BÁNH PHU THÊ (literally “husband and wife cake” – PHU or CHỒNG: Husband, THÊ or VỢ: Wife) or BÁNH XU XÊ is a Vietnamese dessert made from Hoa Vàng sticky rice flour (Now, tapioca flour can be substituted) with mung beans stuffing wrapped in a box made of pandan leaves. The dessert was traditionally given by a suitor but is now part of many wedding banquets. It is a typical cake that people use in wedding day. In that day, husband will send this cake to wife. It is representing the happy future forever for their life.
- 400 gr Tapioca flour
- 100 gr Mung bean, skinless
- 40 gr coconut, grated
- 100 gr pandan leaves (or pandan extract)
- 120 gr caster sugar
- 10 gr salt
- Vanilla extract
- Vegetable oil
- Coconut leaf mold, extra pandan leaves for under-liner
- Soak mung beans in water 3 to 4 hours or overnight. Wash soaked mung beans and drain off water, bring them to steam until cooked well and soft.
- Use a food processor or potato presser to mash cooked mung beans finely.
- Cut the pandan leaves into small pieces then boil them with about 400 ml water (about 20 minutes), cool down, then blend the leaves and juice in blender finely, strain through cheese-cloth (or any strainer) to get pandan juice. (You can do this process without boiling). Forget this step if you use pandan extract.
- Cook mung bean stuffing: In small pan, with medium heat, put 1 tbsp cooking oil, saute mashed mung beans with 60 gr sugar (1/2 of sugar in recipe), add vanilla, saute them to well combine, turn off the heat, and still continuous stir a couple minutes, make sure not burnt. Set aside.
- In a small pot, put pandan juice (in step 3), salt, 60 gr sugar (remaining sugar), stir well then bring to boil on slow heat until become thick, add grated coconut and fold to well combine. Take it off from heat, cool down.
- Making cake: put a spoon of cooked flour into the mold then following with mashed mung bean then top with spoon of cooked flour. (Other way: it is easier if you divide the mashed mung bean into small ball as desired. Do the same way with cooked flour (dough). Use your hand to flatten the dough, press mung bean ball in the middle then fold and seal to close up, then make it become a ball. Do until finishing all of them. Then put the balls into the molds, done!)
- Put them in food steamer, steam about 20 to 25 minutes or until cooked (crystal-clear and chewy form), and served at room temperature as dessert.
Notes: To make them more colorful such as: Red – we use Trái Gấc (Momordica cochinchinensis) instead of pandan leaves; Yellow – we use Dành Dành (Gardenia jasminoides – John Ellis) instead of pandan leaves, …. And young papaya julienne instead of grated coconut. Roasted sesame seeds can be added for more flavor.