Sweet Sticky Rice with Pandan Xoi La Dua

xoi la dua, sticky rice

Xoi is Vietnamese a dish made from glutinous rice that can be a sweet or savory. They can be served as dessert or as part of a main course. There’s a wide variety of popular xoi and we’ve always enjoyed these growing up but never made any ourselves until now. Glutinous rice or sticky rice are short white grains of rice that become sticky when cooked, not because it contains gluten. There are many versions of sweet rice in Vietnamese cuisine including xoi vo (mung bean sticky rice), xoi dau phong (peanut sticky rice) , xoi man (savory sticky rice with chinese sausage and chicken) , xoi dau den (black bean sticky rice) and probably many more. One of our favorites is xoi la dua (pandan sticky rice) which has the exquisite aromas and flavors of pandan/coconut and a distinctive beautiful green color. We love to dip the sticky rice in the special sesame/peanut mix.

Recently I met a friend at work from Laos who showed me how to make sticky rice in a special conical shaped bamboo basket and aluminum steamer pot. This cookware not only looks cool but it makes cooking sticky rice so easy and quick. A conventional steamer works just fine and better for making larger quantities. I don’t recommend making sticky rice in the rice cooker as I tried it in the past and had trouble with getting the right consistency. This special steamer set up makes it hard to mess up on making sticky rice and can be found in many Thai/Asian groceries or in our Amazon store. Another key component is a muslin fabric or cheese cloth. We prefer using muslin since you can wash it and reuse easier.

xoi la dua

Sweet Sticky Pandan Rice Xoi La Dua
Printable Recipe

  • 2 cups of glutinous rice (soak in water for at least 4 hrs, preferably overnight around 8-12hr)
  • 1/2 cup of coconut milk
  • 1/4 teaspoon of pandan extract
  • couple drops of green food color
  • 1 teaspoon of salt
  • 1 teaspoon of sugar
  • 1/4 cup of shredding coconut

Peanut/Sesame Topping

  • 1 tablespoon of roasted peanuts
  • 1 tablespoon of toasted sesame seeds
  • 1 teaspoon of sugar
  • 1 teaspoon of salt

Steamer or Sticky Rice Bamboo steamer

Glutinous rice needs to be soaked for at least 4 hours but preferable overnight around 8-12 hrs. The longer you soak it, the shorter the cook time. Drain the glutinous rice in colander. Add rice to mixing bowl and add pandan essence/flavoring, salt, sugar, and a food color. Mix well until all the grains have an even color.

Bring water in your steamer to boil. Line your steamer pan or bamboo basket with muslin and add the seasoned glutinous rice. Cover the rice with excess cloth cover with a lid. Steam until a grain of rice grain can be squished in your fingers but still slight firm, about 15 minutes or so–add coconut milk and work it into the rice. Remove and let it cool for about 5 minutes.

In a mortal and pesto, crush the peanuts, add sesame seeds and crush together. Add sugar
and salt.

Remove the rice and top with shredded coconut and peanuts/sesame.

xoi la dua 

We just love the aroma of this sticky rice with the pandan and coconut. The shredded coconuts and dipping “sauce” of sesame and peanuts also adds great texture and makes this a wonderful rice dish that can be eaten any time. We ate it for breakfast and later on after dinner dessert. All this for only 15 minutes of steaming and prep time! 

Ever since I got my new ultra cool Sticky Rice Bamboo steamer , I’ve been steaming up a storm with other sticky rice recipes. Stay tuned for xoi vo / sticky mung bean rice and others!


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37 Responses to “Sweet Sticky Rice with Pandan Xoi La Dua”

  1. 1

    The Little Teochew — September 28, 2009 @ 1:11 pm

    Love love love this! The colour and the flavours! Oh my, pandan and coconut milk is a match made in heaven. Lovely pics!

  2. 2

    Gaby — September 28, 2009 @ 2:50 pm

    wow this looks so cool! What a fun colored rice!

  3. 3

    Jackie at PhamFatale.com — September 28, 2009 @ 3:31 pm

    This is probably my favorite snack. Love the how you flavored it with pandan. Gotta admit, I also love Sau Rieng-flavored sticky rice 😛 Hubby never happy when I make some.

  4. 4

    Elra — September 28, 2009 @ 5:29 pm

    Oh wow, you make my mouth water so much. I grew up with this kind of rice. In Bali, we sometimes have something like this for breakfast.

