Che Thai Recipe Vietnamese Fruit Cocktail

che thai

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.

che thai

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.

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30 Responses to “Che Thai Recipe Vietnamese Fruit Cocktail”

  1. 1

    Fresh Local and Best — July 23, 2010 @ 2:37 am

    This is one of my favorite childhood desserts, and I have been craving it recently in this hot weather. I simply loved the medley of fresh tropical fruits and chewy jello textures. For one reason or another, I've always prefered the faux pomegranate to fresh ones, go figure. LOL!

  2. 2

    Ravenous Couple — July 23, 2010 @ 2:54 am

    Christine: It's the chewy texture…like boba!

  3. 3

    Ju (The Little Teochew) — July 23, 2010 @ 9:45 am

    Such a pretty green! Anyone who is served this would definitely first pause to admire it. :)

  4. 4

    momgateway — July 23, 2010 @ 2:53 pm

    Jackfruit and lychee and toddy palm are so good….this is so pretty and healthy looking….

  5. 5

    Vyvilyn — July 23, 2010 @ 3:00 pm

    Glad to see someone finally posted about this treasure of a recipe. We make it at every party and it's always a hit!

  6. 6

    lisa is cooking — July 23, 2010 @ 3:35 pm

    What a great summery dessert! And, I'd love to try making faux pomegranate seeds.

  7. 7

    Michelle — July 23, 2010 @ 8:52 pm

    one of my absolute favorites!

  8. 8

    sophia — July 24, 2010 @ 6:02 am

    Hi, i love che thai and i always wanted to add the faux pomegrante seeds but i don't want to make my own and i don't know where to buy it from! I live in OC and even though i go to the vietnamese/chinese markets around, i don't knoe what section or what they are called in vietnamese. help? thank youu!

  9. 9

    LeLe — July 25, 2010 @ 1:24 pm

    my family and a lot of other relatives make this desert for large gatherings too! so easy and refreshing =)

  10. 10

    Alisa — July 25, 2010 @ 5:18 pm

    The dessert looks really yummy! My mom likes adding durian to her version for more things to munch on. I used to work at Lees Sandwiches and this one sells more than the others when they have it available.

  11. 11

    Evelina — July 26, 2010 @ 8:28 am

    THANK YOU for posting this. I love this dessert! My aunt made it the other day using a french vanilla creamer. it was delicious! But I'm very excited to make your version, which I proudly had many cups of at your place last time!

  12. 12

    Bonnibella — July 26, 2010 @ 11:14 am

    faux pom is my all time favorite ingredient in che. This post is making me thirsty!

  13. 13

    Ravenous Couple — July 26, 2010 @ 3:46 pm

    Sophia: we've never seen pre made faux pomegranates before–there are many tapioca pearls that you can use as a substitute though.

    Alisa: yes, adding durian is definitely another popular fruit..interesting to know it's of of the most popular at Lee's!

    Evelina: OOh, love hearing about all these different variations..french vanilla creamer sounds good!

  14. 14

    Yasmeen — July 26, 2010 @ 4:40 pm

    Love the juicy vibrant tropical fruits,a fabulous cocktail 😀

  15. 15

    mysimplefood — July 26, 2010 @ 10:36 pm

    love jack fruit…add a nice touch to the cocktail

  16. 16

    James — July 27, 2010 @ 3:06 am

    Wow, this looks amazing. Absolutely perfect for the summer!

  17. 17

    A. Rizzi — July 31, 2010 @ 6:10 pm

    mmm…Chèèèèèèè. There's a famous spot here on Nguyen Tri Phuong street for chè thái, have you been? They throw durian in as well. How much does the king of fruits cost back there?

  18. 18

    Ravenous Couple — August 2, 2010 @ 1:40 am

    @Yasmeen: Yes we love to put these fabulous cocktails in cocktail cups too:)
    @mysimple food: can't have it without jackfruit, it adds color and flavor too.
    @james: this has been a hit at all the summer get togethers we've been to and hosted
    @a. rizzi: no we've never been there but definitely have to try to throw durian in there. durians run about $3 a lb so about $12-$15 for one.. well worth it

  19. 19

    chinitazh — February 3, 2011 @ 9:35 am

    i read your blog and it was great just like Tropics Food Products Cooperative they gave also a lots of information you want.

