Finely-ground Rice Cake with Mung Bean Filling (Bánh Giầy Đậu Xanh)

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Save Recipe mung bean banh giay
  • 5Servings
  • 30 mPrep Time
  • 30 mCook Time
  • 60 mReady In
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Bánh giầy is a Vietnamese rice cake made of finely-ground white xôi (cooked glutinous rice), and sometimes with mung bean fillings. The cake has a flat round shape, a gelatinous texture and is often eaten with Vietnamese sausages. Bánh giầy is very similar to another rice cake named xôi nén. The latter is much bigger in size.

Together with bánh chưng, another traditional rice cake, bánh giầy has a very long history. As in a folktale, a prince in Hung King VII dynasty, made two cakes (bánh chưng and bánh giầy) to offer to the king. Later he was chosen to be the successor to the throne. Bánh giầy used to be a cake to be placed on an altar during Tết, Vietnamese Luna New Year.

In the country side in northern Vietnam, bánh giầy can be made into a flat ball, filled with mashed mung bean. These cakes can be eaten as breakfast or snacks. There are also hamburger-like version, with Vietnamese sausages in the filling.

traditional banh giay with mung beans
Traditional bánh giầy with mung beans

The traditional way of making bánh giầy requires that the glutinous rice be cooked first, and then the rice be grounded with a mortar and pestles. In modern approach, glutinous rice powder is used. The powder is kneaded (with water) to make glutinous rice dough, and then shape the dough into cakes. Those cakes will be steamed in a steamer.

In case of making the mung bean version of the bánh giầy, mung beans are cooked with sugar and mashed into paste. The cake has a flat ball shape and mung bean paste are inserted inside during the process before being steamed. The cake is served with some mung beans on it.


Step by step method

  • Cooking mung beans

    Soak mung beans in a bowl of water with some salt for 2-2 hours, then steam them in a steamer for 20 mins. Save 1/3 of the mung beans for garnishing purpose later. In a fruit blender, puree the rest mung beans into paste.

  • Making sugared mung bean paste

    Mix the mung bean paste with sugar, and stir well on a hot stove until the sugar is dissolved and the paste texture is not sticky. Add roasted sesame and mix well.

  • Making rice dough

    In a bowl, add glutinous rice flour, common rice flour, 30 ml cooking oil, and slowly pour 200 ml warm water and squeeze until the dough is formed. Use a food wrapper to cover the dough and let it rest for 15 mins.

  • Shaping cakes

    Take each ball of dough evenly and then round it with your hands, and then flatten it and put the mung bean paste in the middle, seal it so that the filling does not fall out. Place the cake on a banana leaf or a piece of parchment paper so it doesn't stick. Do it again for the rest of the ingredients.

  • Steaming

    Prepare a steamer. Bring water to a gentle boil. Place the cakes inside and steam for 20 minutes over low heat until the cake is cooked. When steaming the cake, release the steam every 5 minutes to prevent the cakes from melting or collapsing.

  • Coating cakes with mung beans

    Roll the freshly-steamed cakes over the cooked mung beans.

Tips & variations

  • Cakes can be stored in the refrigerator for a few days. Before eating, heat them in the microwave for about 30 seconds.

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