Vietnamese Red Coconut Sticky Rice – Xoi Gac (Cheat Version)

Vietnamese Red Coconut Sticky Rice - Xoi Gac Nuoc Dua

My cheat version of  red coconut sticky rice – xoi gac nuoc dua is a great recipe that removes much of the time and hassle that you get with traditional methods. All you will need for this is simply a 2 L (2 qt) pot / dish with a lid, a microwave and about 45 minutes! I promise you this is the easiest red coconut sticky rice – xoi gac nuoc dua on the internet and it is gluten-free, dairy-free and suitable for vegans.

Today I am sharing our family’s red sticky rice recipe with you guys today because Tet (Lunar/Chinese New Year) is nearly here! Like my other sticky rice recipes, this is a cheat version that can be made in the microwave and a fraction of the time. It can also be made in advance, so it’s a great way to help spread your cooking out and ease the stress of preparing a big new year feast.

Vietnamese Red Coconut Sticky Rice - Xoi Gac Nuoc Dua

Why is this a Cheat Version?

The reason this recipe has been labelled “Cheat” is because of the drastically reduced soaking time of the sticky rice. Most recipes on the internet will tell you to soak the sticky rice for 4 hours to overnight. My method will give you the same results in 30 minutes of soaking.

The traditional method for this recipe is to steam the rice. This requires you to have a steamer which may. Since this is a cheat version, I use the microwave which is much quicker and easier. The rice in this case is steamed and boiled which gives it a slightly different texture. The rice tends to be a little more gooey and will stick together better.

Casserole Dish
Casserole Dish to Cook the Rice in the Microwave

How to Get a Deep Red Colour?

The iconic red colour of the rice comes from the baby jackfruit which is much like a normal jackfruit but usually much smaller. In my experience, you won’t find these in your local supermarkets. The only way to get it is either at an Asian grocery (usually frozen section) or a friend who grows it in their garden!

But is the fruit enough to get a deep red colour on the rice? In my experience, no. I usually need to give it a little extra to get it to a deep red. So, to take it to the next level, I soak the rice in baby jackfruit / gac powder (available at Asian groceries) first. This will prime up the rice and give you that beautiful rich colour once cooked.

My Tips for a Successful Red Coconut Sticky Rice

  1. The best cookware for this is a casserole baking dish with a lid that is roughly 1.5 L to 2 L. Anything smaller may cause the liquid to spill out of the bowl / dish while cooking.
  2. Chopsticks are best to fluff up the rice since spoons will likely breakup the rice grains.
  3. Do not skip soaking the rice. This is an essential step to ensuring the rice is cooked through. However, if you soak for too long, you will find that the rice will come out a bit mushy. Vice versa, if you don’t soak for long enough then the rice maybe a little bit hard.
  4. Soaking the rice in baby jackfruit (gac) powder will give the rice more colour once cooked. However, this step is optional since the powder may be hard to find.
  5. Don’t skip the white wine! The alcohol helps bring out the colour for the baby jackfruit.
  6. My mum is adamant that you must put the seed on top of the rice to show that the actual fruit was used and not artificial food colouring. Apparently it matters!
  7. To reheat the rice, place a wet kitchen paper towel over the top and put it in the microwave for a few minutes.

Other Similar Recipes To Red Coconut Sticky Rice

Thank you for visiting our little food blog! We wish all our readers a have a happy new year. May the year of the rat bring you wealth, happiness and good health. To those with kids, we hope the gods look kindly upon thee and allow you to have peace, sleep and sanity!

–  Scruff

Vietnamese Red Sticky Rice - Xoi Gac Nuoc Dua

Vietnamese Red Coconut Sticky Rice – Xoi Gac Nuoc Dua

Course Snack
Cuisine Vietnamese
Keyword Gac, Xoi
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 12 minutes
Total Time 42 minutes
Servings 4
Author Scruff


  • 250 gm glutinous rice
  • 2 L boiling water
  • 1/4 tsp baby jack fruit powder (optional)
  • 70 gm frozen or fresh baby jackfruit / sweet gourd (with pips)
  • 1 tsp white wine
  • 3/4 cup + 2 tbsp of coconut cream
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 3 tbsp white sugar


  1. In a bowl, wash the sticky rice with tap water until the water is cloudy then discard. Repeat about three times.

  2. Add enough boiling water to the rice so that it is completely submersed. Continuously stir with a spoon for 1 minute and then let it sit for 4 minutes.

  3. Strain the rice and wash it in the strainer under a tap with warm water. Use your fingers to move the rice around in the strainer to remove the gooey texture.

  4. Place the rice back into the bowl and completely submerse the rice in boiling water by about 3 cm. Let it sit for 25 minutes while stirring the rice every 5 minutes. If you are using baby jackfruit powder, then stir it in until dissolved. 

  5. In a bowl, remove the pips from the baby jackfruit.  Add the wine, salt and coconut cream to the jackfruit and mix well. Save the seeds if you wish to use it as decoration.

  6. After 25 minutes, strain the rice. While the rice is still in the strainer, wash it under warm tap water. Tip the rice into your microwave friendly casserole dish / bowl. 

  7. Strain the coconut cream mixture over the casserole dish / bowl so that the liquid falls onto the rice. Use a spatula to push as much of the mixture as you can through the strainer. (refer to progress pictures)

  8. Place the lid on the casserole dish / bowl and cook in the microwave for 6 minutes on high. 

  9. After 6 minutes, take it out of the microwave and add 3 tbsp of sugar. Quickly mix through with a pair of chopsticks and then put the lid back on. Cook on high for a further 4 mins.

  10. Take out of the microwave and fluff the rice up with a pair of chopsticks. Put it back into the microwave for a further 2 minutes. 

  11. Take out and let it sit for 10 minutes. 

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