Vietspices Search

Monday, August 29, 2016

Xôi Bắp (Sticky Rice with Corn and Mung Bean)

click the picture for better quality image

I brought home a banana plant from my local nursery last late summer. When the winter came around, it didn't look good, even after I placed it under a roof to try and protect it.  Eventually, it looked like there was no way to revive it.  When spring arrived, my mother-in-law dug a hole in our vegetable garden and put it down right next to the other lush broad leaves in our garden.  Amazingly, it's has been thriving beautifully.

Every time I look at our banana plant, I just want to cook some dishes and wrap it banana leaves. Last week, I made xôi bắp (sticky rice with corn and mung bean) to share with a few families at our Lifegroup meeting.

Xôi bắp is a popular main dish that originated in Northern Vietnam. It uses 2 main abundant ingredients of the surrounding region -sweet rice and dried corn. The lure of this dish, however comes from the aroma imparted from the fried shallots and the salted sweetness of roasted sesame and peanut that beckon our senses. If you like dried white corn cooked with sweet rice sprinkled in a spice mixture of salt, sugar, sesame, and peanut, then this dish has your name written all over it.

Xôi bắp is a great dish for breakfast, but you can indulge in it anytime. I love to eat xôi that is wrapped in fresh banana leaves; it brings out a unique scent and freshness that reminds me of the lush and raw beauty of Vietnam.

In this xôi bắp recipe, I used dried corn instead of white hominy which is a type of corn that has been soaked in lye and packed in a can. Hence, the freshness is lost, I think. If you can't find dried corn where you live, white hominy would work too. You can find the dried corn at most of the Asian supermarkets.


4 cups sweet rice
2 bag (12 oz each) of dried white corn
4 cans (32 oz each) white hominy
For Garnish
1 bag (1.5 cups) split and deshelled mung beans
10 large Shallots
Making Peanut Mixture
1/4 cup white sesame seeds
1/2 cup peanuts
1 teaspoon salt
4 tablespoons sugar
Preparing Sweet Rice, Mung Beans, Dried Corn

Sweet Rice - rinse a few times, soak in water for an hour or overnight. Rinse and drain.

Dried White Corn -  rinse a few times, soak in water for an hour or overnight.
White Hominy -  if used, rinse and drain.

Mung Beans - rinse a few times, soak in water for an hour or overnight.  Rinse and drain.
Cooking Dried Corn 

In a pot, add a tablespoon of salt, dried corn and water above the dried corn. Bring it to a boil then reduce the heat to medium-low and cook for at least 30 minutes or until corn is soft. Stir occasionally.  Add more water if needed.  The cooking time depends on how long you have soaked the dried corn.  Rinse it with cold water and drain.

Steaming Mung Beans

Add mung bean in a steamer tray and steam it for about 10-15 minutes or until soft. Transfer to a bowl and smash it with a spoon. Set it aside.

Another way to cook mung beans is in a pot, add water about half an inch above the mung beans.  Bring to a boil.  Once it's boiling, pour some of the water out and leave just enough water at the same level of the mung beans.  Cover and simmer until cooked, stirring occasionally.

Once mung beans are cooked and cooled down, wrap rolls in plastic wrap. When serving sticky rice, slice mung bean into thin slices to add to the sticky rice as topping.

Cooking Corn with Sweet Rice 

Mix cooked corn, sweet rice and a teaspoon of salt well together. Add water (1/2 of the pot) into the bottom of the steamer pot. Place the top steamer tray on top of the bottom pot. Pour the rice into the steamer tray. Make a small well in the center to create convection currents to help hot steam circulate. Cover it and steam on gentle, steady boiling water for about 15-20 minutes until the sticky rice and corn are soft and clear. Occasionally, fluff it well with a pair of chopsticks so that all the rice cooked evenly.

Sometimes, I combine all three ingredients - raw mung beans, sweet rice, and cooked dried corn together, then steam it.  It's less time-consuming, and yet still tastes wonderfully.  
Frying Crispy Shallots

Slice shallots thinly.

Bring cooking oil to a medium heat. Once it's hot, add shallots and cook until shallots slightly turn brown

Turn off heat. Let shallots cook for a minute until shallot is golden brown. Don't wait for shallots to turn golden brown and turn off heat as the oil is still very hot and it will burn the shallots very quickly.  Set aside.

Making Peanut Mixture

Toast sesame seeds on a skillet over medium low heat until golden. Do the same with peanuts. When both sesame seeds and peanuts have cooled down completely, put them in a ziploc bag and slightly crush them to release the nutty flavors. In a bowl, combine sugar, salt, crushed roasted sesame seeds and peanuts. Mix well.


Place sticky rice on a plate. Spread mung bean on top. Drizzle a generous amount of fried shallot and fried shallot oil. This oil from frying the shallot is full of flavor, so you don't want to toss it away. Then sprinkle a good amount of peanut mixture. Enjoy!

Eat well.  Stay healthy.


  1. Ms. Loan, I made xoi bap today and it was delicious. My parents claimed that this recipe hits the bull eyes. Thank you!

  2. @Ann: reading your comment regarding xoi bap makes me want to cook it right now. I love xoi bap too :-)

  3. I made Xoi Bap yesterday, it was delicious! But next time, I would like to have 2 cups of sweet rice, because I prefer to eat more corn maze. Thanks for the recipe, chi Loan!

  4. Love all your recipes chi Loan. This is my mom's favorite!

  5. the other day I was at Duc Huong and the hubby wanted their Xoi Bap, and he always buys it from there. while I browse your page I found a recipe for it ! Im really excited to try to make it for the very first time. Your recipes are always so delcious.

    I do have one question is their a such thing as over soaking the rice or dry corn ? will it make any difference if you soak it longer than over night ?

    1. It's ok to soak dried corn and sweet rice a little bit longer than overnight. The reasons for soaking rice are to shorten the cooking time and to allow for maximum expansion of the rice and dried corn. The longer the rice is soaked, the more the texture will be.

  6. do we need to do anything to the hominy ?

    1. Canned hominy is already cooked. You just need to drain and rinse it then steam it together with sweet rice.