Da ua – Dreamlike vietnamese yoghurt

It took me years to get over my homemade-yoghurt-trauma. For some time, my mother regularly used to make natural yoghurt at home with her 70s yoghurt machine. Today I adore the round 70s design and the orange colour of this machine – as a child I couldn’t stand the yoghurt that came out of this machine: too sour for me, not creamy and always with a skin on top…ew! It was only last summer that I made my first own tentative steps in yoghurt making – without a machine… And it was just the opposite of what I remembered from my childhood! And so easy:

My simple technic for homemade yoghurt (can’t remember where I adopted it from):
I warm 1 liter of milk up to 40-45° C (it works with every kind of milk), whisk into a small cup of yoghurt (150g), fill it into two big or some smaller sterilized jars with lid, put it under my duvet together with a hot water bottle and leave the yoghurt cultures and milk on their own for 12 hours… and magically the milk turns into some creamy, not too tart yoghurt – without skin!

A few weeks ago then, I stumbled upon a recipe that caught my attention: vietnamese yoghurt. The vietnamese name for it is sua chua or da ua [yah u-ah] which is a transliteration of the French yaourt. It points to the origins of this quite unusual asian recipe: It is indeed a legacy of the 19th century French colonizers in Vietnam “which the Vietnamese embraced and cleverly adapted to local ingredients and climate conditions” (Eat, little bird). In what way did they adapt this European dairy product? – Instead of milk, vietnamese da ua is based on sweetened, condensed milk mixed with water. It gives this yoghurt a both sweet and tart taste and a creamy texture. The preparation is quite the same as every yogurt making.

Da ua got me from the first spoon I put into my mouth, because it is both so easy to prepare and soooo delicious. Try it, and you won’t be able to stop!

Da ua (vietnamese yoghurt)
Adapted from Viet World Kitchen (for slightly different recipes with and without yoghurt machine have a look at Eat, little bird and White on Rice Couple)

1 can sweet condensed milk (400g), 650 ml water (2 1/2 cans), 1 small cup of yoghurt (150g)

In a small pot bring water to a boil. Pour condensed milk into a medium bowl. Use empty can to measure water and whisk both. When the mixture has cooled down to room temperature whisk in yoghurt. I use a thermometer and wait until it has reached about 45° C. If the milk is too hot, you could kill your yoghurt bacteria. That is, why I feel safer with this exact measurement.

Pour the yoghurt into sterilized glass jars and cover with lid or aluminium foil. Optionally you can strain it before doing this. I never do…

For fermentation you can use my approved douvet-waterbottle-methode. As I used small jars without a lid, this time I let the yoghurt incubate in water bath:

Therefore put the jars into a pot or casserole. Bring water to boil, let it cool down a few minutes and pour it into the pot or casserole, until water level reaches nearly the top of yogurt. If you are using a pot, you could just close the lid and set aside at room temperature. If you are using a casserole, it is best to put it into the slightly preheated oven (lowest temperature), close the door and don’t open again.

Leave yoghurt at warm place for 6 up to 12 hours, depending on the thickness you would like to achieve. I incubated my small jars for about 6 hours in the oven. The yoghurt than has a creamy, still slightly liquid texture and a mild tartness. The longer you let the yoghurt cultures do their work, the more thick and tart your yoghurt will be.

Store in fridge and enjoy as dessert, breakfast or snack, pure or with fruits.

Andrea says it keeps for a week. I believe she is right, but can’t proof…

While playing around with my equipment and my ingredients I found my this weeks Durchblick [vista]” – a view through a tower of glasses to the Milchmädchen can.


  1. Der Durchblick aufs Milchmädchen ist toll und weil ich schon als Kind Milchmädchen gemopst habe, um es heimlich zu leeren und Joghurt liebe, werde ich das Rezept mit Sicherheit sehr bald ausprobieren.
    Ich freu mich schon drauf. Danke fürs teilen!

    Herzlichst – Katja

  2. What a lovely post! I’m so glad that you tried making Vietnamese yoghurt at home – it really is delicious, isn’t it? I love your method with a hot water bottle – that is completely new to me and I love the sound of it!

    I really love your photos and the yoghurt pots are just so cute. I particularly love the photo of the can of sweetened condensed milk – es ist wirklich alles gute für den Tag 😉

    And the yoghurt does keep for about a week in the fridge. But if you eat a lot of yoghurt at home, it’s hard to find out!

    • Thanks for all your nice response to the recipe as well as my pictures. I am still working on improving my photography skills…
      I am sure the recipe will convince yoghurt lovers as well as nostalgics about “Milchmädchen”. As you state Thanh: Alles Gute für den Tag! (Everything good for your day)
      and: Yes, the duvet-waterbottle-methode is effective and energy-saving!

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  5. SMc in Little Siagon, CA

    Yes, it will keep for more than a week if in a refrigerator! Because it is cooked, it will keep a while.

    I am experimenting with this right now. I find Nestle’s brand of sweetened condensed milk is way too sweet…it tastes like scm, not western yogurt or da ua!

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