Jersey cudweed glutinous rice is a dish originated from the North of Vietnam, made from Jersey cudweed leaves, glutinous rice, with mung bean and pork filling. This dish is usually made during eth Jersey cudweed season (February, March in the lunar calendar), and since the dish is usually seasoned with a lot of pepper and is served steaming hot, it is more popular in Hanoi (where the weather is usually colder) than in the South. The first time I had this dish was when my mom went to Hanoi and was given a box of this dish by a friend, and the taste of the dish stays with me until this day.
This is a very interesting dish to me. At a first glance it looks like a plain and boring ball of glutinous rice, but it turns out so much more complicated once you bite into it. First you have the soft and chewy sticky rice layer, then the chewy sticky rice flour skin together with the light sweetness of the Jersey cudweed, and then the rich taste of the mung bean and sometimes the firm texture of the meat. When my mom was here she made this dish for me 3 times and I still crave for it every day. She is back in Vietnam now so I have to roll myself to the kitchen to satisfy my stomach
It is impossible to find Jersey cudweed here in France, so I learnt from my mom to use spinach as a replacement. I have some salted egg yolks sitting in the freezer so I put them in the filling as well. The preparation and cooking take quite a lot of time, but when I dig into one of those steaming hot rice ball, enjoying the rich and chewy combination of the skin and the filling, everything totally paid off
Công thức tiếng Việt: Xôi (bánh) khúc
* Ingredients: (10 rice balls about fist-sized)
- 200g glutinous rice flour
- 100g spinach
- 100ml water
- 400g glutinous rice
- 100g pork belly
- 200g hulled mung bean
- 10 salted egg yolk
A. Prepare the ingredients:
1. Rinse and soak glutinous rice and mung bean overnight (8 hours). If you’re absent-minded like me, you can soak the rice and bean in hot water for 2-3 hours.
2. After soaking the rice and bean, pour out the water and let them dry for a bit, mix in ¼ teaspoon of salt, then steam the mung bean until soft.
3. Rinse the pork belly and boil, season the water with a bit of salt and pepper so the meat can absorb some.
4. While steaming the bean and boiling the meat, we can move on to prepare the spinach. I used the frozen type that has been chopped so I only have to boil them with 100ml of water. If you use fresh leaves, clean and chop the leaves, boil until nice and soft with 100ml water and then blend until combined.
5. Put the spinach mixture back on the stove until boiling and add to the glutinous rice flour little by little (1). Add and knead until you have a soft ball that doesn’t stick to your fingers (2). Use a towel to cover the dough and let it rest while you prepare the rest of the ingredients.
Some recipes would tell you to use cheesecloth to squeeze out the spinach juice and discard the pulp, I used everything because I want to keep the vitamin in the vegetable, and it doesn’t affect the taste in any way.
6. When the mung bean is soft, blend them in a blender or use a spoon to mash them, season with 2 teaspoon of pepper and 2 tablespoon of broth that we used to boil the meat. Dice the cooked pork belly (1) and mix with mashed mung bean (2).
B. Shape and steam the glutinous rice:
1. Divide the mung bean mixture into 10 equal parts. Take one part and put the egg yolk in the middle and form into a ball.
2. Divide the glutinous rice dough into 10 equal parts, take one part and form into a ball, then flatten it (1). Put the filling in the middle (3), fold the edges upward and press them together. Then use your palm to gently roll and make a smooth, round ball (3).
3. Put the spinach balls in glutinous rice and use your hand to coat a thin layer of glutinous rice around them (1). Put the spinach balls in the steamer and pour the rest of the glutinous rice in the space between the balls (2) and steam for about 30 minutes. When the glutinous rice is cooked, the spinach balls are cooked too (3).
This dish is served best when it’s hot. The salted egg yolk really provides a rich taste to the filling, and not a lot of thing can compare to the filling of eating this on a chilly day. I cannot finish them all by mysekf in one go, so I put them in a container and put them in the freezer, whenever I feel lazy to cook I just have to take one spinach ball and some glutinous rice out, put it on a dish, cover with a bowl and heat up in the microwave and I’ll have a delicious and nutritious meal.