Hue – the old citadel of Vietnam is famous for a rich cuisine with a lot of delicate and delicious foods. Sweet soup is an important part of the cuisine. Hue has tens of Sweet soup (Chè, or Che) recipes including Hue clear tapioca pearls in ginger syrup (Che bot loc). There are some varieties of clear tapioca pearls in ginger syrup. However, all of them is made from tapioca starch, ginger, and sugar.
The key to this dessert is translucent tapioca pearl with a tiny white spot in the middle. The pearl can be filled with various fillings such as coconut meat, beet root, black bean, taro, peanut, lotus seed, mung bean, roasted pork. Besides, they can use some food colorings (pandan leaf extract, beet root extract, etc.) to make the pearls colorful. The pearls are covered with ginger syrup. The dessert can be topped with ginger strips, shredded co and coconut milk. A portion of Che bot loc looks attractive with nice translucent pearls, clear light yellow syrup, and yellow ginger strips.
It requires a patient cook to make this dessert because she must wrap cubes in small round tapioca dough sheets into small balls with a diameter of about 2 cm. The cook must mix tapioca starch with hot water. The uncooked pearls are white and opaque. After cooking, they turn tender but chewy, translucent with a white spot in the middle. If the pearls are overcooked, it will be tender and moist. Otherwise, they are hard and too chewy. The syrup should be sweet enough and have a typical taste and smell which come from ginger.
The most popular Clear tapioca pearls in ginger syrup are: Clear tapioca pearls with peanut filling in ginger syrup, Clear tapioca pearls with peanut and coconut meat filling in ginger syrup, Clear tapioca pearls with peanut and mung bean filling in ginger syrup, Clear tapioca pearls with lotus seed filling in ginger syrup, Clear tapioca pearls with roasted pork filling in ginger syrup, Fived-color clear tapioca pearls in ginger syrup. All of them are delicious and attractive. The peanuts should be toasted before wrapping, they are crunchy and buttery. The coconut meat is cut into cubes which are greasy and crunchy. The lotus seeds are steamed or cooked until tender, sticky, and buttery but not mushy. The most impressive filling is salty, a little sweet, and smelling roasted pork – a savory dish which is usually served as a main dish. The roasted pork is also cut into cubes before being wrapped in tapioca dough. It is one of the most surprising mixes of ingredients in Vietnam.
The cook must patiently wrap tiny toasted peanut in tapioca dough
Clear tapioca pearls with peanut filling in ginger syrup
Clear tapioca pearls with black bean filling in ginger syrup
Pandan leaf extract is used to make Clear tapioca pearls green
Clear tapioca pearls with roasted pork filling in ginger syrup