Gac Translucent Dumplings (Bánh Xu Xê Gấc)

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Save Recipe gac translucent dumpling
  • 4Servings
  • 2:0 hPrep Time
  • 20 mCook Time
  • 2:20 hReady In
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Bánh xu xê or bánh phu thê literally means “husband and wife cake” is a Vietnamese traditional wedding dumpling. Like most Vietnamese dumplings, its filling is made of mung beans and often mixed with coconut shreds. But the difference is in the crust of the dumpling. Its crust is translucent so you can actually see the filling. Though the crust is originally made of glutinous rice flour, the common crust is often made from tapioca starch (cassava powder) or a rice-tapioca mixture, while most other Vietnamese dumplings are made from only rice flour. The texture of the crust is soft, viscous and chewy.

Vietnamese translucent dumplings - banh xu xe
Vietnamese translucent dumplings – bánh xu xê

The gac version of Bánh xu xê is highly-prized in Vietnam as the red color symbolizes luck, so it’s perfect for a wedding dumpling.

Making gac translucent dumplings
Making gac translucent dumplings
red translucent gac dumplings
Red translucent gac dumplings


Step by step method

  • Cooking the mung beans

    Steam the mung beans after soaking for about 3 hours. Mash them while they're still hot.

  • Making mung bean balls

    Mix the mashed mung bean paste with 3 tablespoons sugar and coconut shreds. Roll the paste into balls.

  • Prepping the gac flesh

    In a bowl, add 240 ml, squeeze the gac flesh, and discard the seeds. Strain through a sieve.

  • Making sticky gac dough

    In a sauce pan, add the tapioca starch, strained gac juice, 2 tablespoons sugar, cooking oil, and stir well on low heat. Add coconut shreds and continue to stir until the mixture is thickened.

  • Making dumplings and steaming

    In cake molds, or cups, brush a layer of cooking oil, add a layer of gac dough, place the mung bean ball on top. Add another layer of gac dough. Seal the cups and place all the cups in a steamer, and steam for 15-20 mins. When the crust turns translucent, the dumplings are ready to serve.

Tips & variations

  • You can use flan cups, or even some cupcake molds.

  • To enhance the flavor, you can add some vanilla powder or banana essence in the filling paste.

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