Che Thai is our easy go to summer dessert when we’re serving lots of guests and in a crunch for time–we served these at our last 2 parties and it always seems to run out. It’s by far the easiest desert to make because there is no baking or cooking involved. Che Thai, as the name implies, is a Vietnamese take on a classic Thai dessert tub tim grawb with faux pomegranate seeds and coconut milk. Vietnamese have added a variety of local fruits including jackfruit, lychee, longon, and various jellies to the concoction that’s best described as a Vietnamese fruit cocktail. Although the traditional Thai desserts uses coconut milk, half and half is a great substitute since it’s readily available and there is no fuss about the milk curdling when the dessert is served cold. If you want more coconut flavor, you can use some coconut cream or try, Andrea Nguyen’s coconut milk sauce recipe.
Typically this dessert is made from canned fruits. All you need is to buy the fruits and add half and half and tadah….you have a desert that all guests will enjoy especially on a hot summery day. For an extra textural and color contrast and a tiny bit more work you can add real or faux pomegranate seeds made from water chestnuts and tapioca starch like we did.
We promised it would be easy. A refreshing and colorful dessert in a jiffy!
Che Thai Vietnamese Fruit Cocktail
1 can of jackfruit (julienned)
1 can of toddy palm, drained
1 jar of coconut jell, drained (buy the brands in the glass jars)
1 can of lychee
1 can of longan
1 can of green (ai-yu) jelly (diced into small cubes and drained)
1/2 qt half and half *
optional real or faux pomagranates
ice (crushed preferred)
In a large fruit punch bowl add the jack fruit, lychee, and longan along with it's accompanying syrup. Drain the toddy palm and coconut jelly and green jello and add to the mixture. You can also add the pomegranates as this point. When ready to serve, add the half and half to your desired level of richness and stir everything together. Serve cold. You can refrigerate the mixture until cold or just add ice to the punch bowl.
*Cooks Note: For more coconut flavor, use 1/2 coconut cream and 1/2 half and half.