Sticky Rice with Mung bean paste, or Xoi Xeo in Vietnamese, is a simple yet delicious dish to make and enjoy. It consists of soft, chewy rice, earthy mung beans, and the satisfying crunch of fried shallots – a combination of textures and tastes that not only fills our stomachs but also warms our hearts.
I grew up eating Xoi Xeo in Vietnam, where it’s a popular street food and a staple in many households. My mom used to make it for me and my siblings on daily basis like a go-to breakfast because it is not only tasty, but also nutritious and filling to start off a day.
Making xoi xeo at home is easy and fun. You can use a steamer, regular pot or a rice cooker to cook the rice and beans, and a pan to fry the shallots. You can also adjust the amount of salt, sugar, and oil to your liking. The result is a fluffy, sticky, and savory rice dish that will satisfy your cravings and impress your guests.
Ingredients of Xoi Xeo
To make mung bean sticky rice, you will need the following ingredients:
- Glutinous rice: This is the type of rice that gives the dish its sticky and chewy texture. You can find it in Asian grocery stores or online. It is also known as sweet rice or sticky rice.
- Split Mung beans: These are small yellow beans that are high in protein and fiber. They add a nutty and earthy flavor to the dish. You can also find them in Asian grocery stores or online.
- Turmeric: This is a spice that gives the rice a beautiful yellow color and a subtle earthy flavor. You can use fresh or powdered turmeric, but I prefer the powdered one for convenience.
- Salt and sugar: These are the basic seasonings for the rice and beans. You can adjust the amount to your taste, but I recommend using a little bit of both to balance the flavors.
- Shallots: These are small onions that have a mild and sweet flavor. Fry them until crispy and golden, and use them as a topping for the dish. They add a nice crunch and aroma to the dish.
- Oil: This is used for frying the shallots and drizzling over the rice. You can use any neutral oil, such as vegetable, canola, or sunflower oil.
See recipe card for quantities.
Instructions to make Xoi Xeo
- Rinse rice and beans separately under cold water until water runs clear
- Drain and soak mung beans in a separate bowl (water to cover the rice and beans by an inch) for at least 4 hours or overnight.
- Drain and soak rice with turmeric powder (water to cover the rice and beans by an inch) for at least 4 hours or overnight.
- Rice: Wash the rice thoroughly and place it in a steaming basket over 2 cups of boiling water. Cover and steam for 20 minutes or until the rice is soft and sticky. Transfer to a bowl and season with salt and sugar. Mix well to distribute the color and flavor.
- Beans: Drain and rinse the beans again, and place them in a steaming basket over some boiling water. Cover and steam for 15-20 minutes or until the beans are tender and mushy. Transfer to a bowl and mash them with a fork, a potato masher, or a food processor. Shape the mashed beans into a firm and compact ball.
- Toppings: Peel and thinly slice the shallots. Heat some oil in a skillet over medium-high heat and fry the shallots, stirring occasionally, for 10 minutes or until they are crispy and golden. Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate to drain the excess oil. Reserve some of the oil for later.
- Divide the rice into serving bowls, and shred some mung bean paste over it. The paste is made from the bean ball that you formed earlier.
- Drizzle some of the reserved oil over the rice and enjoy hot or warm!
Place glutinous rice in a steaming basket over 2 cups of boiling water. Cover and steam for 20 minutes or until the rice is soft and sticky.
Place mung beans in a steaming basket over some boiling water. Cover and steam for 15-20 minutes or until the beans are tender and mushy
Shape the mashed beans into a firm and compact ball
Heat some oil in a skillet over medium-high heat and fry the shallots, stirring occasionally, for 10 minutes or until they are crispy and golden.
Assemble the rice into dish, and shred some mung bean paste over it. The paste is made from the bean ball that you formed earlier. Drizzle some of the reserved oil over the rice and enjoy hot or warm!
- There are two other ways to cook the glutinous rice: using a rice cooker or a pot.
- If you use a pot: add rice and water (1:1.5 ratio) to pot, boil, simmer, cover, cook for 20 minutes until the rice is tender and sticky.
- If you use a rice cooker: add rice and water (slightly less than 1:1.5 ratio) to rice cooker, choose glutinous rice or regular setting, wait for keep warm mode.
- For a sweet treat, you can sprinkle some shredded coconut over the rice. For a savory treat, you can add some vegan Vietnamese ham or mushroom floss.
Equipment to make Xoi Xeo
- A steamer basket and pot, like this one, for cooking the sticky rice.
- A food processor, blender, like this one, for making the mung bean paste.
You can store the leftover mung bean sticky rice in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. You can reheat it in the microwave or on the stovetop before serving.
My top tip for making xoi xeo is to soak the rice and beans well before cooking. This will help them cook faster and more evenly, and also make them easier to digest. You can also rinse them several times to remove any impurities or dirt.
Incorporate some oil while processing the mung bean ball. This will facilitate easy shredding when you later place it over xoi xeo.
Compared to regular rice, glutinous rice has more starch and less amylose. As a result, it becomes sticky and chewy when you cook it, and it has a slightly sweet flavor. People also call it sweet rice or sticky rice, and it is a common ingredient in Asian desserts and snacks.
To make split mung beans, you peel and split mung beans in half. They have a nutty flavor and a pale yellow color. Asian cuisines, especially Indian dishes like dal, often use them. People also call split mung beans mung dal or moong dal.
Xoi Xeo is a popular breakfast or snack in Vietnam. Mung bean sticky rice is usually eaten plain or with toppings like fried shallots, coconut flakes, vegan Vietnamese ham, or mushroom floss.
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These are my favorite dishes to serve with Xoi xeo: