Vietnamese mung bean sticky rice

One of my grandmother’s signature dishes for our gatherings is the mung bean sticky rice. The sweet rice and the split mung bean are soaked and steamed together, then mix with sugar and shredded coconut, and you will have all of the sweet and rich taste. I called it her signature dish because it is always delicious every single time she made, and our relatives and neighbors love this sweet rice so much.

Vietnamese mung bean sticky rice (a.k.a “Xoi hoa cau”) by my grandmother. It was put in a small bowl in flipped over, cooled down on the tray so that everyone can have a portion of the sweet rice to bring home.
Credit to my aunt for taking the photo.

Ever since I knew I can make Thai Mango sticky rice, I now try to recreate the mung bean sticky rice that my grandmother usually made in family gatherings. it has been 2.5 years since the last time I had it. I miss the flavor… so let’s make it now 😃.

Ingredients: (for 2-3 servings)

  • Sweet rice: 1 cup
  • Split mung bean: 1/4 cup
  • Sugar: 1.5 – 2 tablespoons (depends on how sweet you want)
  • Shredded coconut: 1.5 – 2 tablespoons (can be adjust to taste)
  • Water: copious amount (for soaking and steaming)


  • Rinse the sweet rice and mung bean with copious amount of water to remove dirt, then soak together in water for 24 hours. The amount of water should be at least double the rice and mung bean. Cover and let them sit overnight. The more you soak, the soften the steamed rice.
  • Drain the rice and put it into the cheesecloth. Place them in the steamer (or a metal basket, a sieve) and flatten out the rice in the cheesecloth so that it could be steamed evenly later on.
  • Bring a water pot to gentle boil (medium-high heat first then reduce to low heat). Place the steamer (with the rice covered in cheesecloth inside) on top of the water pot. Steam for 30 minutes.
  • After 30 minutes, open the cheesecloth to check the rice and mung bean. They should be fully cooked by then. Add the sugar and shredded coconut to the rice, mix well so that the sugar and coconut are evenly distributed to the rice. Cover and steam about 3 minutes to dissolve the sugar. Then it’s ready to be serve!

Total time: 24 hours of soaking + 35 minutes of steaming


  • If you use the split mung bean from package, it might contain artificial coloring and preservative so make sure to rinse the mung bean well until the rinsed water becomes clear prior soaking.
  • Mung bean absorbs more water than the sweet rice. Be more generous when soaking them!
  • With 1.5 tablespoons of sugar, I found it slightly sweet. If you want it sweeter, feel free to use 2 tablespoons.
I tried to put in bowl and flip over, but I did not have a nice Asian-bowl shape like my family had… so… pardon me for the photo!

And that’s it for this simple dish! Hope you enjoy our Vietnamese mung bean sticky rice.

4 thoughts on “Vietnamese mung bean sticky rice

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