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a plate of Vietnamese red sticky rice (xoi gac)
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Vietnamese Red Sticky Rice (Xôi Gấc)

Vietnamese Red Sticky Rice (Xôi Gấc) is a traditional dish usually served at special occasions such as Lunar New Year (Tết). Learn how to make it and serve it in this post.
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time30 mins
Soak Time2 hrs
Total Time2 hrs 40 mins
Course: Appetizers and Side dishes
Cuisine: Vietnamese
Keyword: lunar new year, Tet
Servings: 6 people
Author: Sophie


  • 1 3/4 - 2 cups sticky rice (about 12-14 oz)
  • 7 oz gac fruit seeds (about 1 cup)
  • 2 tablespoons rice wine (or white wine, sake)
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons oil
  • 2-3 teaspoons sugar (to taste)


  • Rinse sticky rice under water and then soak in plenty of water for at least 2-4 hours or overnight. When you are ready to make the dish, drain the rice.
  • Place the red seeds of gac fruits in a mixing bowl. Add wine, salt and oil to the bowl and then use a wooden spoon to stir and beat the seeds for 3-5 minutes, or until the red arils are extracted and create a red paste. The dark seeds are now exposed. You can watch the video in the post to see how to do this step.
  • Add drained rice to the red paste. Stir well to combine thoroughly. Set aside for 5 minutes.
  • Transfer the rice to a steamer basket and steam for about 15-20 minutes. Then open the lid of the steamer, sprinkle sugar over the rice and stir well. You can taste and adjust with more sugar or salt to your likings. Steam for another 5-10 minutes or until rice is soft.
  • It is best to serve the sticky rice hot. If you are not eating it right away, cover it to prevent the rice from drying out.



In Vietnam, it is easy to find whole gac fruits and we just need to let them ripe and then cut them open to get the seeds. Outside of Vietnam, you can find frozen gac seeds at some large or well-stocked Vietnamese grocery stores. Let the seeds thaw before using.
This red sticky rice is often plated in a dome shape. To do so, compact the rice in a deep bowl, then invert onto a plate and remove the bowl. You can watch this step in the video in the post.
You can eat xoi gac on its own, or serve it with the followings:
  • Vietnamese ham (giò): you can find this at Asian grocery stores.
  • Roasted peanuts and sesame seeds (muối vừng): you can make this at home by using roughly equal parts of roasted peanuts and roasted sesame seeds. Pound them together until fine and add salt to taste.
  • Poached or roasted chicken: you can try my lemongrass roast chicken here.