Vietnamese Corn & Pandan Rice Pudding - Chè Bắp Lá Dứa
Some of my favorite southeast Asian flavors coming together into a wonderul rice-based Vietnamese 'pudding'. We have glutinous rice paired with sweet corn, balanced with pandan aroma and a rich coconut cream topping.
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time32 mins
Servings: 8 small bowls
- 12 pandan leaves washed & scrubbed thoroughly (set aside 2 leaves for later)
- 1 cup water
- 2/3 cup glutinous rice rinsed and drained
- 3 cups water
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 500 grams yellow corn kernels raw (~2-3 cups)
- 100 grams sugar
- 200 ml coconut cream ~1/2 can
- 1 tsp vanilla extract or powder
- 2 pandan leaves tied into 2-3" long knots
- 1 tbsp tapioca or corn starch
- 2 tbsp water
Coconut Cream Topping
- 200 ml coconut cream remaining ~1/2 can
- 2 tbsp sugar
- 1/3 tsp salt
- 2 tbsp tapioca or corn starch
- 2 tbsp vanilla extract or powder
Thoroughly wash and scrub pandan leaves, then blend with 1 cup water until very finely blended. Strain and add pandan water into a thick, medium sized pot.
Add remaining Rice ingredients, bring to a boil on high, then lower heat to medium low and cover with a lid to maintain a low boil. Cook for 15-20 minutes until glutinous rice is cooked all the way through, and no longer powdery or tough (test by eating a grain, or smashing a grain between your fingers). We want to aim for fully cooked past 'al dente' but not as soft as rice porridge. Stir the pot only once at the ~9 minute mark since stirring too often will release too much starch.
Add all 'Supporting Cast' ingredients, turn heat to high and bring to a boil. Once it hits a boil, lower to medium to maintain a low boil for ~10 minutes until the corn is fully cooked.
In a small bowl mix Thickener ingredients until fully combined, then add to the pot. Turn heat to high and continuously stir. When it hits a boil shut the heat off. This step is optional based on your thickness preference (or how much starch from the rice was released)--you can scale up or down as needed, but note that thickening properties of the starch don't take effect until after this hits a boil.
Using a small sauce pan, combine Coconut Cream Topping ingredients and heat on high continuously stirring. When it hits a boil, shut the heat off. Keep a lid on this afterwards until ready to serve to prevent the top layer from thickening.
Use a pot with a thicker bottom to prevent burning. Only stir once while the rice is cooking or else you release too much starch and will be forced to continuously stir during the cooking to prevent sticking.
You can use coconut milk if you can't find coconut cream, but cream is preferred.
This lasts for about ~5 days in the fridge maximum.
Don't add the coconut sauce until you serve, since it will make the dessert spoil faster.