  5. 5

    5 Star Foodie — September 28, 2009 @ 6:53 pm

    Wow, this sticky rice sounds super delicious! I love the gorgeous green color!

  6. 6

    Stacy's Designs 88 — September 28, 2009 @ 6:59 pm

    I'm going to have to make this one the next time my family has a get together. They will LOVE this. Thanks for sharing! Aloha, Stacy

  7. 7

    petite nyonya — September 29, 2009 @ 3:27 am

    This is a really nice dessert! We have a very similar version in my Nyonya heritage, without the pandan & roasted peanut but with palm sugar or 'gula melaka' & wrapped in banana leave.

  8. 8

    noobcook — September 29, 2009 @ 6:58 am

    beautiful green hue and such a nice capture. Interesting way of cooking the rice, it looks really good 🙂

  9. 9

    Ravenous Couple — September 29, 2009 @ 4:37 pm

    Thank you everyone for your comments on our sweet sticky rice – xoi la dua, and sorry for the late reply…but I just became an auntie to a beautiful new baby girl!!

  10. 10

    Gastronomer — September 29, 2009 @ 8:27 pm

    This xoi is definitely a favorite. I also love xoi gac 😉

  11. 11

    Ravenous Couple — September 29, 2009 @ 9:39 pm

    gastronomer: we're just eagerly waiting for our relative's gac plant to ripen to make xoi gac..it's one of our favs too.

  12. 12

    vanity021 — October 2, 2009 @ 4:05 am

    yummy….can't wait to try. Is there a way around not using that type of steamer and using a regular steamer? It'll take to long to order it :0( and I want to make it this weekend for my kids.

  13. 13

    Ravenous Couple — October 2, 2009 @ 4:37 am

    vanity021: Steaming sticky rice is probably the best way, although we've read it can be done in the rice cooker with special settings for sticky rice. We've haven't had much success with that in the past since it's rather fussy to get the right consistency. Save yourself time–it's so easy steaming it…you don't have to worry how much rice..how much water…Any Asian grocery will have a pretty cheap steamer set similar to above for around $10 total. Your rice cooker may have a steamer tray–that's what we use as well for large batches. Thanks for commenting–good luck and let us know how it goes!

  14. 14

    Nguyen Family Circus — October 27, 2009 @ 6:19 am

    Made the Xoi and my kids LOVED it! I used a steamer that had very little holes in it so the rice wouldn't fall through. After cooking it for about 15 mins, I opened up the lid and mixed up the rice. did this a couple times until the rice was cooked. Turned out better than the stuff we buy at the store :0).

    I am loving your recipe. Thanks for the inspiration. Can you make claypot fish, Canh Chua and also Shaking Beef….just a few of my request. I miss the great food in Vietnam.

  15. 15

    Ravenous Couple — October 27, 2009 @ 4:28 pm

    Nguyen Family Circus: We're so glad you're kids loved this xoi la dua! They are absolutely adorable!! Now you can make all the different xoi on our site including xoi man, xoi bap.

    We already have bo luc lac and ca kho to posted–check them out and let us know how it goes!

  16. 16

    lv2eat — December 5, 2009 @ 1:03 am

    I am impressed with your talent and love for cooking 🙂

  17. 17

    Ravenous Couple — December 7, 2009 @ 4:35 am

    Lien: Thanks for visiting and commenting. Hope to hear more from you in the future!

  18. 18

    tyvander — February 10, 2010 @ 4:31 pm

    been trolling your site for weeks and finally had to tell you how much I love it, the pictures, the storytelling, everything. Many of the recipes are everyday foods my mom used to make, and I find myself craving them more and more.

    I've made this xoi several times. I even went to a fabric store to buy "muslin". But the muslin in your pic above sooo does not look like the muslin in the store, which is a thicker, denser cloth. So, I bought some voile instead and that works great.

    I'm looking forward to trying out the rest of the recipes on your blog. Thanks bunches!

  19. 19

    Ravenous Couple — February 18, 2010 @ 6:22 pm

    tyvander: so glad that our recipes and photos take you back to some good memories of your mother..that's great! Glad the voile fabric worked for you and don't be a stranger..let us know if you try any other recipes!

  20. 20

    Anonymous — April 5, 2010 @ 10:50 pm

    Is it possible to steam this in a regular bamboo steamer?

