Using Herbs and Spices

Vietnamese Recipes & Cuisines (Desserts & Drinks)

Ginger Surprise Recipe

(Banh Gung Dac Biet)

Ingredients : Serves 4

25 g

225 g



50 g


20 g

4 tablespoons



225 g

175 ml

Root ginger, crushed




Dried yellow mung beans, soaked in warm water

for 30 minutes and drained


Sesame seeds



Glutinous rice flour or ordinary flour

Boiling water

Method :
  • Make the ginger syrup by swirling the ginger and sugar constantly in a small saucepan over low heat, until the sugar browns. When it starts to smoke, stir in the hot water (be careful : you could give yourself a nasty burn with the spluttering) and allow to boil for about 30 minutes until the sugar is dissolved.

  • Set aside in a cool place. Discard the ginger when cooled.

  • Make the filling by steaming the mung beans over high heat for 20 minutes. Transfer to a blender or food processor, add the sugar and process to a fine paste. Put in the refrigerator for 20 minutes to firm up.

  • Toast the sesame seeds by dry frying in a wok for 2 minutes. Reserve the 2 tablespoons for garnishing, put the remainder in a blender and process to a paste.

  • Combine with the mung bean paste and blend well. Roll 16 marble-sized balls of the mixture             (1 teaspoon each). Set aside.

  • Place the glutinous rice flour in a mixing bowl and quickly mix with the hot water to make a sticky dough. Cover and leave to stand for 5 minutes. Dust a work surface with flour and knead the dough for 3 minutes until soft and smooth.

  • Divide into 2 equal parts. Roll each in a rope about 25cm long and 25cm in diameter. Cut each into 10 equal portions and roll each one into a ball. Cover with a damp cloth.

  • Flatten the dough balls, one at a time, into 6cm discs. Place a mung bean ball in the centre, gather the edges around and pinch to seal.

  • Roll the dumplings between the palms to form perfect balls.

  • Divide each of the remaining four dough balls into four, cover and set aside.

  • Bring a large pot of water to the boil. Boil the filled dumplings for 2 minutes over a moderate heat.

  • Add the smaller dumplings and cook for a further 3 minutes or until they rise to the surface. Drain.

  • Serve four large dumplings and four small ones to each person in individual dessert cups or rice bowls.

  • Sprinkle with the reserved toasted sesame seeds.

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