Food Porn: Best of the best desserts in SE Asia

If you’re craving something sweet and feeling adventurous at the same time look no further than the sweet treats in Southeast Asia. This region of Asia, south of China and west of India, has had many culinary influences, and as a result the dessert from each of these following five countries will not only satisfy your sweet tooth, but expand your horizons in the process.

Vietnam’s Che: The Sweetest Soup You’ll Ever Sip

Che is not simply one dessert, but the umbrella title for any authentic Vietnamese sweet drink, pudding, or soup. The ingredients may initially sound shocking (most versions are made with mung beans, kidney beans, tapioca, and durian among other things), but don’t let this stop you, as the combination is actually rather delicious. Recipes for Che can be readily found on cooking websites, but most often it can be easily found in your local Asian market.

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Thailand’s Khao Niaow Ma Muang: Rice With the Freshest of Fruit

Summer is the time of the Mango in Thailand, and locals enjoy using this succulent fruit in much of their cuisine during the months of April through June. Nothing can be more decadent on a warm summer day than a hearty plate of mango on sticky rice (known in Thailand as Khao Niaow Ma Muang). This traditional dessert combines coconut, white rice, and mango to create a very unique and refreshing taste. If you don’t have a few thousand dollars sitting around in your bank account, consider making this at home. Some people even eat it for breakfast!

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Cambodia’s Num Ansom Chek: Bananas Made Even Better

One of the most popular desserts in Cambodia is Num Ansom Chek. This rolled banana cake is made by coating freshly peeled bananas in sugar and wrapping them in banana leaves thickly coated with sticky rice. Cambodians then boil the wrapped bananas for a little over an hour, and after that they’re ready to enjoy. This is something simple that you could try at home, and it’s a sweet way to get some extra potassium!

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Philippines’ Leche Flan: Creamy Caramel Confection

Leche Flan has won the hearts of many Filipinos and is bound to win yours over as well with its sweet taste and light texture. Flan is loved in many different countries around the world, but don’t think that if you’ve tried one you’ve tried them all! This Filipino flan is in a class of its own. Requiring only six ingredients, this egg and milk based dessert will also be a breeze to bake.

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Malaysian’s Bubur Cha Cha: A Coconut Milk Masterpiece

Malaysian desserts rely heavily on coconut milk to further sweeten everyday items, like honeydew or bananas, but Bubur Cha Cha has got to be one of the most thoughtful food combinations. Yam and Sweet Potato in a thick coconut sauce? Yes, please. This dish can be served warm or cold, but I like the idea of trying in warm by an open fire during the chilly winter months.

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Hopefully, you’ve got some inspiration here to continue learning about these decadent Southeast Asian desserts. Most of them are rather simple to prepare, but I’d recommend venturing out to your nearest neighborhood market or authentic Asian restaurant to try these exciting desserts professionally prepared. Better yet, pack your things and head to any or all of these countries to taste these amazing after meal treats!