#76. Chè Ba Mầu at Thach Chè Hien Khanh
It's summertime and living may or may not be easy, but kicking back in the afternoon sunshine with an ice-cold cup of chè ba mầu (part drink, part dessert) certainly won't bring you down. In fact, this classic Vietnamese snack is a great midday pick-me-up and no one on the Bolsa strip does chè better than Thạch Chè Hiển Khánh.
Chè takes on many different forms and ingredients, but the things that remain consistent across the board are the sweet flavor and the interplay of both liquid and solid elements. Thankfully, finding chè isn't a problem in Orange County. Go to virtually any Vietnamese food-to-go in Little Saigon and you'll discover at least three varieties.
As with any other popular dish, styles differ greatly from store to store. Therefore, we at the Weekly have narrowed your search. If you're looking to nail that sweet tooth with satisfying snack, Thạch Chè Hiển Khánh is the place to be. Stellar in both the quality and price, this little shop makes chè its specialty and offers a wide selection of the delicious dessert.
Chè ba mầu (three colored chè) is one of the more popular varieties. The most common recipe contains yellow mung bean paste, red (azuki) beans and green tapioca noodles. These ingredients are layered over one another to create the tri-color look that earns the dessert its name. As an extra flourish, Hiển Khánh also adds black tapioca balls (boba) and red tapioca- covered water chestnuts. When coconut milk and crushed ice are added to the mix, the brilliant, ruby-like bits of water chestnut look like little floating jewels and offer a pleasant crunch.
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A small comes in a 6 oz. plastic cup; unless you have a major sweet tooth, this is the ideal serving size. Perfect for hot days, this snack is served ice-cold and offers just the right amount of sugar and carbs to give you a boost of energy without making you crash!
Thach Che Hien Khanh
9639 Bolsa Ave.
Westminster, CA 92683
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