Hanoi Desserts: A friendly reminder of Summer

Desserts make a meal completed, that’s true. But they differ from country to country. Some are fruity and light, but some are chocolaty and rich. From France’s Crème brûlée to Japan’s mocha, desserts become a real art. Not only satisfying people’s stomach, they also have such enchanting looks and smells that people cannot say no every time.

In Vietnam, people uniquely combine traditional ingredients to create wonderful desserts called sweet gruels. There are hundreds of sweet gruels all over this South- East Asian country, but no common recipes or rules for them. Every gruel recipe is fascinating in its own way. Check some best ones we have below:

Rice ball sweet soup


Balls, made from rice powder, are heated with water in a saucepan. The amazing part is that when balls float on the surface, we notice they are totally ready for being taken out and served.

Inside the rice balls usually keep a small piece of brown sugar or little shell-removed green beans.

Cooked rice ball soup is served sweetly with a few slices of gingers, nuts and/or grated coconut. The local day for rice ball soup – it has its day, wow – takes place on 3rd March in Lunar Calendar, when it transfers from spring to summer. Turn on some music and chill your time with rice ball sweet soup – very Asian!

Black bean sweet gruel

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Simple as its name, this gruel recipe features with its only ingredient, black bean.

Black beans can be soaked in water then baked for a long time enough to become mushy. Add a little sugar to the soup, then your black bean sweet gruel is ready. Totally easy and refreshing, it can be enjoyed with ice in the summer, or warmly for winter. In the photo above, we add some slices of coconut and Vietnamese black jelly. Sometimes, my mom suggests to add some nuts for nutty flavor. Fresh and great!

Milk Jelly sweet gruel

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If you prefer a more colorful and fussy recipe, then Khuc Bach gruel would be one of your best choices.

Made from an ingredient team of unsweetened milk, coconut milk, whipped cream, gelatin and white sugar, a perfect dish looks fluffy, tastes as soft as jelly. Its smells, made up of milk and coconut, are fresh and light.

This type of gruel can be served with lychees, apples or logans based on your favors.

Vietnamese teenagers are crazy for this dish recently. A little namby-pamby, but absolutely worth to try!

Gruel made from grapefruit slivered rind

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I know it sounds strange when using grapefruit rind to make a dessert. But trust me, that is insanely mouthwatering.

The rind lies between green shell and grapefruit section. Its original bitter flavor is removed by being soaked in salted water for about 2-3 hours. And to make sure sugar absorb deeply in every inch of rinds, we stir slivered rinds with sugar on medium heat. Add a little tapioca starch and serve with grapefruit oil.

A perfect fruit should be smooth, fluffy, warmly sweet and fresh after all.

Sweet lotus seed gruel

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Lotus seed is considered as a magical remedy in eastern medicine, so it is used popularly, especially in gruel.

At lychees season, Vietnamese people enjoy sweet lotus seed gruel, inside which, germ-removed lotus seeds are totally covered by seed-removed lychees.

The same as Longan takes place when it comes to longan season in Vietnam. Incredibly delicious, every mom likes this gruel recipes everytime.