Mung bean sweet soup with tangerine peel (Luc tau xa)

Mung bean sweet soup with tangerine peel (Lục tàu xá, Lục đậu sa, Luc tau xa, Luc dau sa) has been brought to Hanoi, Vietnam by Chinese people. Hanoi people have change the recipe to meet their taste. The food has become a very familiar part of elegant local life. No one knows exactly when this food appeared. Hanoi people only know when they grow up, they have eaten this food at long-standing street food stalls. The image of vendor serving a hot portion of Mung bean sweet soup with tangerine peel and customers sitting at a small table and eating the food on winter days has been a beautiful memory of any Hanoi people.

Main ingredients for Luc tau xa are peeled mung bean, tangerine peel, and tapioca starch. Lotus seed, water chestnut, dried jujube, tapioca pearl, seaweed, coconut milk are optional. Tangerine peel is the key to Luc tau xa, it makes this sweet soup different from other Vietnamese mung bean sweet soups such as Mung bean sweet soup with coconut milk, Areca flower sweet soup. Fresh or dried tangerine peel is used as a traditional seasoning in Chinese cooking and traditional medicine. Tangerine peel is very powerful and can help with cancer, indigestion, stress, gastric ulcers, lowering cholesterol and blood sugar, and much more. The peel has a distinctive, rather bitter, taste that adds a unique flavor to the sweet soup. To make other Mung bean sweet soups, mung beans are cooked until tender but not broken and mushy. Not similar to the others, mung beans in Luc tau xa are cooked until the sweet soup smooth and creamy.  Tapioca starch is used to make the sweet soup thicken. Luc tau xa should be buttery, sweet enough and have the typical smell which comes from tangerine peel.

To make the sweet soup more attractive, they add other ingredients: buttery, tender and very healthy lotus seed, crunchy and juicy water chestnut, sweet and tender dried jujube, chewy and sticky tapioca pearl, crunchy and viscous seaweed, greasy coconut milk. Each combination of ingredients for Luc tau xa creates a version of Luc tau xa. All versions are delicious and healthy.

Mung bean sweet soup with tangerine peel is a tasty food, a medicine, and a part of Hanoi unique culture. The sweet soup reflects the characteristics of Hanoi people who are elegant, graceful and warm. If you have a chance to visit Hanoi, do not miss this simple but elegant food.

Simple Luc tau xa from mung bean

Luc tau xa from mung bean, lotus seed, and coconut milk

Here is a simple Mung bean sweet soup with tangerine peel recipe:


  • Peeled mung bean: 200g
  • Dried lotus seeds: 30g
  • Water: 1l
  • Tapioca starch: 10g
  • Sugar: at your wish
  • Salt: a little


  • Soak mung beans overnight or at least 3 hours in cold water.
  • Soak dried lotus seeds overnight in cold water or 2-3 hour in hot water, steam or cook thoroughly.
  • Cook mung beans in 1l of water until tender, add cooked lotus seeds, sugar, and salt and cook until the sweet soup turn smooth and creamy. The lotus seeds should not be split or broken.
  • Stir tapioca starch into some cold water, add the mixture to the sweet soup, stir until sweet soup is thickened.
  • The food is better to serve hot.

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