Chè is a Vietnamese term that refers to any traditional Vietnamese sweet beverage, dessert soup or pudding.
Varieties of Chè are made with mung beans, black-eyed peas, kidney beans, tapioca, jelly (clear or grass), fruit (longan,mango, durian, lychee or jackfruit), and coconut cream. Other types are made with ingredients such as salt, aloe vera, seaweed, lotus seed, sesame seed, sugar palm seeds, taro, cassava and pandan leaf extract. Some varieties, such as chè trôi nước, may also include dumplings. Chè are often prepared with one of a number of varieties of beans, tubers, and/or glutinous rice, cooked in water and sweetened with sugar. In southern Vietnam, chè are often garnished with coconut creme.
The preparations are named with the addition of qualifying adjectives referring to a wide variety of distinct soups or puddings which may be served either hot or cold. Each variety of chè is designated by a descriptive word or phrase that follows the word chè, such as chè đậu đỏ (literally “red bean chè“).
Chè may be made at home, but are also commonly sold in plastic cups at Vietnamese grocery stores.
In northern Vietnam, chè is also the word for the tea plant. Tea is also known as nước chè in the North or more commonly trà in both regions.
The Chinese category of sweet soups called tong sui are very similar to chè.
There is a nearly endless variety of named dishes with the prefix chè, and thus it is impossible to produce a complete list. What follows is a list of the most typical traditional varieties of chè.