Kidney bean sweet soup – a Hue royal dessert was once exclusively served to past emperors and royal families of the Nguyen Dynasty because this dessert is refreshing, healthy, comfortable, and delicious. In Vietnam, we call this dessert Chè đậu ngự, Che dau ngu. It has been said that Kidney bean sweet soup is as elegant as Hue people. In recent days, they usually cook this dessert to serve valuable guests and serve on important occasions.
Ingredients for Che dau ngu are kidney beans, sugar, pomelo flowers. Kidney bean sweet soup looks simple with yellow beans and clear broth. However, it is not easy to cook the sweet soup with clear broth, tender but not mushy beans, not too sweet taste. Hue people choose fresh kidney beans and rock sugar to make the sweet soup the most delicious. Fresh kidney beans are steamed until tender, peeled off carefully. The kidney beans should be cooked on low heat to make sure they do not turn mushy or broken. The cook should remove the bubbles and foam from the sweet soup continuously to make sure it is clear. The sweet soup is served with a few pomelo flowers.
Coming to Hue, you can find this elegant dessert at not only street food stalls but also at luxury restaurants. The dessert with nice beans in clear broth and the light smell of pomelo flower can surprise you with its simplicity. When eating, the buttery kidney beans melt in your mouth. Let immerse with the smell of pomelo flower while slowly enjoying the dessert. Cooking Kidney bean sweet soup is an art and eating it is also an art. Now you can understand why it is loved by the royal families.
These days, they add some ingredients (pandan leaf, coconut milk) to enhance the sweet soup.
Below is a simple recipe for Kidney bean sweet soup:
- Kidney bean (fresh or dried): 300g
- Sugar: rock sugar or regular, rock sugar is better
- Pomelo flowers: 2-3
- Pandan leaves: 2 (optional)
- Coconut milk: 200ml (optional)
- If you use fresh kidney beans, steam them until tender and peel them off. If you use the dried ones, cook them in water until tender and peel them off. Make sure the beans are tender but not broken or mushy.
- Cook pandan leaves and sugar in water until melted, add the beans to the syrup and continue cooking for about 5 minutes.
- Top the sweet soup with coconut milk and pomelo flower.
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