Xoi Vo (Vietnamese Mung Bean Coated Sticky Rice) is one of the classic dishes of Hanoi. This humble dish is naturally vegan and gluten-free.
What is Xoi Vo?
Xôi vò is soft-chewy golden sticky rice which is coated with mung bean that has been steamed and processed into meal. Xôi means sticky rice, and vò implies the action of rubbing the rice with the mung bean powder.
The mung bean coating gives the sticky rice hearty and wholesome flavors. We may be a bit biased here since we grew up with xoi vo, but this humble dish is surprisingly tasty and always fills us with nostalgia.
This dish is a classic dish of Hanoi, and other nearby Northern cities also enjoy it. In Saigon, xoi vo is less popular and is adapted to the locals’ taste with the addition of sugar and coconut milk. My recipe is traditional Northern-style xoi vo.
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The recipe requires just a handful of ingredients:
- sticky rice
- split mung bean (you can buy it at Asian grocery stores or online)
- cooking oil
Some people may like to add a bit of sugar. For the Southern variation, you can add some coconut milk.
To make this Vietnamese mung bean coated sticky rice, you will need a steamer basket. It is best if you have a bamboo steamer since its lid will not collect water condensation, and as a result, keep the bean and rice fairly dry. In case you can only use a stainless steel steamer, I recommend covering the lid with a kitchen towel to prevent condensation, just like I did in the recipe video.
How to Make Xoi Vo
First, soak the sticky rice as well as split mung beans in plenty of water for 2-4 hours. If you are short on time, you may use warm water to shorten the soaking time. After soaking, steam the mung beans until soft.
While cooking the mung beans, drain the rice really well. You can also use paper towels to absorb excess water. The goal is to dry the rice as much as possible to prevent too much stickiness later.
Once the mung beans are soft, remove from the steamer and let them cool slightly so that excess moisture can evaporate. Then grind/process finely in a food chopper. Now, toss half of the mung bean with the rice.
Steam the rice until soft. Let it cool slightly, and then we will toss it with the remaining mung bean. If you see big clumps, you can use your fingers to separate the grains while rubbing them with the mung bean powder.
How to Serve Xoi Vo
Xoi vo is tasty on its own with natural sweetness, heartiness, and richness. Here are some additional ways to serve this mung bean sticky rice in Vietnam:
- Serve it with chè (Vietnamese sweet dessert soups), espcially mung bean pudding. You will often see it served this way in Northern-style traditional banquets.
- Serve it with savory dishes such as roast chicken or roast pork. This way of eating xoi vo is more popular in the South.
⭐️ I’d love to hear what you think about the dish, so please feel free to leave a comment and a rating if you have tried it. New recipes are added every week so let’s connect on Facebook, Youtube, Pinterest and Instagram for the latest updates. You can find my collection of Vietnamese recipes here.
Xoi Vo (Vietnamese Mung Bean Coated Sticky Rice)
- 7 oz sticky rice (200g / scant 1 cup)
- 3.5-4 oz split mung beans (100g / scant ½ cup)
- 1/2 teaspoon plus 1/8 teaspoon salt, divided
- 1 tablespoon cooking oil
- Rinse sticky rice and then soak in plenty of water for 2-4 hours. Also rinse then soak mung beans in plenty of water for 2-4 hours.
- Drain the mung beans well and toss with ⅛ teaspoon salt. Then steam until they are soft, about 20 minutes. Remove from the steamer basket and let them cool slightly to let excess moisture evaporate.
- Once the mung beans have cooled down, transfer to a food chopper/food processor and grind finely.
- While steaming the mung beans in Step 2, drain the rice very well. After grinding the mung beans, toss the drained sticky rice with half of the mung bean powder, remaining salt and cooking oil. Before tossing, you can also use paper towels to absorb excess water from the rice.
- Transfer the sticky rice to the steamer basket and steam until soft, about 25-30 minutes. Then let it cool slightly.
- Toss the steamed sticky rice with the remaining mung bean powder. If you see big clumps, you can use your fingers to separate the grains while rubbing them with the mung bean powder.
- You can enjoy the sticky rice right away on its own, or with Vietnamese sweet dessert soups (such as mung bean pudding), or with roast pork, roast chicken.