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  • Writer's pictureDash of Hang

Xoi La Dua (Pandan Sweet Sticky Rice)

Vietnamese cooking series continues on! I've spent all weekend cooking different Vietnamese dishes that my family eats on a slightly regular basis. It's actually been refreshing to just cook things and have my mom give me input on how things are cooked now that we're in America versus how they were cooked back in the old country. Also this series comes at a perfect time for those of you who are getting prepared for the Lunar New Year and want to make a little something extra for your family celebrations. I'll be trying to bang out two recipes a week to get this series into full swing. But we all know how I am with writing these posts in a timely manner.

Speaking of timely manner, I have begun bullet journaling! For those of you who do not know what that is, it's basically a blank (usually dot grid) journal, in which you fill it with whatever your heart desires. I've scoured Pinterest and Youtube for advice and inspiration. AmandaRachLee created the most wonderful 2018 layout, which I can't even come close to replicating but definitely aspiring towards it. Roar also has these minimalist designs, which made me discovered how trees can add a blissful vibe to blank pages. Or how great watercolors can look in the midst of planning meetings and tasks as shown by Jenny Journals.

So as I was organizing and decorating my bullet journal, I added in a recipes page. This lets me jot down recipe ideas that pop into my head or delicious food I come across and want to recreate. Which has been great because I have about eight dishes I want to add to this Vietnamese series, as well as organizing future series. Definitely been a very exciting and productive weekend. Plus I got to go to the grocery store twice this weekend, but is always my nirvana.

And of course as I'm talking about nirvana, I'm curled up with a bowl of xoi a.k.a. sticky rice deciding if I should just stay in bed all day ignoring all my responsibilities. Before all that happens, let me get into a little of why I love this dish. I used to eat sweet sticky rice all the time as a kid. The colors were so fun and festive. Also we used to wrap them up in little spheres and I could just pop them in my mouth. The best part is how simple it is, literally just glutinous rice, extract, coconut, sugar, salt, and sesame seeds. Of course there's plenty of other flavors and mixtures you could do as well, but I can't stray from the sweetness of coconut milk and pandan leaves.

Let me know if you guys want me to keep doing with this series or if you have any suggestions on future series.


For Sticky Rice:

  • 2 c sweet rice*

  • 1/2 coconut milk

  • 1 c water

  • 1 Tbsp pandan extract (from 1 stalk of pandan leaves)

  • 1 tsp pandan extract (from bottle for coloring)

  • 1 Tbsp sugar

  • 1 Tbsp salt

For Toppings:

  • 1 Tbsp sesame seeds, toasted and crushed

  • 1 Tbsp salt

  • 1 Tbsp sugar

*Note: This recipe requires you to soak the rice for 6-8 hours or overnight.


  1. Soak sweet rice in water for 6-8 hours or overnight.

  2. If you're like me, frozen pandan leaves are more accessible than fresh ones. Defrost first, toss into a food processor and chop until shredded. Put chopped pandan leaves into a cheese cloth or muslin cloth, strain out the extract.

  3. Once soaked, drain out water. Mix in coconut milk, both pandan extracts, sugar, and salt until well combined.

  4. Transfer to rice cooker pot. Toss in water. Set your rice cooker to the "sweet rice" setting and cook, approximately 20 minutes.

  5. In a separate pinch bowl, mix together sesame seeds, salt, and sugar for topping.

  6. Once finished cooking, plate in a bowl or plate. Sprinkle toppings on and serve.


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