Vietnamese Grilled Banana Sticky Rice (Chuoi Nep Nuong)
Vietnamese Grilled Banana in Sticky Rice (Chuoi Nep Nuong) is a delicious Southern snack or dessert. Served with rich coconut sauce and nutty toasted sesame seeds, this humble-looking dish delivers a wide range of textures and flavors.
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time1 hr
Soaking time2 hrs
Servings: 4 people
For the Banana Sticky Rice Rolls
- 3/4 cup sticky rice
- pinch of salt
- 4 ripe pisang bananas (or 2 large cavendish bananas, cut in half)
- 2 tablespoons coconut milk (optional)
- banana leaves, washed and patted dry
For the Coconut Sauce
- 1/4 teaspoon oil
- 1 teaspoon thinly sliced scallions (green parts only)
- 1 1/4 cup coconut milk
- 1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon water, divided
- 3/8 teaspoon salt
- 2 teaspoons sugar
- 2 teaspoons cornstarch
- toasted sesame seeds
Steaming Sticky Rice
Soak sticky rice in plenty of water for at least 2 hours. Then rinse under running water. Toss with a pinch of salt and steam until soft, about 20-30 minutes. Transfer to a clean plate to slightly cool down. Divide into 4 equal parts.
If you want the rice to be soft, drizzle 2 tablespoons of coconut milk, mix and continue to steam for another 2-3 minutes.
Wrapping Bananas with Sticky Rice
Cover a clean cutting board (or working surface) with cling wrap. Spread 1 part of the sticky rice thinly on top so that the sticky rice layer is slightly wider than the length of the banana.
Place a banana on the near edge of the rice layer and roll. Make sure the sticky rice covers all sides of the banana. Continue with the remaing bananas and sticky rice.
Wrapping Banana Sticky Rice Rolls with Banana Leaves
Prepare four pieces of banana leaves, two of which (L pieces) should be as wide as the length of the banana sticky rice roll. The other two pieces (W pieces) should be as wide as the width of the roll so that they can cover the two ends of the roll.
Lay one of the L pieces on the working surface and place one banana sticky rice roll on top then roll. Then use each of the W pieces to cover each end of the roll. Finally, wrap the whole thing with the second L piece. Continue with the remaining rolls.
Grilling Banana Sticky Rice Rolls
Place a grill pan over medium-low heat (or use a charcoal or gas outdoor grill). Once the grill pan is hot, place the banana sticky rice rolls onto the grill. Cook and rotate every few minutes to ensure all sides are grilled evenly.
Grill until the banana leaves are blackened and the outer sticky rice layer is golden and crunchy. It may take 20-25 minutes.
Making Coconut Sauce
While grilling the rolls, place a small saucepan over medium heat. Heat the oil and then add sliced scallions. Cook for a few seconds until scallions are fragrant.
Add coconut milk and 1/4 cup of water to the saucepan. Add salt and sugar, stir to dissolve. Taste and adjust it to your liking. Let the sauce come cook until some small bubbles start to appear, do not let it boil.
Combine cornstarch with 1 tablespoon of water in a small bowl to make a slurry. Slowly add the cornstarch slurry to the sauce while whisking to thicken the sauce to your liking. Turn off the heat and transfer the sauce to a bowl.
Putting the Dish Together
Traditionally, the dish is made with pisang awak variety of bananas (chuoi su/chuoi xiem) in Saigon. If you use regular cavendish bananas which are longer and curvy, you may need to cut them in half so that it will be easier to roll. However, please be aware that the dessert will not turn out as good when you use cavendish bananas. I have made this dessert recently with cavendish bananas. The bananas inside will become very soft, kinda mushy after we grill it. So it's best to use pisang awak bananas.
This dish can be prepared ahead. After wrapping banana sticky rice rolls with banana leaves, wrap them with cling wrap. You can then store them in the refrigerator for 1-2 days. The day you want to eat them, remove them from the refrigerator and let them come closer to room temperature before grilling.
Calories: 386kcal | Carbohydrates: 60g | Protein: 5g | Fat: 16g | Saturated Fat: 14g | Sodium: 232mg | Potassium: 605mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 16g | Vitamin A: 76IU | Vitamin C: 11mg | Calcium: 22mg | Iron: 3mg