Sticky rice steamed in lotus leaf

Sticky rice steamed in lotus leaf

Xôi gói lá sen

Real Vietnamese Cooking
Michael Fountoulakis

Green rice is an early autumn delicacy, said to have originated half a century ago in Vong village, near Hanoi. One year, due to flooding, the villagers had to harvest their rice early. Being hungry, they nevertheless roasted the grains, pounded them to remove the husks, and found they had stumbled on a delicious treat. Green rice adds a subtle, nutty flavour to dishes such as this one.


Quantity Ingredient
300g glutinous rice
1 teaspoon salt
70g dried lotus seeds
5 dried chinese mushrooms
1 1/2 tablespoons rendered chicken fat or vegetable oil
3 red asian shallots, diced
2 lap cheong sausages, diced
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
5 teaspoons fish sauce
4 pandan leaves, broken into small pieces
50g green rice
2 tablespoons grated coconut
60g Fried shallots
2 large dried lotus leaves


  1. Soak the glutinous rice in cold water for 8 hours, or overnight. The next day, drain the rice and rinse it under cold running water until the water runs clear. Sprinkle the rice with 1/2 teaspoon of the salt and place in a steamer lined with muslin. Steam for 30 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, boil the lotus seeds for 20 minutes; soak the dried mushrooms for 20 minutes. Drain the lotus seeds and place in a bowl. Drain the mushrooms, squeeze the water out and discard the stems. Chop the caps and add to the lotus seeds.
  3. Heat the chicken fat in a frying pan over medium heat. Fry the shallot for 1–2 minutes, until soft. Add the sausage and cook for 1 minute. Add the lotus seeds, mushroom, pepper and 2 teaspoons of the fish sauce. Cook for 2 minutes, then transfer to a large bowl. Add the steamed rice.
  4. Pound the pandan leaves using a mortar and pestle. Wearing kitchen gloves, squeeze the leaves over the steamed rice mixture to extract the juice; discard the leaves. Add the remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt, remaining 3 teaspoons fish sauce, the green rice, coconut and fried shallots. Mix together well.
  5. Soak the lotus leaves in warm water for 3 minutes, or until softened. Lay a lotus leaf, vein side down, in a deep bowl; put half the rice mixture in the centre and lightly press down. Fold the leaf sides over the rice and place a saucer on top. Turn the bowl, parcel and saucer over, so the parcel sits on the saucer. Remove the bowl (the weight of the rice will keep the leaf in place). Repeat with the remaining lotus leaf and rice.
  6. Steam, covered, for 30 minutes. Remove from the heat and cut the parcels open, being careful to avoid steam burns.
Real Vietnamese Cooking
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