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Vietnamese Red Coconut Sticky Rice – Xoi Gac Nuoc Dua

Vietnamese Red Coconut Sticky Rice – Xoi Gac Nuoc Dua is a popular dish throughout Southeast Asia. The traditional recipe consists of fragrant sticky rice cooked in coconut milk and red color from Gac fruit to give it its signature hue. Often served as a side dish or even as an accompaniment to savory dishes, this classic Vietnamese dish has become increasingly popular.

Why is Vietnamese Red Coconut Sticky Rice Good for Health?

Vietnamese Red Coconut Sticky Rice is a nutrient-dense dish that provides essential vitamins and minerals, like vitamins A, B6, iron, magnesium and calcium. It’s also low in saturated fat and cholesterol-free. Not to mention it tastes delicious! 

Additionally, studies have shown that consuming this traditional Vietnamese dish can help reduce inflammation associated with certain chronic diseases.

Gac fruit has a lot of nutrition that is good for health. So, what is Gac fruit, and how is it impacting your health? Let’s explore some information about this fruit before diving into the instructions.

About Gac fruit

Gac fruit, the native fruit of Southeast Asia, is a unique and fascinating fruit that grows on climbing vines. Its round shape and bumpy texture, created by numerous small spikes on its outer skin, make it visually striking.

Despite its subtle flavor and fibrous texture, Gac fruit packs a nutritional punch. It is incredibly rich in beta-carotene and lycopene, surpassing even carrots and tomatoes in these nutrients. The vitamin C content of Gac fruit is an impressive 40 times that of oranges, and it also contains 40 times more zeaxanthin than corn.

Gac fruit can improve visual health and maintain youthful skin. Its high antioxidant content helps combat the negative effects of UV rays and oxidative stress-related ailments. 

Additionally, Gac fruit has the potential to combat anemia with its vitamin C and folic acid content. It is also recommended for individuals with high cholesterol levels.

Including Gac fruit in your diet is a wise choice due to its remarkable nutritional composition and the range of health benefits it offers. From enhancing vision to protecting against macular health issues, Gac fruit contributes to overall well-being.

Quick Instruction

Mix soaked glutinous rice with Gac fruit to extract the color. Add white liquor for an easy color extraction and a delightful fermented flavor.

Steam the rice mixture with Gac fruit in a steamer pot. When the rice is half cooked, add a mixture of coconut milk, sugar, and salt. Mix well and continue steaming until the rice becomes sticky. The steaming process takes about 35 – 40 minutes.


  • 500-gram glutinous rice
  • 1 Gac Fruit or you also can use Gac powder that you can buy from Asian groceries
  • 100 ml of coconut milk.
  • 2 teaspoons of sugar.
  • 3 teaspoons of salt.
  • 30 ml of white alcohol.


Glutinous Rice:

Rinse the glutinous rice once, then soak it in 1 liter of warm water with 2 teaspoons of salt for about 4 hours to allow the salt to slowly penetrate the rice grains.

After soaking for 4 hours, drain the water to remove the excess salt from the rice. Then use a strainer to hold the rice and let it drain.

Gac Fruit:

Select a ripe gac fruit with a deep orange-red color for a beautiful hue.

Cut the gac fruit lengthwise, starting from the stem end to the tail of the fruit. Remove the seeds and place them in a bowl. Add 30 ml of white alcohol to the seeds. Then use your hands to squeeze out the outer flesh of the fruit. Remove the inner seeds.

Coconut Milk:

You can either make your own coconut milk or use canned coconut milk. Coconut milk adds a fragrant and rich flavor to the glutinous rice.

And this tip for you today is:

White alcohol is used to mix with the gac fruit to extract its color and to provide a pleasant aroma to the Gac sticky rice.


Mix the drained glutinous rice with the gac fruit. After mixing, let it sit for 5 minutes to allow the flavors to infuse.

Prepare the coconut milk mixture for later use:

In a bowl, mix 2 teaspoons of sugar and 1 teaspoon of salt with 100ml of coconut milk. Stir well until the sugar is dissolved.