  20. 20

    Yummmchops — May 30, 2011 @ 12:14 pm

    Yummy Che Thai! Similar to the Vietnamese Che with the long green jelly and faux pomegranate seeds – my favorite dessert of all desserts. Will definitely try and make yours today! Thank you for the wonderful recipe :d

  21. 21

    AMY NGUYEN — July 19, 2011 @ 5:15 pm

    Hi, I just tried making this and I have a few questions. Do I need to slice in half the toddy palm, lychee or longan? Also, the green jelly I bought was this dark, black looking color, it wasn’t bright pretty green at all. Do you think I got a bad one? I put real pomegranates in mine, but everyone says it was too sour, How does the faux one taste like? Can I buy that or do I have to make it. Thank you! Love your blog!

  22. 22

    The Ravenous Couple — July 19, 2011 @ 8:33 pm

    keep the toddy palm whole, it’s hard to cut. if you want to cut the lychee and longan, then that’s ok, but really your choice. the jelly should be green ai yu jelly. the black one is a different color and different taste, but it’s not bad. the faux one is just tapioca flour and red color and has chewy texture. you can search for faux pomegranates on the web for that recipe.

  23. 23

    Hang — July 19, 2011 @ 9:30 pm

    Went looking through the recipes here last night and came across this. I personally don’t care too much for this dessert, however my parents LOVE this. So I’ve decided I’m going to surprise them with this on Friday. Bought ALL the ingredients today at an Asian market. I was very surprised to find everything at the market because they don’t carry much ingredients here. Usually I’d have to drive to Houston (3 hours away!) to get most of my asian groceries. I can’t wait to try to make this on Friday! Seems simple enough. However, I would like to try this by using the suggest 1/2 coconut cream 1/2 half and half. When you say this, do you mean by 1/4 a quart of each to make the required 1/2 qt listed in the ingredients. If that makes sense? Sorry!

  24. 24

    hai said like hi — March 2, 2012 @ 5:57 am

    i wonder if this is healthy cause all the fruits and milk and im glad someone has posted this up cause i was craving this for a relly long time

  25. 25

    Nini — May 7, 2012 @ 4:15 pm

    Hong& Kim- I am so happy I came across your incredibly deliciouso & informative site!

    I followed this recipe to the T, and cannot say that I’ve ever tasted anything so refreshing and sweet. All my guests were so delighted by this dessert, so thank you both so very very much. Hats off to the both of you. This will definitely go into my favorite recipes box :)

  26. 26

    Malai — June 15, 2013 @ 10:53 am

    This dessert is a knock out at our parties!
    This is my Thai/Laotian version.
    I use the following:
    coconut jelly cubes in a jar
    Jackfruits in can
    Logan in can
    Green ai-yu jelly
    Palm seeds in can
    Coconut strips (optional)
    Colored tapioca pearls (optional)
    Ingredients :
    Coconut dessert milk
    Half & half cream
    Pinch of salt
    Pandan extract
    Boiling water
    *note add half and half cream & pandan extract last after the mixture has cool down
    Add shave ice!

  27. 27

    15 Cool Vietnamese Recipes — November 4, 2013 @ 12:24 pm

    […] Recipe & Photo credit to […]

  28. 28

    Lovely Food Addict — November 7, 2013 @ 7:40 pm

    I’m so happy to have found this recipe!!! But how much does this recipe serve? Please reply 😀 I’m making it for a cultural (lol) potluck for school hehehe :)

  29. 29

    The Ravenous Couple — November 10, 2013 @ 6:54 pm

    this will probably serve 6-8 depending on cup size.

  30. 30

    Sarah — September 1, 2014 @ 7:11 pm

    Can you tell me how to make the faux pomegranate? Love this dessert drink

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