• Vietnam Food Safari

Traditional Vietnamese Recipe - Chè ba màu (Three Color Dessert)

Chè ba màu (Three Color Dessert)


Green Layer

3 1/2 cups water

1 1/2 Tbsp agar agar powder

1/2 cup sugar

1/4 tsp Pandan paste

Red Layer

15.5 oz can red beans

1 1/2 cups water

3/4 cup sugar

Yellow Layer

1 cup mashed mung bean

4 Tbsp sugar


4 cups crushed ice

1/2 cup coconut sauce


Making the Green Layer

In a medium saucepan, add the water and sprinkle in the agar powder. Whisk together blending the powder and water. (The powder won’t dissolve completely until it’s heated.) Let the mixture rest for 15 minutes.

Heat the mixture over Medium heat stirring constantly. As soon as it starts to bubble, add the sugar and turn off the heat. Continue stirring until the sugar is dissolved, approximately 2-3 minutes.

Skim off the foam using a spoon and discard.

Add the Pandan paste and combine well.

Pour the jelly mixture into a medium dish or bowl. Use a spoon to skim off the bubbles from the top of the jelly.

Allow to cool on the counter for 1 hour.

Refrigerate for 4 hours until firm.

After the Pandan jelly is set, run a knife around the edge. Cut the jelly into thin bars, approximately 1 1/2 – 2 inches thick.

Refrigerate until ready to serve.

Making the Red Layer

Pour the red beans into a colander and rinse several times with cold water, washing away the canning liquid. Drain and place into a medium bowl.

In a small saucepan, heat the water until it boils. Add the sugar and stir until dissolved, approximately 2-3 minutes.

Add the syrup to the red beans and combine together.

Let the red beans soak in the syrup until the dessert is ready to be served.

Making the Yellow Layer

In a small bowl, add the mashed mung bean and sugar. Combine until the mixture is smooth and creamy. Set aside until ready to serve.

Serving the Three Color Dessert

To serve the dessert, add 1/2 cup crushed ice into a clear glass or dessert dish. Add 2-3 tsp red bean, 1-2 tsp mashed mung bean, 2-3 Tbsp Pandan jelly, and another 1/2 cup crushed ice. Top the dessert with a heaping spoon of coconut sauce.

Enjoy the Three Color Dessert right away!

Store any remaining amounts in the refrigerator and enjoy within the week.