combine tapioca starch with 1/2 cup water. Stir until smooth.
In a medium saucepan over High heat, combine water and sugar. Stir until sugar is dissolved. As soon as the sugar starts to bubble, turn the heat to Low. With one hand, slowly pour the starch mixture into the sugar water and stir with the other hand. After adding all of the starch mixture, continue stirring slowly for 3 minutes and let the pudding thicken. Add the beans, a third at a time, and gently fold into the pudding. Continue until all beans are added and combined.
Add the vanilla extract or pandan flavoring. Stir together and cook for another 2 minutes.
Remove from heat and allow to cool before serving. Optionally, top with coconut sauce.
Yields: 5 cups
Tools I Love and Use in My Kitchen
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