Perfect Che Troi Nuoc Recipe: Traditional Vietnamese Sweet Dumplings

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Written By Hot Thai Restaurant

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Imagine biting into a warm, chewy dumpling, its sticky rice dough giving way to a sweet mung bean filling, all swimming in a fragrant ginger syrup. That’s the delight of Chè Trôi Nước, a traditional Vietnamese dessert that’s as comforting as it is delicious. Often enjoyed during Tet and other festive occasions, this dish symbolizes family unity and happiness, making it more than just a treat for your taste buds.

Preparing Chè Trôi Nước can be a fun culinary adventure, especially if you’re looking to dive into the world of Vietnamese desserts. The combination of simple ingredients and a little bit of technique results in a dessert that’s both unique and satisfying. Get ready to impress your guests or just treat yourself with a bowl of this sweet, aromatic delight.


Creating this Vietnamese dessert is simple with the listed ingredients and will get you excited about every spoonful you take. Let’s begin with what you’ll need.

For the Dough

  • 2 cups of glutinous rice flour
  • 3/4 cup warm water (adjust as needed to achieve a pliable dough consistency)
  • 1 tablespoon sugar

For the Filling

  • 1 cup mung beans, pre-soaked for about 4 hours or overnight
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup coconut milk
  • A pinch of salt

For the Ginger Syrup

  • 4 cups of water
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2-3 inches fresh ginger, peeled and sliced
  • 1/2 cup coconut cream
  • 1 tablespoon toasted sesame seeds
  • 1 tablespoon crushed peanuts (optional for texture and flavor)

Equipment Needed

To ensure you have a smooth experience while making Chè Trôi Nước, having the right tools on hand is essential. Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Large Mixing Bowl: This will be used to mix the glutinous rice flour with water to form the dough.
  • Steamer: Essential for cooking the mung beans until they are soft.
  • Pot: You will need a medium-sized pot to prepare the ginger syrup and to cook the dough balls.
  • Wooden Spoon: Useful for stirring the ginger syrup and the dough mixture.
  • Measuring Cups and Spoons: To measure all your ingredients accurately.
  • Kitchen Scale: This is optional but helpful for weighing your ingredients to ensure the proportions are just right.
  • Food Processor: To puree the cooked mung beans into a smooth paste for the filling.
  • Small Bowls: Useful for holding the prepared filling and syrup ingredients before cooking.
  • Slotted Spoon: You’ll need this to carefully remove the cooked dough balls from the hot syrup.

Make sure to arrange these items before you start, so you can focus on creating this exquisite Vietnamese dessert without any interruptions. This will help streamline the cooking process and increase your efficiency in the kitchen.

Preparation Steps

Now that you’ve gathered your tools, let’s start the cooking adventure. Follow these detailed steps to create your very own Chè Trôi Nước, a sweet and comforting traditional Vietnamese dessert.

Making the Dough

  1. Pour 2 cups of glutinous rice flour into the large mixing bowl.
  2. Gradually add about 1 cup of warm water, while stirring continuously with the wooden spoon. You’re aiming for a smooth, pliable dough, not too sticky or dry. Adjust the water as needed.
  3. Once the dough feels right, knead it gently for a couple of minutes until it becomes soft and elastic.
  4. Cover the bowl with a damp cloth and let the dough rest. This makes it easier to work with.

Preparing the Filling

  1. Rinse 1 cup of mung beans under cold water until the water runs clear.
  2. Place the mung beans in a medium pot and add water until it is about an inch above the beans. Bring to a boil, then lower the heat and let simmer for about 20 minutes or until the beans are soft.
  3. Drain the beans and transfer them to the food processor.
  4. Add 4 tablespoons of sugar and a pinch of salt to the beans. Blend until you achieve a smooth, pasty texture.
  5. Let the mung bean filling cool down, then divide it into small portions—about 1 teaspoon each.
  1. Take the dough and pinch off small pieces, roughly the size of a golf ball.
  2. Flatten each piece into a round disc, ensuring the center is slightly thicker than the edges.
  3. Place a portion of the mung bean filling in the center of each disc.
  4. Carefully bring the edges of the dough up and over the filling, pinching them together to seal and gently form a smooth ball. Make sure the filling is completely enclosed.
  5. Repeat this process until all the dough and filling are used up.
  6. Keep the shaped dumplings covered with a damp cloth to prevent them from drying out as you work.

By following these steps, your Chè Trôi Nước will start to take shape, ready for the cooking and final assembly stages described in the next section of the article.

Cooking Instructions

Now that your dumplings are prepared and ready for cooking, let’s dive into the next steps to complete your Chè Trôi Nước. These phases will ensure that your dessert turns out perfectly delicious.

