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Thursday, June 2, 2011

Chè Trôi Nước ̣(Vietnamese Glutinous Rice Balls with Ginger Syrup Dessert)

My mother used to cook a lot until her health halted her cooking passion. One of the recipes I learned from my mother is Chè Trôi Nước. My family and my husband love this chè. They wouldn't buy this anywhere but would only request my mom to make it. Once in a while, my husband craves for it and would ask, "Can you make me Chè Trôi Nước just the way mom makes it?".

The glutinous rice balls my mother makes is exquisitely tender and doesn't carry the smell of the old flour. Her filling is packed with flavors; it's fused with pepper, salt and the wonderful aroma of fried shallot mixed with mashed mung beans, and the sweet, ginger flavor syrup that is made with white sugar which I much prefer over brown sugar syrup. My mother loved to cook and bake in large quantity; then she would pack them up in  small portions to share with everyone she knows in her neighborhood. Like mother like daughter, I found myself and my daughters doing the exact same thing.  They often asked me to cook for their friends and teachers.

A few months back, I experimented Chè Trôi Nước with three flavors.  Instead of using just water mix in with glutinous rice flour to make the dough, I used fresh carrot juice to produce carrot dough, fresh spinach juice to create spinach dough,  and cooked taro paste to create a taro dough.   I also experimented Chè Trôi Nước Bột Báng - Tapioca Pearls Balls with Ginger Syrup Dessert.  As for this one, instead of using glutinous rice flour to make dough, I used only Tapioca Pearls.  For those who like tapioca pearls, this dessert will delight your palate. 

RECIPE: Chè Trôi Nước
Make 34 Mung Bean Mochi Balls


For Dough
2 bags of Glutinous Rice Flour (Bột Nếp)
6-7 cups Water

For Mung Bean Filling
1 bag (16oz) Peeled and Split Mung Bean (about 1 1/2 cups)
1 teaspoon Salt
2 1/2 cups Water
1/2 teaspoon Ground Pepper
1/3 cup Fried Shallot (about 3 shallots)
1 tablespoon Oil from Frying Shallot

For Ginger Syrup
3 cups Sugar
Fresh Ginger, peeled and julienned into small strips, make 5 tabelspoons of ginger
10 cups Water


1/4 cup Roasted Sesame Seeds

For Coconut Sauce
Click here for Coconut Sauce Recipe


Making Dough

Place a double layers of good paper towel on top of the colander. In a large bowl, place a small rice bowl inside it. Then place the colander on top of the large bowl. Pour glutinous rice flour into a colander.  
Add 1 cup of water at a time into the flour. Use a spoon to mix it until the water mixed well with flour. Cover the colander and let the water drips into the large bowl for about a couple of hours or until flour is not liquidy. Remove the paper towel. Use another paper tower to blot the dough to remove any remaining water on it. 

Kneed the dough for a few minutes to keep the dough together.

Divide the dough into 34 balls. Leave some dough behind to make mini balls without filling.

Cooking Mung Bean 

Soak mung beans overnight so it is quicker to cook them but this step is optional. Rinse and drain the beans. In a pot, add mung bean and water then bring it to boil.  Reduce the heat to low, stir it and cook with lid on for about 15 minutes or until soft. Mash it and cook for another 5 minutes. 

Add the remaining ingredients to the mung beans pot. Mix it well. Divide beans paste into 34 balls equally to the dough balls.

Cooking Ginger Syrup 

In a pot add in the water, sugar and ginger. Boil until sugar dissolved. Reduce the heat to low.
Cooking Gluinous Rice Balls

Bring a pot of water to boil. As you're making each ball (see below "Assembling Mung Bean Balls Together"), drop it into the boiling pot.

The rice ball is done when it floats. Remove it and drop in the simmering ginger syrup pot. Keep the syrup pot on low heat so that the syrup absorbs into the rice balls as this will make the it tastes better.
Assembling Mung Bean Balls Together

Flatten the dough ball and add in the mung bean paste ball. 

Wrap it up and make a round ball in circular motion with your palms. Repeat for the rest of 36 dough balls. Use the remaining dough ball make it into mini balls without the filling.


Place the rice ball and the syrup into a dessert bowl. Drizzle coconut sauce over and top it off with a sprinkle of roasted sesame seeds.  Enjoy!!!


  1. your mochies look so colorful and yummy. Thanks for sharing such a wonderful recipe. I'm curious that why did you have to pour water into mochi flour and let it drain out instead of mixing water and mochi flour then knead?

    And I would love to learn the process of making che bot bang if you don't mind to share. Those tapioca balls look so tempting.

    Thanks so much Loan

  2. Hi Anita,
    The reason I pour water into flour and let it drain out instead of mixing water and flour then knead is to get rid of the smell of old flour.
    I will make che bot bang again and will post the recipe.

  3. Yummy! I would like to know how to make the che bot bang too, mine turned out to be a horrible mess when I tried it.

  4. Thanks so much for sharing the tip to get rid of the smell of old flour. I am also sensitive the to smell of flour, especially rice flour. Therefore I don't like to make rice roll (banh cuon) using rice flour.

    I am looking forward to see your demo on che bot bang, I love it.

    Thanks a bunch Loan

  5. Chị Anita đợi nghen. Hôm nào em sẽ thực hiện món chè bột báng lại rồi post.

  6. Hi Loan,
    I too, am anxiously awaiting to see your technique on making the green tapioca pearl balls. Yours look so neat and well made.

  7. I promise I will make it in September :-).