I made xôi vò with my mom when she was here the other week. She would call it the “proper way” since she laughed at me when I said I made it this way in Hawaii one year. Xôi vò, or mung bean sticky rice, is something I love.
My mom bought me a heavy duty steamer one year, since when she visits, she makes a lot of bánh (I guess you could translate that to “cake” in Vietnamese, but they don’t necessarily have to be sweet) that need to be steamed. I thought the sticky rice grains would fall through the holes in it but they don’t. She also steamed the mung beans in this monster of a steamer too! You can find these multi-level steamers at Asian grocery stores for relatively cheap. It results in sticky rice that has a better texture than if you made it in a rice cooker. (Yes, I know, I did that before – but it turned out good and I make no apologies).
So for my gift to you, here is my mom’s recipe for xôi vò. She always makes some for me when she visits, and I have a few ziploc bags full of them in the freezer. It’s a simple, delicious recipe, and great to heat up with some cha (Vietnamese pork meatballs) when I’m in a bind. Thanks, Mom! I love you!
Xôi vò – Sticky rice with mung beans makes 8 rice bowls
2 cups glutinous rice (sweet rice)
1 1/2 cup mung beans (no skin – the yellow kind)
1 1/2 tsp salt, divided
4 tsp sugar, divided
6 Tbsp coconut powder, divided
4 Tbsp canola oil, divided
Soak the sweet rice and mung beans separately, in two different bowls, for an hour. Wash the rice and mung beans separately after soaking, and drain in a colander for 30 minutes.
Steam the mung beans on medium-high heat, stirring every few minutes or so, in a large steamer filled with a couple inches of water. After about 30 minutes, add in 1 tsp salt, 2 tsp sugar, 3 Tbsp coconut powder, and 2 Tbsp canola oil. Mix all together and allow to steam for another 30 minutes. Take the mung beans out and let them cool. When cool, pulse them in a food processor, about 1 cup at a time, until powdery and soft (not pasty).
Steam the rice for 20 minutes, and mix in 1/2 tsp salt, 2 tsp sugar, 3 Tbsp coconut powder, and 2 Tbsp canola oil. Steam the rice for another 20 minutes more until the grains are translucent. Add in the pulsed mung bean mixture and stir into the steamed sticky rice, and steam for another 10 minutes until the mung bean mixture covers the rice.
On a workspace lined with foil or a Silpat, pour the sticky rice and mung bean mixture onto the workspace, flaking the xoi vo with a rubber spatula. Eat up and enjoy!