Che Thai

Traditional Che Thai will use coconut milk and fresh tropical fruits.  My sister taught me to make it with milk and half-and-half instead.  People normally make this with red food coloring but I like the colors of the rainbow which also provides a great teaching moment to teach my little chef about colors and how to mix primary colors to make secondary colors. 


1+ can of rambutans
1+ can of lychee
1+ can of longans
1+ can of jackfruit
1+ can of toddy palm seeds
1+ can of palm seeds
1 can of water chestnuts
1 gallon of 2% lowfat milk
1 quart of Coffee creamer or half-and-half (hazelnut or vanilla)
1 12 oz bag of tapioca flour
Food coloring of your choice.  I used green pandan extract for green.

Note: I try to use st least one can of every tropical fruit listed above.  My little foodie and I love toddy palm seeds so we use 2 to 3 cans to make this. 


  1. Open up all the cans.  Pour the fruit contents into a large colander to drain the syrup.  The toddy palm seeds have a much thicker syrup so my little chef pour that into a separate colander and then I run cold water through to rinse off the sticky and thick syrup. Mix all the fruits together in one large bowl.

2.  Cut the water chestnuts into halves, then thirds, then eighths like shown in picture. 

3. Coating the water chestnuts   

  • Put the chopped water chestnuts in a bowl.  One bowl for each color you wish to dye.   Red is most often used.   I went all out and have to make all the rainbow colors for my little chef.  She loves watching me mix the colors.    
  • Place a few drops of each food coloring into the bowls.   
  • Start with 1 Tbsp of tapioca flower for each bowl. Mix it up well.      
  • Add more Tapioca flour until the color turns pastel.  

4.  Mix all the coated water chestnuts and pour it into a colander and shake it so the excess tapioca flour falls through.  Doing this will help the water chestnut pieces not stick together when you cook it. 

5.  Cook the water chest nuts. Bring two quarts of water to a boil in a pot.  Then add the water chestnuts.  Cook on high. You know the pieces are cooked when it floats to the top of the boiling water. This only takes a couple of minutes.  Stir occasionally so the water chestnuts won’t clump together. 

6.  Transfer the water chestnuts into a bowl of COLD water. 

7. In a 2 gallon pitcher, pour in the strained canned fruits and the coated waterchestnuts. Add in hazelnut creamer or another flavor of your choice halfway. Then add in the milk.

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