One of my Hmong friends taught me how to make this coconut milk dessert when I work in Milwaukee, Wisconsin as a television news reporter. Wisconsin is one of primarily 4 states including Minnesota, California and Michigan where the Hmong call home.
Hmong villagers in Laos fought alongside the CIA during the Vietnam war. After the war ended, they were resettled under the Indochina Migration and Refugee Assistance Act by President Gerald Ford.
This dessert is called nab vam in Hmong (three color dessert). It’s served in gatherings among friends and family. There are many variations of nab vam ingredients including lychee, longan, palm seed, mango, pineapple, chestnuts, red beans, yellow mung beans and white beans.
The tapioca pearls are made from cassava. I chose a festive white, red and green tapioca for the holidays. In the summer, you can add ice for a refreshing, sweet dessert but I would skip the ice if it is below freezing in the Winter!
Micaela is a TV reporter turned digital media marketer. She loves sharing her passion about food, travel and fashion. Micaela is married to a pastry chef and enjoys spending time with their two girls. Her family roots come from China, Trinidad and Canada. She is based in Salt Lake City, Utah.