Cooking the Dumplings

  1. Fill a large pot with water and bring it to a boil.
  2. Gently lower your prepared dumplings into the boiling water. Make sure to do this one at a time to prevent them from sticking together.
  3. Cook the dumplings until they float to the top. This usually takes about 4 to 5 minutes, indicating they are cooked through.
  4. Once the dumplings float, let them cook for an additional 2 minutes to ensure the inside is thoroughly done.
  5. Remove the dumplings with a slotted spoon and set them aside in a clean bowl.

Preparing the Ginger Syrup

  1. In a saucepan, combine 2 cups of water, 1 cup of brown sugar, and a 3-inch piece of ginger, sliced.
  2. Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce the heat and let it simmer for 10 to 15 minutes. The syrup should thicken slightly and absorb the spicy flavor of the ginger.
  3. Strain the syrup to remove the ginger slices.
  1. Place the cooked dumplings in a serving bowl.
  2. Pour the hot ginger syrup over the dumplings. Ensure all dumplings are generously coated with the syrup.
  3. For garnish, sprinkle some toasted sesame seeds and a bit of grated coconut on top of the dumplings.
  4. Serve immediately while warm to enjoy the delightful mix of soft dumplings and the aromatic ginger syrup.

Serving Suggestions

After mastering the art of making Chè Trôi Nước, presenting it in a way that enhances its flavor and honors its cultural significance is crucial. Here’s how you can serve this delightful Vietnamese dessert to impress your guests or treat yourself.

Choose the Right Bowls

Opt for small, shallow bowls to serve Chè Trôi Nước. The size of the bowl should be just enough to cradle a single serving comfortably—usually three to four dumplings per bowl, submerged in a generous amount of ginger syrup.

Garnishing for Enhanced Flavor

Garnish is key to adding both visual appeal and texture to your Chè Trôi Nước. Sprinkle toasted sesame seeds generously over the dumplings just before serving. The seeds not only add a nutty flavor but also a delightful crunch. If you prefer a hint of freshness, a sprig of mint or a few edible flowers can be a beautiful addition.

Temperature Matters

Serve Chè Trôi Nước either warm or at room temperature to best experience its flavors and textures. If you choose to serve it warm, make sure to prepare the ginger syrup hot off the stove, allowing the warm, spicy aroma of ginger to permeate the air as you serve.

Pairings That Complement

A cup of strong, Vietnamese green tea is the perfect beverage to accompany this sweet treat. The bitterness of the tea balances the sweetness of the sugar and the richness of the mung bean filling, making every bite a delightful experience.

By following these serving suggestions, you’ll not only ensure that the Chè Trôi Nước looks appealing but also tastes exquisite, making your culinary effort truly worthwhile.

Make-Ahead Tips

Ensuring you can enjoy your Chè Trôi Nước without the stress of last-minute preparation, there are several steps you can take in advance. Here’s how you can get ahead and make this delightful dessert more manageable.

Prepare the Mung Bean Filling in Advance

You can prepare the mung bean filling up to two days before you plan to serve the dish. Simply cook the mung beans as described in the recipe, mash them until smooth, and mix them with sugar and coconut oil. Once prepared, cover the filling and store it in the refrigerator. This not only saves time on the day of serving but also allows the flavors to meld together beautifully, enhancing the overall taste of your dumplings.

Pre-Mix the Dough

The dough for Chè Trôi Nước can also be made ahead of time. Mix the glutinous rice flour with warm water until it forms a smooth and pliable dough. Shape the dough into a ball, cover it tightly with plastic wrap, and refrigerate it overnight. Doing this will keep the dough fresh and ready to be shaped into dumplings the next day. It’s essential, however, to let the dough return to room temperature before you start forming your dumplings to ensure it’s easy to work with.

Ginger Syrup Preparation

Ginger syrup, a critical component of this dish, can be prepared a day ahead. Simmer sliced ginger in water, add sugar to your taste, and let it cook until the syrup is fragrant and slightly thickened. Cool the syrup and store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator. Reheat the syrup gently before serving to bring back its full aroma, ensuring a warm and comforting addition to the freshly boiled dumplings.

By preparing these components in advance, you’ll streamline your cooking process and reduce stress, letting you focus on the enjoyment of crafting and serving this traditional Vietnamese treat.


Diving into the world of Chè Trôi Nước not only lets you explore the rich flavors of Vietnam but also connects you with the traditions that have shaped its culinary heritage. By following the steps outlined, you’re well on your way to mastering this delightful dessert. Remember the joy is as much in the making as it is in the tasting. So gather your ingredients and let your kitchen be filled with the sweet aroma of ginger and the warmth of shared stories. Enjoy every bite knowing you’ve created more than just food—you’ve crafted an experience.

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