Set up the steaming process:

Prepare a steaming pot. Place the glutinous rice and gac mixture into the steaming pot. Place a few gac seeds on top to enhance the fragrance.

Leave a gap in the middle of the pot to allow steam to escape. This helps evenly cook the rice. Cover the pot and start steaming.

Manage condensation during steaming:

As the pot lid accumulates steam, wipe away the condensation occasionally to prevent water droplets from falling onto the rice, which could make it soggy.

When the rice is about 50% cooked, evenly pour the prepared coconut milk mixture over the rice. Use a spoon to distribute the coconut milk, then gently stir the rice once more using a flat utensil.

Ensure there’s still a gap in the middle of the rice for steam to escape and continue steaming

Steam the mixture for around 35 to 40 minutes then turn off the heat

Once steamed, the sticky rice should have a natural color, and artificial coloring is not needed.

Your gac sticky rice is ready to be served. Present it beautifully and enjoy!

Note: This process creates vibrant and flavorful gac sticky rice without the need for artificial coloring. Remember to keep the steam vent open to ensure even cooking, and take care to manage condensation to prevent the rice from becoming soggy.

How to Serve Vietnamese Red Coconut Sticky Rice

Vietnamese red coconut sticky rice can be served as a side dish for dinner, lunch or breakfast. It pairs well with other traditional Vietnamese dishes such as banh mi sandwiches, grilled pork and spring rolls. Gac sticky rice is an excellent choice for potluck parties or as a snack.

To store the Gac sticky rice, keep it in an airtight container and refrigerate for up to three days. When ready to serve, just steam or microwave until warm. The traditional way of serving Vietnamese red coconut sticky rice is with a topping of sesame seeds or roasted peanuts or using a little bit of sugar on the top.

Tips for Making Vietnamese Red Coconut Sticky Rice – Xoi Gac Nuoc Dua

  • Use white wine for extracting red color from gac fruit.
  • You can add more sugar to the coconut milk mixture if you like a sweeter taste.
  • If you want the sticky rice to have a brighter color, feel free to add two tablespoons of Gac powder to the coconut milk and stir until fully dissolved before pouring it over the glutinous rice.
  • For an extra fragrant aroma, add some pandan leaves in the steaming process.
  • To make sure that the sticky rice is cooked enough, check if it’s soft and fluffy when touched with chopsticks. If it is too hard, add a couple of tablespoons of water to the steaming process.
  • If you plan to store the sticky rice for later use, do not mix it with coconut milk until you are ready to cook it.

Common Mistakes When Making Vietnamese Red Coconut Sticky Rice

  • Not check the glutinous rice for any debris or foreign objects before cooking it.
  • Not soaking and draining the glutinous rice enough, could cause an uneven texture or too much residue in the sticky rice.
  • Failing to evenly spread out the coconut milk mixture over the glutinous rice, can result in a lumpy texture.
  • Not leaving the gap in the middle of the steaming pot for steam to escape, which could cause the sticky rice to become overly cooked.
  • Not wiping away the condensation on the lid of the steaming pot, can result in water droplets falling into the sticky rice and making it soggy.

These mistakes can be easily avoided with practice, so feel free to experiment and find the perfect recipe that works for you! Enjoy your delicious Vietnamese Red Coconut Sticky Rice – Xoi Gac Nuoc Dua!


Vietnamese Red Coconut Sticky Rice – Xoi Gac Nuoc Dua is a traditional dish of Vietnam that has been enjoyed by locals for many years. With the right technique and ingredients, you can easily make this sticky rice at home. Steaming the glutinous rice with gac fruit and coconut milk results in a delicious sweet and savory flavor along with a beautiful red color. Whether you serve it with other dishes, bring it to potluck parties or just snack on it, Vietnamese Red Coconut Sticky Rice – Xoi Gac Nuoc Dua is sure to be a crowd-pleaser! Happy cooking and enjoy your delicious sticky rice!