Xoi Vo Recipe (Coconut Sticky Rice with Mung Beans)


To celebrate New Year, I started the day very early this morning wrapping and rolling a lot of vegetarian eggrolls to ring in the New Year! I also prepared xôi vò, which is a popular Vietnamese snack consisting of coconut milk sticky rice and mung beans. Cau Hoà (my uncle) is going to be stopping by today and I plan on serving this to him with green tea. It’s his favorite.

Xôi vò is a very simple, easy snack to prepare. Simply soak mung beans (hulled and split yellow beans) and sticky rice separately ahead of time, then cook and steam the pandan-scented rice, coconut milk and a sprinkle of sugar. That’s it. If you’re Asian, you know how lightly sweetened Asian desserts are. If you’re like my husband, “lightly sweet” is an understatement and you probably won’t call this a dessert. Again, I guess it’s a cultural thing. If you’re tasting xôi vò for the first time, consider it a nutritious, fragrant snack with a light hint of sweetness that pairs wonderfully with tea.

1. Info for Xoi Vo Recipe (Coconut Sticky Rice with Mung Beans)

  • Cook Time: 30 mins
  • Total Time: 60 mins
  • Servings: 4
  • Calories: 302kcal

2. Ingredients for Xoi Vo Recipe (Coconut Sticky Rice with Mung Beans)

  • 1 cup sweet round rice (see tips)
  • 1 pandan leaf , thawed and tied in a knot

3. Directions:

3.1 Prepping the mung beans

Place the mung beans in a small saucepan. Cover with water and soak for 30 minutes. Drain, then barely cover with coconut milk and bring to a boil. Immediately lower the heat to medium-low, cover with a lid and slowly cook for 7-8 minutes until all the liquid is absorbed. Turn off the heat and set aside for at least 30 minutes. Place in a food processor and pulse until mealy.

3.2 Cooking the rice

Wash and rinse the rice thoroughly in several water baths (about three times). Place in a large bowl, cover with cold water. Soak for at least 4 hours or preferably overnight. Drain as much water as possible.

Combine the soaked rice and mung beans. Mix well. Form several rice balls, pressing firming.

Line the basket of a steamer with cheesecloth and place the pandan leaf and the rice balls in it. Fill the steamer with water. Cover tightly. Bring the water to a boil and reduce the heat to medium-high. Cover and steam for about 20 minutes. The rice should be soft, shiny and on the dry side but still firm (not falling apart). Using a small pestle (or a knife handle or a chopstick), gently press the center of each ball and continue steaming for another 20-25 minutes.

3.3 Assembly time

Delicately transfer the balls to a serving tray. Sprinkle each ball with sugar, to taste. The steam will absorb the sugar. Gently mix. Let cool to room temperature.

You could serve these with green tea. You could garnish the top with shredded coconut or coarsely chopped peanuts.

Bon appétit!

4. Tips and advices:

  • A pinch of salt brings out the flavor of the sticky rice dessert and enhances its sweetness.
  • Cooked mung beans are a great binder and will stick easily to the rice to be able to form the rice balls.
  • You can find delicious sweet sticky rice in any market. I used Kokuho Rose brand. Depending on the glutinous rice you use, you might need more or less water. If the mixture is too watery, add more mung beans. If the dough is too dry, add more water.
  • You can find all the ingredients listed above in most Asian markets.

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