Welcome to my Vietnamese Sweet Rice Squares recipe! I’m excited to share this delicious and easy-to-make dessert with you. This dessert is a traditional Vietnamese sweet treat that’s perfect for any occasion, big or small.
The recipe features glutinous rice, also known as sticky rice, which is a staple in Vietnamese cuisine. The sticky rice is cooked with sweet coconut milk and sugar, creating a soft and chewy texture that melts in your mouth.
I learned this recipe from my grandmother who passed it down through generations of our family. Every time I make these sweet rice squares, I think of her and all the memories we shared together in the kitchen. It’s heartwarming to carry on her legacy by sharing this recipe with you.
Whether you’re planning a party, hosting a potluck, or simply satisfying your sweet tooth, these Vietnamese Sweet Rice Squares are sure to impress. So grab your apron and let’s get started!
Why You’ll Love This Recipe
Listen up, foodies! I am here to tell you why you will absolutely love this Vietnamese Sweet Rice Squares recipe. Look no further for the perfect combination of sweet and sticky with a hint of coconut goodness. This traditional Vietnamese dessert, also known as bánh đập or bánh dầy, is a crowd-pleaser that will have your taste buds dancing with joy.
Firstly, the main ingredient, glutinous rice, also known as sticky rice, creates a unique texture that will have you hooked from the first bite. It has a chewy texture that brings out the flavors and helps hold its shape when cut into squares before being coated in rich coconut milk.
Not only does this dessert melt in your mouth, but it is also extremely versatile. Whether you are looking for a sweet snack or something to eat for breakfast, Vietnamese Sweet Rice Squares has got you covered. You can even serve them with mangoes or jackfruit on the side for an extra burst of flavor.
Additionally, this recipe is perfect for those who want to try their hand at making traditional Vietnamese desserts. Each bite is filled with cultural significance and tradition – making it the perfect conversation piece for dinner parties or get-togethers with friends.
So why should you try this recipe? The answer is simple: it’s an easy yet unique way to create a showstopper dessert that packs a flavorful punch. Prepare yourself for a combination of chewiness and sweetness that you won’t soon forget. Don’t wait any longer; give yourself and your taste buds the gift of Vietnamese Sweet Rice Squares today!
Let’s start by gathering all the ingredients needed to make these delicious Vietnamese Sweet Rice Squares. Don’t worry, I have included substitutions and variations in case you don’t have some of the ingredients on hand. Here is what you’ll need:
- Glutinous Rice (2 cups)
- Water (2 cups)
- Coconut Milk (1 and 1/2 cups)
- Dark Brown Sugar (1/4 cup)
- Mung Beans (1 cup)
- Water (3 cups)
- Palm Sugar (1/4 cup)
- Coconut Milk (1 cup)
- Fried Sticky Rice Cakes (xôi chiên phồng)
- Purple Sticky Rice with Peanuts (xôi đậu phộng tím)
- White Sticky Rice Pudding with Black Eyed Peas (chè đậu trắng)
The Recipe How-To
Step 1: Preparing Sticky Rice
- Rinse 2 cups of glutinous rice with warm water until the water becomes clear. Drain the water, and let the rice stand for 30 minutes to an hour.
- In a pot, mix the rice with 2 cups of water and ½ cup of coconut milk. Stir well.
- Cover the pot, bring it to boil over high heat. Reduce heat to low and simmer for about 18-20 minutes.
- Remove from the heat, leave it for 5 minutes.
- Use a fork or wooden paddle to stir and fluff up the rice. Leave it to cool for another 20 minutes.
Note: You can also use a rice cooker to cook the sticky rice.
Step 2: Preparing Mung Bean Filling
- Soak 1 cup of mung bean in warm water for at least 4 hours or overnight.
- Drain them and steam for 30-40 minutes until they are soft and fully cooked.
- Use a potato masher or a large spoon to mash them finely.
- Mix in 1/4 cup of dark brown sugar, 1/4 cup of coconut milk, and a pinch of salt.
Step 3: Assembling Sweet Rice Squares
- Divide sticky rice into two equal portions. Place one portion in a separate bowl, then mix the other portion with steamed mung bean filling.
- Grease a square baking dish (8×8 inches) or a round cake mold (7 inches) with some vegetable oil.
- Add and spread half sticky rice on the bottom, pressing firmly with your palm to create an even layer.
- Then spread mung bean filling on top, making sure that it is evenly distributed all over sticky rice base.
- Finally, add remaining sticky rice as the top layer. Press down gently but firmly, making it stick.
- Steam the cake for 30-40 minutes. Allow sweet rice squares to cool completely before cutting into desired shapes.
Note: You can serve these sticky rice squares with a side of steamed banana or coconut milk syrup.
Substitutions and Variations
As a chef, I know that improvising in the kitchen can often lead to surprisingly good results. So, if you find yourself missing some of the ingredients or want to try something different, here are some substitutions and variations for this Vietnamese Sweet Rice Squares Recipe:
– Instead of using glutinous rice or sticky rice, you can use regular short-grain white or brown rice. Keep in mind that the texture will be different, so adjust the amount of water as needed.
– For a more fragrant flavor, you can add pandan leaves or ginger to the cooking water when making the rice. These ingredients are commonly used in Vietnamese desserts and will give your sweet rice squares an extra pop of flavor.
