Vietnamese three color dessert (Che ba mau)

Vietnamese three color dessert (Chè ba màu, Che ba mau) is a very famous food in Vietnam. It has been attracted most of the people including Vietnamese and foreigners. The dessert looks colorful with 3 layers of yellow mung beans, red beans, green agar jelly so that it is called three color dessert. It is topped with coconut milk sauce and shaved ice. A portion of Vietnamese three color dessert can beat the heat in the summer, help you to reduce the tiredness and boost your energy after a long working or traveling day. The dessert is sold popularly at street food stalls at corners, on the streets, at local market, at restaurants in Vietnam. If you come to Vietnam, do not miss this amazing dessert. It is worth a try.

Below is the recipe for Vietnamese three color dessert:


  • Red beans: 300g
  • Peeled mung beans: 150g
  • Agar agar: 25g
  • Coconut milk: 250ml
  • Sugar: 200g
  • Cornstarch: 1 teaspoon
  • Pandan leaves: 3 (or green food coloring)
  • Salt: 1/2 teaspoon


Step 1: cook the mung bean paste

  • Peeled mung beans are soaked in water for a few hours or better overnight, cooked in water until tender.
  • Add 50g of sugar, stir and cook until boiling.
  • Mash or blend cooked mung beans into a smooth paste, put the mung bean paste into the refrigerator.

Step 2: cooking the red beans

  • Red beans are soaked in water for a few hours or better overnight, cooked in water until tender.
  • Add a mixture of 250ml of water and 100g of sugar to the red beans, continue cooking until the beans are sweet inside but not mushy.
  • Mash or blend cooked mung beans until a smooth paste, put the sweet cooked red beans into the refrigerator.

Step 3: making green agar agar jelly

  • Grind pandan leaves with water, filter to get a green extract.
  • Mix agar agar with 800ml of cold water and cook the mixture over low heat until agar agar is melted, stir continuously while cooking.
  • Add 50g of sugar to the agar agar mixture, continue cooking until the sugar is melted.
  • Add pandan leaf extract or green food coloring, cook and stir until the mixture turns translucent green.
  • Pour the agar agar mixture into a rectangle mold. Put the mold into the refrigerator until the mixture is jellied. Cut the jelly into cubes or juliennes.

Step 4: cooking the coconut milk sauce

  • Cook coconut milk, cornstarch, sugar, 1/2 teaspoon of salt in a pot over medium heat until the mixture boiling and thickens, cool down.

Step 5: serve

  • Add red beans, mung bean paste, jelly, coconut milk sauce, and shaved ice to a high glass, use a spoon to mix all of the above and eat.

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