Mung Bean Sticky Rice with Sweet and Salty Sesame Dip
Jacobsen Salt Co.
Jun 21, 2023
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Pure Fine Sea Salt
Chef Thuy Pham is the founder of Mama Dút, a Vietnamese vegan restaurant in Portland, Oregon - the first vegan restaurant featured on Netflix's popular 'Street Food' series. As a mom and proud Vietnamese-American, she is focused on making the world a better place with good vegan food. Her mission is to build community over food, and send a message to everyone out there that when women of color are given opportunities and resources, they will do great things.
Growing up in a Vietnamese immigrant household, this mung bean sticky rice dish, also known as Xôi Vò Muối Mè, was a staple in our home and at family gatherings. Its sweet and savory flavors pair exceptionally well with sweet and savory toppings. During family gatherings, you'd often see uncles and aunties top their mung bean sticky rice with various roasted meats and fried shallots. Meanwhile, my mom would always top hers very simply with a blend of sugar, salt and toasted sesame seeds. The sweet sugar and savory salt grains combined with the smoky nuttiness of toasted sesame seeds carry through the fragrant and fluffy mung beans and sticky rice, playing with your senses and opening up your entire palette. It's the perfect summer treat, especially when you have the grill on!
Words & Recipe by: Thuy Pham
Serves 4 - 6
Make the Mung Bean Sticky Rice
Rinse the sticky rice and soak it in water (with at least 3" of water above the top of the sticky rice) for 2 to 4 hours. Similarly for the mung beans, rinse and soak it in water (with at least 2" of water above the top of the mung beans) for 2 hours.
While the sticky rice and mung beans are soaking, fill a medium pot half way with water and bring it to a rolling boil. Once the water is boiling, remove it from the heat and blanch the banana leaves for 15 seconds. Set aside the blanched banana leaves and let them cool.
Once the mung beans are done soaking, drain then toss the mung beans with 1/4 teaspoon of fine Italian sea salt. Place the mixture in a steamer basket lined with banana leaf and steam over medium heat until soft, approximately 20 minutes. Remove the mixture from the steamer basket and let it cool. Once cooled, put half of the mung beans into a food processor and pulse until a coarsely ground texture, then set aside.
Once the sticky rice is done soaking, drain then mix the sticky rice with the coarsely ground mung beans and oil. Place mixture in a steamer basket and steam over medium heat until the sticky rice is soft, approximately 30 to 35 minutes. After steaming, remove the steamer basket from the heat and mix in the remaining mung beans.
Make the Sweet and Salty Sesame Dip
In a small bowl, combine the sugar, fine Italian sea salt, and toasted sesame seeds, mix well then set aside.
Tear the banana leaves into approximately 8" x 8" squares. Lay the banana leaves flat and spoon each square with the mung bean and sticky rice mixture, then wrap individually. Grill the wrapped banana leaves over an open fire for about 3 to 5 minutes per side.
When you're ready to serve, open the banana leaves and top the mung bean and sticky rice mixture with the sweet and salty toasted sesame dip.