The Vietnamese kitchen is amongst the best ones in the world, with their flavorful noodle soups, fresh vegetables and the French influence that you can see through their ‘banh mi’, which is a Vietnamese style baguette. But the food stretches further than that. The local desserts are often underrated and the French pastries that can be found in bakeries are often preferred. But that’s just because you haven’t tasted the local desserts yet. As soon as you get your hands on it, you’ll wish you tried it sooner. Have a look at 5 of the most delicious desserts from Vietnam and make sure to try at least one when you’re there.
1. Che Chuoi – Coconut milk, bananas and sago pearls
This is one of the most delicious desserts you can find in Vietnam. If you have a sweet tooth, it’s the perfect go-to dessert. It contains coconut milk, sweet bananas, sago pearls and is topped off with crushed peanuts and sesame seeds. Everything good in one bowl basically! It’s sweet thanks to the small bananas, which are native to Southeast Asia.
2. Che Troi Nuoc – Sticky rice balls in ginger syrup
At first sight, you might be a bit sceptic, but it’s incredibly flavorful and sweet. The white rice balls are filled with mung bean taste and is cooked in a ginger syrup. It’s served hot, which might come to some people’s surprise, and is therefore perfect for when the cooler winter months arrive. You’ll usually see this dessert served during important holidays such as Tet, which is the Vietnamese New Year, or at a child’s first birthday. This dessert is both traditional and so delicious to eat.
3. Banh Dau Xanh – Mung bean cakes
It might sound odd to eat beans for dessert, but the mung beans are sweet enough to fit as a dessert and is actually healthy so you can sort of say that it’s a healthy dessert (although it probably contains more sugar). They’re not overly sweet either and makes for a great snack or pastry to have with your coffee or tea. The pastry is usually shaped into small yellow rectangular pieces and each piece will melt in your mouth. Definitely one of the more unique desserts in Vietnam that you must try.
4. Banh Xoai – Mango cake
If you order this and expect a mango cake – you’re wrong. The name is misleading and the cake doesn’t contain any mango actually. In fact, it was only named so because the shape resembles a mango. But this doesn’t mean that you should skip this fulfilling dessert. The small pastries are a classic and you can find street vendors selling them. The texture is chewy and is made of glutinous rice that’s been filled with peanuts and sesame seeds. Delicious in other words!
5. Xi Ma – Black sesame soup
At first glance, you’ll probably wonder what this weird black soup is. But don’t judge a book by its cover! It gets its color from the black sesame seeds. The dessert is especially popular in Hoi An and if you feel bold enough, you should try a portion. Who knows, maybe this will be your new favorite dessert?
6. Che Ba Mau – The three colored dessert
A classic amongst locals, this dessert never gets old! It’s almost like getting three desserts in one. It consists of red beans, yellow mung bean paste, green pandan jelly, which is all topped with coconut milk. But you can ask the vendor for any other toppings she or he has. That’s what’s so good about che – you can customize it however you want to. Unfortunately, not many people dare to order this from the streets, but this will all change once you’ve tried one. Before you know it, you’ve already ordered one more to go.
Haven’t applied for your Vietnam visa yet? Don’t worry, we got you covered. Make sure that you apply at least a few days beforehand, but preferably a week before you’re heading to Vietnam. If you need an emergency visa, you can get one within a few hours to a day. You can apply for either a Visa on Arrival or E-Visa, which is done online. There’s also the option of going to the Vietnamese Embassy or Consulate and apply with them. If you do it this way, it’s very important that you apply for a visa in very good time, since this process usually takes a bit longer. Therefore it’s always recommended to apply for a visa online.