Cendol or "Chè Bánh Lọt" refers to the translucent, jelly-like noodles that are the main component of this dessert. These noodles are made from mung bean starch and tapioca flour and have a soft, slightly chewy texture. Learn how to make your own at home with this easy step-by-step recipe.
What is Cendol or Che Banh Lot?
Cendol is a popular Southeast Asian dessert that is particularly common in countries such as Malaysia, Indonesia, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam. It is a sweet and refreshing treat enjoyed in hot climates. Cendol typically consists of cendol noodles, sweetened coconut milk, and palm sugar syrup.
The cendol worms are green jelly-like noodles made from a mixture of mung bean and tapioca starch, pandan leaf extract (which gives it the green color), water, and sugar. The noodles are often cylindrical or worm-shaped and have a chewy texture
The cendol noodles are usually served in a bowl or glass filled with sweetened coconut milk. The coconut milk is typically flavored with pandan leaf or palm sugar, which adds a rich, creamy, and slightly caramelized taste.
Cendol is usually drizzled with palm sugar syrup, also known as "gula melaka", which is a dark, thick syrup made from the sap of the coconut palm tree. The syrup adds sweetness and a distinct flavor to the dessert.
Sometimes, additional ingredients are included to enhance the flavor and texture of cendol. These can include ingredients such as red beans, grass jelly, diced fruits, or crushed ice. You can add this to other Vietnamese che recipes such as Che Thai or Che Ba Mau. The dessert is often served chilled or with ice, making it a popular choice to beat the heat in tropical regions.
Why you'll love this recipe
Refreshing: Cendol offers a distinct combination of flavors and textures. The sweet, caramel-like palm sugar syrup pairs beautifully with the creamy coconut milk, while the chewy cendol worms provide a unique texture. The overall taste is both sweet and refreshing, making it a delightful dessert or beverage, especially on a hot day.
Customizable: Cendol is a versatile dessert that can be customized to suit personal preferences. While the core components remain the same, you can add variations like red beans, fresh or canned fruits, and jellies to create a unique twist on the classic recipe.
Potato Ricer: You will need a potato ricer with a coarse disc, a stainless steel colander with large holes, or a stainless steel slotted spoon (you'll want to avoid plastic ones since the cendol/banh lot batter will be hot and it might melt the plastic).
For the green worm-shaped jelly, you will need mung bean starch, tapioca starch, pandan extract, sugar, and water. These ingredients can be found at your local Asian grocery store or online.
The sweetened coconut sauce is made from coconut cream and palm sugar.
⬇️ Please scroll down to the recipe card to see the full ingredient amounts and instructions ⬇️
How To Make It
MAKE THE CENDOL
Step 1: Prepare a potato ricer with a coarse disc and a large ice water bath, to be used after the pandan batter is ready.
Step 2: In a small saucepan without turning on the heat, whisk together water, sugar, mung bean starch, tapioca starch, and pandan extract. Continue whisking vigorously to avoid clumps.
Step 3: Turn the heat to medium-high and continue whisking until the batter thickens. Then, turn off the heat.
Step 4: Working in batches, place the pandan batter into the potato ricer and press gently until 1-2 inch worm-like pandan droplets enter the ice bath. Repeat until the entire batter is used.
MAKE THE SYRUP
Step 5: In a small saucepan, bring water to a boil. Add palm sugar and salt. Stir until dissolved, for approximately 8-10 minutes. Transfer to a bowl and let it cool.
MAKE THE COCONUT SAUCE
Step 6: In a small saucepan, combine the coconut milk, sugar, and tapioca starch. Heat the mixture over medium heat, stirring frequently. When the sauce just comes to a boil, remove from the heat.
Step 7: In a bowl, add some crushed ice, cendol, palm sugar syrup, and coconut sauce.
⭐️ Tips for making the BEST Che Banh Lot
- Set up the water bath and potato ricer before cooking: Set everything up before you start making the batter. You'll want to work quickly before the batter cools down and hardens.
- Continuously stir the batter: Continuously whisk or stir the batter so that it cooks evenly.
- Keep a close eye on the batter: The batter goes from raw to done in a matter of seconds.
- Work quickly: When placing the batter into the potato ricer, work quickly while it is still hot and has the consistency of pudding. Once it cools down, it will harden.
- Let gravity do the work: Lightly press down on the potato ricer and let the batter naturally drip down to form a worm-like shape.
How to Store Leftovers
Store the cendol worms, coconut milk, and palm sugar syrup separately. This will help maintain the individual textures and flavors.
Refrigerate: Place the cendol noodles, coconut milk, and palm sugar syrup in airtight containers or resealable bags. It is best when enjoyed fresh, so try to consume your leftovers within 1-2 days.
Reheat: When you're ready to enjoy the leftovers, give the components a good stir to mix them together again. If the coconut milk has thickened or the syrup has become too viscous, you can gently reheat them separately on the stovetop or in the microwave.
Cendol (Che Banh Lot)
For the Cendol
For the Syrup
- 1 cup (8 oz) palm sugar/coconut sugar
- ¾ cup water
- pinch of salt
For the Coconut Sauce
- 1 cup coconut milk
- 3 tablespoon sugar
- ½ teaspoon tapioca starch
- crushed ice
Make the Cendol
- Prepare a potato ricer with a coarse disc and a large ice water bath, to be used after the pandan batter is ready.
- In a small saucepan without turning on the heat, whisk together water, sugar, mung bean starch, tapioca starch and pandan extract, continue whisking vigorously to avoid clumps.
- Turn the heat to medium-high and continue whisking until the batter thickens, for about 8-10 minutes. Then, turn off the heat.
- Working in batches, place the pandan batter into the potato ricer and press gently until 1-2 inch worm-like pandan droplets enter the ice bath. Repeat until the entire batter is used.
Make the Syrup
- In a small saucepan, bring water to a boil. Add palm sugar and salt. Stir until dissolved, for approximately 8-10 minutes. Transfer to a bowl and let it cool.
Make the Coconut Sauce
- In a small saucepan, combine the coconut milk, sugar, and tapioca starch. Heat the mixture over medium heat, stirring frequently. When the sauce just comes to a boil, remove from the heat.
- In a bowl, add some crushed ice, cendol, palm sugar syrup, and coconut sauce.