Don’t worry if you’re not familiar with the name – Chè Khoai Môn simply translates to “Taro Rice Pudding.” It’s basically like if rice pudding went to Vietnamese dessert heaven and had a coconut cream baby that’s gonna set a new standard for your pudding lifestyle. My condolences to your old fave rice pudding recipe that there’s a new pudding god in town to worship!
I get it, maybe you’ve never had dessert with taro and can’t even prepare yourself for how life altering this will be. The countries I have spent time in throughout Asia are jam-packed full of deserts that changed my life forever. From coconut stuffed kuih ketayap, banh flan, to klepon, or martaback stuffed with peanuts and chocolate, there is a lot to love in the Southeast Asian dessert universe.
This foolproof recipe has been tested the heck out of and ensures pudding success on your very first try. No more taro terror or pudding paranoia – my step-by-step instructions are tailored to help you master Che Khoai Mon. Grab some sweet rice, and let’s do this darn thing!
🥰Why you are going to adore the ever-loving heck outta this recipe
✊Vegan AF: Che Khoai Mon is entirely plant-based, and brings the flavor like a son-of-a-gun without harming animals. You know what else? It’s also gluten-free!
🏆Fool-proof Method: With the step-by-step instructions in this blog post, even if you’re new to cooking, you’ll confidently create a velvety Taro Rice Pudding on your first attempt.
✅Tested and Approved Worldwide: Just like all the recipes on my blog, Che Khoai Mon has undergone meticulous testing and perfection. It’s been tried and loved by a dedicated group of recipe testers from around the globe, ensuring success no matter where you are or what ingredients you’re using.
🌿Notable ingredients and substitutions
Glutinous rice, often called sweet rice, might sound like sugary, but it’s actually known for its stickiness when cooked, making it a great choice for pudding, and savory dishes like Nasi Kunyit. If you can’t find glutinous rice, sushi rice can step in as a close substitute.
Pandan, with its vibrant green leaves, is a fragrant herb that imparts a unique aroma and a touch of sweetness. I love using it for making lontong, and nasi uduk betawi. You can find it fresh or frozen in most Asian grocery stores.
Taro root, known as Khoai Mon in Vietnamese, is the star of this dessert. This starchy, purple-speckled root vegetable brings a great texture and subtle flavor to the pudding. Whether you choose to use fresh taro root, pre-cut packaged taro, or frozen taro, it will meld perfectly with the glutinous rice, creating a harmonious blend of flavors and textures. For those who can’t find taro, purple sweet potato can offer a somewhat similar color and taste.
Fresh Grated Coconut (optional as a topping)
Freshly grated coconut is a lovely garnish for Che Khoai Mon. While it’s not mandatory, its moist sweetness complements the dish wonderfully. Remember, I’m not talking about dried shredded coconut here. If fresh coconut isn’t available, use sliced, frozen coconut or simply enjoy the dessert without it.
Tapioca starch, sometimes just called tapioca flour, is used to achieve the desired consistency of the pudding and to thicken the coconut milk topping. In a pinch, cornstarch, arrowroot, or potato starch can be substitutes.
*See the recipe card at the bottom of the page for exact quantities, nutritional info, and detailed cooking directions.
Dat purp: For a colorful twist, skip the pandan leaves and instead add ube powder to the mix. This vibrant purple variation of Che Khoai Mon combines the earthy flavors of taro with purple yam, creating a dessert that’s visually stunning and equally satisfying.
Pandan jelly: Make some of the pandan jelly from my chè ba mau recipe and use it as a topping to the taro pudding.
📖 How to make Chè Khoai Môn like an expert
Make this perfectly by following these step-by-step instructions with important tips. Or you can follow along with the easy-to-print recipe card towards the bottom of this page.
Blend chopped pandan leaves with water for 60-90 seconds until fully pureed. If using a small blender pitcher, do this in two batches.
Strain pandan liquid through a fine wire mesh strainer into a bowl, discarding the pulp. Gently press the pulp to extract liquid without pushing through.
Steam taro cubes for 10-12 minutes until fork tender.
Meanwhile, in a pot, combine rice, pandan water, salt, sugar, vanilla, and tapioca starch.
Bring mixture to a boil over medium-high heat, then lower and simmer covered for 15 minutes.
Gently fold the steamed taro into the cooked rice, avoiding crushing.
In a saucepan, whisk coconut sauce ingredients and bring to a boil over medium heat. Cook for 4-5 minutes until smooth and thick.
Portion taro pudding into bowls and top with coconut sauce. Optionally, garnish with freshly grated coconut and palm sugar.
Taro Rice Pudding is an experience that stands well on its own either as a dessert or breakfast. But dessert means you just ate a meal. So here are some such meals to have this as a dessert after:
- Make sure that the pandan leaves are super-clean before blending. Additionally, strain the pandan liquid through a fine a mesh strainer (or a cloth bag) to eliminate any stray particles.
- Steaming the taro cubes until just fork tender is crucial. Test them with a fork after 10 minutes to determine their progress. Overcooking can lead to mushiness, or the taro sorta falling apart into the rice. It will still be yummy, just sorta ugly.
- When folding the steamed taro cubes into the cooked rice, handle them with care. Gently fold the taro pieces, allowing them to become part of the rice mixture while maintaining their individual integrity. Avoid vigorous mixing that might break down the taro.
- As you prepare the coconut sauce, keep a watchful eye on its consistency. Whisk consistently while heating, and ensure the sauce achieves the desired smoothness and thickness before removing it from the heat. The sauce should be pourable, it's like its own pudding on top of your pudding.
Glutinous rice is important for the desired creamy texture. If you use regular white rice, you will need to add a little extra tapioca starch to the recipe for it to thicken.
Yes, in fact, I really like this cold anyway.
Store any leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to three days, and stir in a little bit of water or coconut milk if it stiffens up too much when chilled.
🔥Other dessert bangers you need to make:
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Che Khoai Mon (Taro rice pudding)
- Grated coconut
- Palm sugar or coconut sugar
- Place the chopped pandan and water into a blender and blend for 60-90 seconds until fully pureed. If you have a small blender pitcher, do this in two batches.
- Strain the pandan liquid through a wire mesh strainer into a bowl, discarding the pulp. Press the pulp in the strainer to get as much of the liquid out as possible without pushing any of the pulp through the strainer.
- Steam the taro cubes for 10-12 minutes or until fork tender.
- Meanwhile, mix together the rice, blended pandan water, salt, sugar, vanilla, and tapioca starch in a pot.
- Bring the mixture to a boil over medium-high heat, then lower the heat and let it simmer for 15 minutes with the lid on.
- Gently fold the steamed taro pieces into the cooked rice. Be careful not to crush the taro while mixing.
- In a saucepan, whisk together the coconut sauce ingredients.
- Bring the mixture to a boil over medium heat, whisking occasionally, and cook for 4-5 minutes until smooth and thickened.
- Portion the taro pudding into bowls, and top each serving with the coconut sauce. Optionally garnish with freshly grated coconut and palm sugar.