Among many types of sticky rice I tried in Vietnam, the Cudweed Sticky Rice Cake (Xoi Khuc or Xoi Cuc) is a special one. This dish is not only made of glutinous rice alone but also incorporates another layer of flavor and texture by including glutinous rice flour in its preparation. This reminded me of mochi, a beloved Japanese sweet crafted from glutinous rice flour.
The outside of the cake is sticky rice while the inside is an elastic layer made of glutinous rice flour, mung beans, and pork belly slices. In some Vietnamese Xoi Khuc versions, the pork belly slices are replaced with mushrooms or Chinese sausages. The color of this Cudweed Sticky Rice Cake is taken from cudweed leaves (also known as Khuc).
This Vietnamese Xoi dish is more interesting than others with the chewy and complex filling. I guessed that’s why this dish was called the cake. I was very excited to enjoy this dish and remake it.
For the Vietnamese Cudweed Sticky Rice Cake recipe, I used spinach instead of cudweed leaves to make the food color. Here’s how I made Vietnamese Xoi Khuc.
Xoi Khuc – Vietnamese Cudweed Sticky Rice Cake
- 200 g pork belly sliced
- 400 g glutinous rice soaked overnight and drained
- 200 peeled split mung beans
- 250 g glutinous flour
- 100 g spinach
- 4 shallots sliced
- 2 tbsp minced shallot
- 2 tbsp minced garlic
- 1 tbsp fish sauce
- 5 tbsp cooking oil
- Common seasoning: 1 little
- Salt, sugar, and ground pepper to season
- Soak the mung beans in water for at least 2 hours.
- Drain the water and cook mung beans in the rice cooker with 1/4 tsp of salt and a moderate amount of water. Once the beans are cooked, pour them into a bowl.
- Puree spinach with 150ml of water and extract the juice. Strain the juice through a sieve to ensure a smooth consistency.
- In a pot, heat the spinach juice until it reaches 70oC. Stir in 1/3 teaspoon of salt.
- Mix the warm spinach juice with 1 tablespoon of cooking oil and 300g of glutinous rice in a bowl.
- Knead the mixture thoroughly until the dough reaches a soft and smooth consistency. Wrap the dough with plastic wrap and allow it to rise for 30 to 45 minutes.
- Heat 2 tablespoons of oil, toss in the sliced shallots and stir vigorously over high heat. Once the shallot slices achieve a rich, dark yellow, turn off the heat. Transfer them to a plate lined with paper towels to soak up excess oil
- In a large skillet, heat 1 tablespoons of oil over medium heat. Add the minced garlic and shallot, sauté for about 1-2 minutes, until fragrant.
- Add pork belly, 1/3 teaspoon of salt, and 1/3 teaspoon of sugar. Stir well.
- Stir in mung beans and add 1/3 teaspoon of sugar, 1/2 teaspoon of pepper, and 1 tablespoon of cooking oil. Mix until the mixture sticks, then turn off the stove and allow it to cool.
- Shape the cooled mixture into round balls, each about the size of a chicken egg.
- Combine glutinous rice with 1 teaspoon of salt and soak for 15 minutes.
- Divide the dough into equal portions and flatten them. Place the mung bean-meat ball in the in the center. Carefully fold the dough over the filling, pinching the edges to seal and form a smooth ball. Repeat until all the fillings and dough are used.
- Roll each cake in a thin layer of glutinous rice.
- In the steamer, layer glutinous rice on the bottom, add the sticky rice cakes one by one, and evenly cover with the remaining glutinous rice on top. Wrap the pot lid with a towel to prevent mushiness. Steam for approximately 45 minutes.
- Present the Cudweed Sticky Rice Cake on a plate, garnished with fried shallots.