Celebrate Têt with a Classic Vietnamese Dessert

kckate16/ iStock / Getty Images Plus
kckate16/ iStock / Getty Images Plus

Che Dau Trang

Recipe by Tessa Nguyen, RD, LDN


  • ½ cup sticky rice, soaked overnight in water
  • ½ cup black-eyed peas, soaked overnight in water
  • ¼ cup powdered sugar, or other sweetener of choice
  • Coconut milk, to taste


  1. Once the rice and peas have finished soaking, drain off excess water. Rinse rice and peas a couple of times with fresh running water.
  2. Combine the rice and peas in a medium saucepan, filling with enough water just to cover the top.
  3. Simmer mixture over medium-low heat for 20 minutes, uncovered, stirring every few minutes.
  4. After 20 minutes, add in just enough water to keep the pudding from sticking. This is similar to cooking risotto, in which you add just enough water to the mix until it cooks off before adding the next bit of water.
  5. Continue step 4 until peas are cooked through and rice has cooked down to a pudding-like texture. This should take about 45 minutes in total.
  6. Remove pudding from heat and stir in powdered sugar or other sweetener of choice.
  7. Refrigerate pudding overnight. Serve ½ cup of pudding with a couple teaspoons of cold coconut milk.

Cooking Notes

  • Full-fat canned coconut milk works better than the refrigerated cartons, as it is thicker than the refrigerated options.
  • It’s best to use dry black-eyed peas, as they result in a better final texture. If you opt to use canned black-eyed peas, drain and rinse beans thoroughly under fresh running water. Add in the peas for the last 10 minutes of cooking time so they can cook a little without becoming mushy.
  • If you decide to use canned black-eyed peas, opt for no-salt-added or low-sodium varieties. Extra salt from canned peas will require more sugar or sweetener in the pudding.
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Tessa Nguyen
Tessa Nguyen, RD, LDN, is a chef and registered dietitian consultant in the food and nutrition industries. Follow along for her culturally diverse recipes on her blog or her Youtube channel, Tessa's Table. Connect with her on Instagram, Facebook, or Twitter.