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Young sticky rice dumplings with coconut-almond filling in vanilla sauce (Bánh chay cốm nhân hạt hạnh nhân dừa sốt vani)

April 4, 2011

Lately, I have become a bit lazy about posting, because I have to study for my school exams right now. But in order to make it up, I look forward to sharing my delicious dessert with you that I had last Sunday.

Filled rice dumplings are a very popular dessert among Asians and there are indeed plenty different versions according to each country and recipe. In Vietnam, we  call those “Bánh chay” or “Bánh trôi” which are often eaten during the Vietnamese New Year ( Tet ) and can be either served in a sweet soup or plain. Actually, this dessert is of Chinese origin and are called Tangyuan, but there are still some differences between the Chinese and Vietnamese version. In Vietnam “Bánh chay” are usually filled with Mung-bean paste and served  with some syrup and “Bánh trôi” are mostly eaten plain and filled with a little piece of sugarcane rock candy whereas the Chinese counterpart seems to include black sesame paste or red bean paste as a filling. But to be honest, each version has its own charm and I like all of them! xD

However, last Sunday I suddenly craved a traditional Vietnamese dessert badly. First, I thought of making some “Chè cốm” (Vietnamese young glutinous rice soup dessert) since I noticed that there was a package of young glutinous rice flakes standing in our cupboard for ages, but then I changed my mind and decided to make some “Bánh chay” on my own. So why not modify the original recipe and use these lovely green rice flakes? ^^

On top of that, I wanted to try another filling and just came up with the combination of coconut and almond and since I was already changing the whole recipe, I also used yummy vanilla sauce as the serving liquid instead of the usual ginger syrup [ btw, I actually hate ginger 😦 ].

And at the end, it turned out to be the best “Bánh chay” I have ever had in my whole life and additionally they had a nice green color due to the young sticky rice flakes as well. All in all, it was really worth the effort and I will be making this again for sure 😉


Ingredients: (makes approximately 25 dumplings according to size)

For the filling:

150 gr ground almonds (aka almond flour/ meal)                   

50 gr grated coconut

13 tbsp sunflower oil

3 tbsp sugar

For the dumpling skin:

125 gr young glutinous rice flakes (aka Cốm)

200 gr glutinous rice flour

3 tbsp sugar

200 ml water

3 tbsp (or more) corn starch for dusting

(+ extra 200 gr cour starch for dusting while forming the dumplings)

For the vanilla sauce:

750 ml milk

2 beaten egg yolks

1/2 pkg. vanilla pudding powder

120 gr vanillin sugar

a pinch of salt




Add water to the sticky rice flakes so that the surface will be all covered and soak them for at least 20-30 mins until they look like the ones in the bottom picture.

Making the filling:

  1. Combine ground almonds with coconut and lightly toast everything in a non-stick pan on highest heat for about 3 mins until it turns golden-brown. But pay attention for it not getting burnt.
  2. Reduce heat and add oil and sugar. Stir well to get a paste-like texture.
  3. Set aside and let cool down while…..

Making the dumpling skin:

  1. Mix sugar with glutinous rice flour and combine with the green sticky rice flakes.
  2. Add the water and take your hands to knead it to a dough. ( That step is a bit hard to deal with, since the dough is really, really sticky ^^, but keep going! )
  3. Then, try to wash your hands and take about 3 tbsp corn starch to dust them over the dough. Now it should be easier to knead the dough and continue kneading until it looks like that:
  4. After that, divide the dough into approximately 25 equal portions and form balls.
  5. Flatten each ball in your palm, take a bit of the filling and lay it in the middle of the flatten ball. Fold the edge to seal the dumpling. Lightly roll it into a ball shape using both palms. Set aside on parchment paper.
  6. Bring a pot of water to boil and drop the dumplings gently into the hot boiling water. Cook for about 10 mins and transfer them out into serving bowls immediately or otherwise they might burst.


Making the vanilla sauce:

  1. Take 250 ml milk and stir in the beaten egg yolks and the pudding powder.
  2. Add sugar and a pinch of salt to the rest of the milk and bring to boil in a small pot.
  3. Combine the egg and pudding powder mixture with the boiling milk while stirring continuously.
  4. Cook until the sauce thickens.

To serve:

Take the bowls with the dumplings and pour over the hot vanilla sauce. Enjoy immediately 😉

11 Comments leave one →
  1. April 5, 2011 11:24 am

    This looks fantatstic! I will make this recipe, this weekend. Thanks

  2. April 5, 2011 1:03 pm

    Looks delicious! And I love the green color… perfect for spring!

  3. April 5, 2011 10:19 pm

    This looks great and sounds wonderful. Not sure if you were aware, but the April Recipe Challenge is going on right now and the ingredient is Coconut. This would be a great post to enter in the challenge. Feel free to find out more on the site under Recipe Challenge.

    • April 6, 2011 9:02 am

      Thank you. Yes, I already heard about your Recipe Challenge. Of course I am planning to join as well, but I hope you don’t mind me submitting my recipe just a few days before the deadline, so I’ll wait a little bit 😉

  4. April 13, 2011 5:36 pm

    I like dessert like this, even though I prefer to eat it plain without syrups, etc, just like mochi. Well done on making the dough from scratch, you even use sticky rice, wow! I normally use the easier method with glutinous flour.

    • April 13, 2011 9:51 pm

      Thanks. Me too. I adore everything that has a chewy and mochi-like texture. I love those kinds of desserts the most 😀

  5. October 31, 2012 10:12 am

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