  21. 21

    Ravenous Couple — April 5, 2010 @ 11:02 pm

    anonymous: you can use any steamer you have. just make sure you have something to prevent the grains of sticky rice from failing through.

  22. 22

    Lori — May 1, 2010 @ 3:44 am

    Fascinating- I must try this.

  23. 23

    Jane Ko — November 5, 2010 @ 3:44 pm

    I was at Chinatown yesterday and asked a local vietnamese women on how to cook sticky rice and she told me to use the bamboo basket and aluminum steamer pot. Great minds think alike!

  24. 24

    Anonymous — March 1, 2011 @ 3:38 am

    i just came across your blog, and it is amazing! i was so inspired, i ordered the conical shaped bamboo basket/steamer pot from amazon today. how much sticky rice can you make with this steamer at one time (we're a family of 8 :)). i also want to try your banh gio since my kids love it, but can you use this same steamer for that? or do i need to buy a metal steamer that can steam more?

  25. 25

    Ravenous Couple — March 1, 2011 @ 4:36 am

    @anonymous: a metal steamer is most versatile and you can do both sticky rice and different types of banh. This bamboo steamer can do a fair amount, but if u have alot make sure you occasionally stir it up so it steams evenly.

  26. 26

    MTN2930 — April 3, 2011 @ 2:47 am

    Hi! Can you make this without pandan? Can't find it. Thanks!

  27. 27

    Phuong — April 17, 2011 @ 3:36 am

    Hi chi,
    I've made sticky rice with pandan before and it came out not as green as yours but the color looks very natural. I guess it was b/c I use fresh pandan leaves while u use its extract. U should try out the fresh pandan next time and see which one u like better.

  28. 28

    Natalie — July 8, 2011 @ 4:13 pm

    Hi! My mom actually referred me to your website when we were talking about making Vietnamese grilled pork. It is gorgeous! My 3 year old daughter saw this picture of the pandan sticky rice while I was on your site and demanded it immediately. We just finished making it; absolutely delicious! Thank you so much! We’re also trying your grilled pork recipe tonight. 🙂

  29. 29

    therru — October 9, 2012 @ 6:20 pm

    Hi, I was trying to make this but unfortunately after soakin my rice overnight grains broke into small pieces 🙁 I thought I soaked for too long so today I soaked only 4hrs and the same thing happened – rice grains crumble in my fingers. I use good quality rice (pigeon brand) 2012 crop. What’s wrong with it? I’m not Asian, experiment with sticky rice first time. Please help, thx!

  30. 30

    The Ravenous Couple — October 9, 2012 @ 6:40 pm

    that’s really odd. make sure it’s sweet glutinous rice, try soaking it less, but increase cooking time

  31. 31

    therru — October 9, 2012 @ 8:53 pm

    Thanks for fast reply! It’s sweet glutinous rice, same that my mother in law using (my hubby is Vietnamese). Unfortunately I cant learn how to cook xoi from her…..
    When I look closer some grains of rice have a crack in them and when I take it in my fingers splits just where the crack was. So when I mixed it with pandan paste it turned out like broken rice…. After soaking 4hrs still rice was braking in my hands when mixing.

  32. 32

    Amie Tran — November 10, 2012 @ 3:53 am

    Being a vietnamese girl born and raised in England, my mum cooks wonderful traditional recipes at home. Wanted to try cooking viet food for her, when she got home she was so impressed! Followed your recipe and it tasted amazing! We ate all of it very fast, thank you so much, going to make again 😀

  33. 33

    Xoi La Dua (Coconut Pandan Sticky Rice) | Ms. Ma Cooks — April 2, 2013 @ 10:15 pm

    […] (Adapted from https://theravenouscouple.com/2009/09/sweet-sticky-rice-with-pandan-xoi-la-dua.html) […]

  34. 34

    Sheri — June 4, 2013 @ 3:49 pm

    What kind of lid should be used to cover the basket steam pot?

  35. 35

    The Ravenous Couple — June 4, 2013 @ 8:30 pm

    we don’t use the bamboo steamer any more just because it doesn’t make as much. we prefer the large metal 2 or 3 tier steamers which come with their own cover.

  36. 36

    Katherine — May 10, 2014 @ 1:56 am

    I love that you coloured this rice green. So pretty.

  37. 37

    Chopstix — February 12, 2015 @ 6:39 pm

    Question: how many servings does this make and is coconut juice the same as coconut milk?

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