– If you don’t have mung beans on hand, you can replace them with other sweetened fillings such as sweet red bean paste or coconut cream. Alternatively, you can skip the filling altogether and just make plain sweet rice squares.
– For a variation on presentation, instead of spreading the sticky rice in a cake pan, you can use banana leaves to wrap individual portions of sticky rice into triangle shapes called bánh chưng or cylindrical shapes called bánh tét. These are traditional Vietnamese New Year delicacies that are often eaten with pickled vegetables and savory meats.
– To make a dessert version of this recipe, you can top the sweet rice squares with coconut cream sauce (che dau trang) or sprinkle chopped peanuts (dau phong) on top for a crunchy texture. You can also serve them with other Vietnamese desserts such as bánh bò or bánh bèo.
Remember that cooking is all about experimentation and creativity. Embrace these substitutions and variations as an opportunity to put your own twist on this traditional Vietnamese dish.
Serving and Pairing
Now that your Vietnamese Sweet Rice Squares are ready, it’s time to taste this delectable treat! These squares are best served warm and can be topped with a variety of ingredients based on your preference. You can choose to sprinkle some crushed peanuts over the top for an added crunch or drizzle coconut pandan sauce for a delectable sweetness. You can even pair it with bánh bèo or Vietnamese fried rice balls for a complimentary flavor.
If you want to make it a more wholesome dessert, you can serve it as a side dish and pair it with che dau trang or Vietnamese sticky rice pudding for an authentic Vietnamese dessert experience. If you prefer something light, you can enjoy them on their own as a mid-day snack or even for breakfast with a hot cup of tea.
If you’re planning to serve these Sweet Rice Squares at your next celebration or event, you can present them on a banana leaf tray or plate. The colorful presentation will beautifully complement the texture and flavors of the rice cakes.
Regardless of how you choose to serve these delightful squares, they will surely be a crowd-pleaser and quickly become one of your favorite desserts.
Make-Ahead, Storing and Reheating
The best part of this Vietnamese Sweet Rice Squares recipe is that it can be easily made ahead and stored, making for a stress-free dessert for any occasion. Once the rice squares have been cooked and cooled, they can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.
To reheat, you can use a steamer to gently warm them up or toast them in the oven or toaster oven for a few minutes until they are heated through. It’s important to avoid reheating them in the microwave, as it can make them tough and dry.
If you want to make this dessert ahead of time but don’t have time to cook it just before serving, you can also prepare the raw mixture and store it in the refrigerator overnight. When you’re ready to cook, simply mix all the ingredients together and follow the recipe directions.
If you’re planning on freezing the rice squares, it’s important that they are properly wrapped or stored in an airtight container. You can freeze them for up to 2 months, but keep in mind that they will be more fragile after being frozen and may break apart more easily when reheated.
Overall, with some simple preparation and storage techniques, these delicious Vietnamese Sweet Rice Squares can easily be enjoyed anytime as a sweet treat or dessert.
Tips for Perfect Results
If you want to make the perfect Vietnamese Sweet Rice Squares, then pay close attention to these tips that I have for you.
Firstly, it is important to soak the glutinous rice in warm water for at least two hours before cooking. This will help the rice cook more evenly and prevent it from becoming too sticky. It is important to note that glutinous rice is different from regular long-grain rice, so it requires a different preparation method.
When cooking the glutinous rice, always use the right ratio of water to rice. For two cups of sweet rice, add 2 cups of water and 1 cup of coconut milk. Add one cup of dark brown sugar or palm sugar to this mixture as well, as it adds depth to the flavor and fragrance while making the grains more pliable. You may want to adjust the measurement depending on your own preference.
While mixing the water and sugar mixture with the soaked rice, be gentle with it so that it doesn’t break apart too much. Cover with aluminum foil rather than a tight-fitting lid when steaming until cooked through. Once cooked through, transfer the mixture into a large deep dish and flatten as evenly as possible using a wooden spoon or spatula.
To get the perfect texture, let this cool down completely (about an hour), then slice into squares. You can serve immediately or keep them in a container with a lid for later consumption.
Lastly, if you want to experiment with different variations and flavors, try adding some mung beans in between layers or topping the squares with fried sticky rice balls drizzled with ginger syrup. The possibilities are endless!
In conclusion, this Vietnamese Sweet Rice Squares recipe is an incredibly versatile dish that is perfect for any occasion. Not only does it satisfy your sweet tooth, but it also has a unique texture and flavor that is sure to impress your guests.
With its simple ingredients and easy-to-follow instructions, this recipe is perfect for both novice and experienced cooks alike. Plus, you can easily make substitutions and variations based on your personal preferences or dietary needs.
So why not give this recipe a try and experience the magic of these traditional Vietnamese treats? I guarantee that once you taste these delectable Sweet Rice Squares, you’ll be coming back for more!
Vietnamese Sweet Rice Squares Recipe
- 2 cups uncooked glutinous rice
- 2 cups water
- 2 cups thick coconut milk
- 1 1/2 cups dark brown sugar or 1 1/2 cups shaved palm sugar
- Put rice and water in a rice cooker and cook until rice is done, about 60 minutes.
- Put the coconut milk in a saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium heat.
- Add the brown sugar or palm sugar and simmer, stirring constantly until mixture becomes thick, about 15 minutes.
- Add the cooked rice and simmer, stirring constantly, until most of the liquid has been absorbed.
- The mixture should still be slightly moist.
- Press into a square pan, cut & enjoy!