These cakes are a must have for weddings as their name means husband and wife (phu means husband, the means wife). Traditionally these cakes are steamed in a small individual boxes made from coconut leaves and tied into pairs with red ribbon. However, coconut leaves are extremely hard to obtain in the U.S. especially Seattle. Thus, plastic wrap takes its place.

-200g mung beans (peeled and split)
-150g sugar
-1 tbs oil
-1 tsp mali flavor or banana flavor, vanilla
-50g candied winter melon

*Wash and soak beans before steaming and mashing. Chop candied winter melon into small pieces. Add sugar and oil to mashed beans and stir fry over medium heat until thickened. Add flavor and candied winter melon mix well. Divide into 30-35 small balls.

-454g tapioca starch
-660g/ml water
-300g sugar
-1 medium age coconut (see note)
-1 tsp mali flavor, pandan extract, banana flavor, or vanilla
-yellow or green coloring
-sesame seeds

*Grate coconut into match size pieces. Mix together tapioca starch, water, coconut, coloring and sugar over in a pot over medium heat until thickened and pasty (the dough does not have to be fully cooked). Remove from heat, add flavor and mix well.

What to Do:
Moist hands and large spoon with a little water. Using a spoon scoop out about 1-2 tbs dough, flatten and wrap a filling in the center, add a few sesame seeds on top. Next, wrap each pastry with a piece of plastic wrap. Finally, steam over high heat for 15-20 mins or until transparent.

Coconuts are sold in 3 different “ages”. Young coconut = very little and soft flesh, sweet juice, usually used for drinking. “Old” = the hard dark brown ones, thick and firm flesh, usually. “Middle age” = looks like “old” coconuts except the color is much lighter (with to very light brown). For best results use “middle age” coconuts.

Color wise…..Yellow cakes are should be mali or banana flavored. White ones are favored with vanilla, green ones carry the sent of pandan leaves.

Comments (15)

On 4:17 PM , Anonymous said...

This is a really good site. I was so happy to find all the vietnamese desserts in english.:) Do you happen you know how to make banh deo? I saw the vietnamese recipes but I can't really read viet. Keep on posting dessert recipes...I finally found a site with pictures and recipes!!!

On 7:49 PM , Anonymous said...

Hiya...i'm back again to see what you got for vegetarian recipe...woo, nice nice~!!

On 8:59 PM , hoangtam/tt said...

Yes, I do have a recipe for banh deo, but It's gonna take a while.....still have to post requested recipes for others....stay put ok?

On 1:35 PM , Little Corner of Mine said...

tt, just want to say what an interesting cakes! There are sure a lot of Vietnamese dessert that I'm not aware of. We have our version of husband and wife cakes too and it's completely different.

On 4:02 PM , Anonymous said...

I will be checking your site often. This is wonderful! I will try to make the banh bo nuong this weekend. I heard the banh deo is a lot of work..hopefully it will worth the time because store bought is too too sweet. I love dessert and am collecting all sort of dessert recipes and making them when I have time.:) With all your recipes, I think I can make two kind of dessert every week! Little Corner of Mine, I checked out your website too...I'm everywhere!:)

On 7:24 PM , Tina Marcroft said...

These are pretty common in Asian Markets in Los Angeles... That might just be LA though.

On 10:28 PM , Anonymous said...

Where can I find candied winter melon? Thanks.

On 12:15 PM , hoangtam/tt said...

it's an asian ingredient so....look for it at asian grocery stores.

On 10:44 AM , Hai Le said...

It's different with my home town (Đình Bảng - Từ Sơn - Bắc Ninh)

On 11:07 AM , hoangtam/tt said...

what's the difference?

On 3:51 AM , Hai Le said...

n my home town is different
It's a picture about Husband-Wife Cake

On 9:18 PM , Anonymous said...

Hi! I just came across your blog..and I'm so grateful that you posted all these recipes and their english translations!! I'm going to give it a shot some time. Thanks and take care!

On 4:09 AM , Anonymous said...

Hi, I am getting ready to make this but I don't know what: candied winter melon is... please help! can I do without?

On 2:54 PM , Mickael Bentz said...

a global thanks for this blog this is simply awesome ! MY cooking bible :) You've closed your blog but I hope you still read comments ! Thank u so much! !!!!

On 12:42 AM , Thy Thy said...

Look fantastic!