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  • Writer's pictureDeana Thai

Ube, Taro, Sweet Potato Sago & Che

Updated: Mar 7, 2021

Lightly sweeten purple broth with soft potato pieces and bouncy sago pearls complimented by a thick coconut cream and nutty sesame seeds!
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You can have this dessert, "Ube, Taro & Sweet Potato Sago" ché in 30-minutes! I will show you how to multitask and make this color Vietnamese style ché in less time than you would otherwise and be able to control the quality of textures. No mushy sago, yams or taro using my method and timing. Timing is everything in this dessert so please read over method carefully.

I was craving Vietnamese ché and had some beautiful purple and sweet potatoes in my pantry. Vietnamese ché is a lightly sweeten soupy or pudding like dessert that can be enjoyed hot during the cold months and cold during the hot summer days. I remember my mom making all kinds of ché in the summer so that we could cool down. When I was little I thought my mom was just throwing random stuff and sugar together! It didn't look appetizing at all, but it tasted AMAZING with different textures and light sweetness. She would make a lot of Che Sam Bồ Lương (Seaweed, Lotus Seeds, Jujubes, Longans and Pearl Barley) and Che Đậu Xanh (Green Mung Bean Soup). They tasted so refreshing mixed with some ice! So today, I share with you all my recipe for a lightly sweeten ché using purple yams, sweet potatoes, taro, sago and coconut!

Ingredients - Che Taro, Ube & Sweet Potato

  • 2 quarts water

  • 1 medium size taro

  • 1 medium size sweet potato

  • 1 medium size purple yam

  • 1 stick palm sugar

Sago / Mini Tapioca Pearls

  • 1 quart water

  • 1/2 cup sago

Coconut Topping

  • 1 14oz can coconut milk

  • 1/4 cup sugar

  • 1 tbsp toasted sesame seeds


  1. Let's begin by bringing 1 quart (4 cups) of water to a boil in a small pot. This will be for the sago.

  2. Next let's make the coconut cream topping because it takes the longest amount of time to cook. In a sauce pan place coconut milk and sugar and bring to a low simmer on medium heat. Dissolve the sugar by mixing it into the coconut milk. Once it begins to simmer, reduce the heat to low and let the liquid evaporate by 50%. Liquids will evaporate to a creamy consistency in 20-minutes. Stir occasionally to ensure no burning of the cream.

  3. While the coconut is reducing, we can focus on the sago. Add sago to the boiling water. Stir immediately and allow it to coming to a boil. Reduce heat to medium and let sago cook for 15-minutes. Stirring occasionally.

  4. Now, as both the coconut and sago are cooking away. We can prepare our potatoes! Remove skins and cut them into bite size pieces about 1-inch.

  5. Check on the coconut cream and give it a stir.

  6. Check on sago, it should be about 15-minutes now. Sago will be mostly transparent with a dot of whiteness left. Turn off heat and let it rest for 5-minutes...use a timer! This is crucial in not destroying your sago.

  7. Let's continue with the potatoes. In order to cook the taro, yams and sweet potatoes without them becoming a mess of mushiness on the outside and hard on the inside; we'll need to start them in a pot with room temperature water.

  8. Add chopped purple yams, sweet potatoes, taro and 2 quarts of water to a medium size stock pot. Bring to a boil on high heat. Once it begins to boil, add the palm sugar stick and reduce heat to medium. Or where it is simmering. Allow to simmer for 13-minutes. Turn off heat after the time is up.

  9. Heating the potatoes and water up at the same time allows the potatoes to warm up throughly, creating a perfectly cooked inside and out potato. No mushy exterior and hard interior.

  10. Now, it's time (after 5-minutes of resting) to rinse our sago with cold water from the faucet. Place sago into a sieve and run cold water through it. Drain well and set aside for later.

  11. Check on the coconut cream. It should be about 20-minutes and have reduced significantly. Turn off heat and let it cold down.

  12. Yeah!!! Everything is cooked and ready to be assembled!

  13. Grab a pretty bowl, begin by placing the taro, yams and sweet potatoes on the bottom. Add a bit of the potato liquid. Add sago to the bowl. The sago will slightly stick to each other, but don't worry the potato liquid will break them up. Top off the dessert with the coconut cream and toasted sesame seeds.

  14. Voila, the ché is ready and it so exciting!

  15. This dessert can be consumed immediately hot or cooled completely. Bon Appétit!

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