Xoi La Dua (Pandan Sticky Rice Recipe)
Xôi lá dứa is a very popular snack/dessert in Vietnam. It's made of pandan-flavored steamed sticky rice covered in sweetened, fragrant coconut milk. Sticky rice can be flavored in many ways and there are plenty of savory versions as well, but our favorite is the one prepared with pandan leaves. To save time and add extra flavor, I used store-bought pandan paste in addition to the pandan leaves and also added coconut powder and coconut milk. Don't be fooled by the vegan aspect of this festive dessert, I serve it in small portions because of its rich properties.
The more authentic way of serving xôi lá dứa is to present it family-style on a large platter and to pair the sticky rice with freshly-grated coconut shreds and powdered, sweetened peanut and sesame garnish.
Yields: 10 servings1 (13.5-ounce) can coconut milk, unshaken
3 pounds sweet round rice (see tips)
1 (1.75-ounce) package coconut cream powder
2 teaspoons pandan paste
1¼ cups granulated sugar, to taste
1 pandan leaf , thawed and tied in a knot
1 teaspoon salt
Cooking the rice:
Wash and rinse the rice thoroughly in several water baths (about three times). Place in a large bowl and cover with cold water. Add the salt and soak for at 8 hours or preferably overnight. Drain as much water as possible. Flavor the rice with the coconut cream powder and color with the pandan paste. Using disposable gloves, mix well.
Line the basket of a steamer with cheesecloth and place the rice and the pandan leaf tied in a knot in it. Fill the steamer with water. Cover tightly. Bring the water to a boil and reduce the heat to medium-high. Cover and steam the rice for about 20 minutes. The rice should be soft, shiny and on the dry side but still firm (not falling apart). Remove from the steamer.
For the coconut milk:
Pour the coconut milk (the thick part, preferably) into a small, non-stick saucepan. Add sugar and a pinch of salt. Bring to a boil. Stir well. Transfer the hot rice to a non-stick pan and cover it entirely with the boiling coconut milk (it should be saturated with coconut milk). Do not stir. Cover with the cheesecloth (I placed chopsticks underneath so the fabric doesn't touch the rice) and let sit for 20 minutes. Uncover and let sit for an additional 10 minutes. Using the chopsticks, delicately separate the grains of rice, ensuring the coconut milk is completely absorbed.
Serve the rice family-style or grease a circle cutter and tightly pack it into small portions.
Salt brings out the flavor of the sticky rice dessert and enhances its sweetness.
You could also boil the rice for 15 minutes but the result will be slightly wet compared to the steaming method.
You can find delicious sweet sticky rice in any market. I used Kokuho Rose brand.
You can find all the ingredients listed above in most Asian markets.Published By: on May 19, 2014.