11 September 2011

Che soi nuoc (sticky rice balls stuffed with mung beans)

Although I am not American I still want to stand still by what happened today 10 years ago. I don’t remember much, but I do remember where I was when I heard the news. I was in college and heard through classmates that something terrible has happened in America. It seems so unreal that 2 planes went right through 2 towers till we saw the footage on tv.

Today National Geographic Channel devoted the whole day on what happened on 9/11 with interviews with survivors and more. The hubby and I spend all morning watching. There are so many touching stories and often my eyes got wet. How could this happen. I think this question still remains party unanswered. Although they have been able to reconstruct somewhat what happened that day, the ones who know the whole picture are no longer with us. All we can do now is hope and pray it will never happen again. Although it happened in America it had a huge impact on the rest of the world. It’s good to stand still and think about that black black day. So you could get things back in perspective.

Today I am getting back to my roots. I was born in Vietnam but raised in Holland. I feel very bless to be part of 2 different worlds. All that I know about Vietnamese cooking has been past down by my mom. She’s the best!

So since she came over for dinner I took the opportunity to make che soi nuoc with her.
Now doesn’t that look good? Let me show you how we made it.
We used:
* 1 bag of glutinous rice flour
* about 300 gram of mung beans
* grated dried coconut
* sugar
* 2 bags of vanilla sugar
* half a teaspoon of salt
* ginger
* toasted sesame seeds

I realize not all the ingredients are in the picture, but hey I did captured the main ones.

I cooked the beans in a bit of water till they were soft enough to mash them. Then I added one package of vanilla sugar, the sugar and the salt. We don’t like overly sweet filling so we started with a couple table spoons of sugar first and added more till it was sweet enough.
Then when the beans cooled off enough to handle we rolled them in little balls. They were a bit bigger then a marble. Mom normally makes huge ones, but I prefer small balls so I can have a lot more.
After the balls were done we started with the dough. We didn’t want to make the dough in advance because when it dries out it will be a bit too hard to handle. All we had to do is to add a bit of hand warm water to the flour and kneed it till it was still moist but firm enough to work with. It has to have the consistency of play dough.
We pinched a bit of dough, flatten it out and placed the mung ball in the middle. Then we wrapped the dough around it, removed the access dough and rolled it  between our palms till it was round.
We continued doing it till there was no dough left. I don’t know how many balls we ended up with, but it was a lot. So make sure you only make this when you have a party, or half the recipe.
While we were forming the balls I boiled some water and put the balls in when the water was cooking. They will sink straight to the bottom. I used a wooden spoon to stir them around making sure they didn’t stick.
The balls are done when they come on the surface. I tend to let them boil for a bit longer just to make sure.
I had a container with cold water so I could put the balls in straight after they were done so they could cool down.
After all the balls were cooked it was time to make the ginger simple syrup. I boiled some water, added some sugar, one package of vanilla sugar and some ginger and that was it. You can make it as sweet as you like. When the syrup was done all the balls went in and we let it boil for a bit so the balls could get warm.
Right after dinner I had some che soi nuoc. The way we like to eat it is with some sprinkles of toasted sesame seeds and a dash of coconut milk. I skipped on the coconut milk today, but it was still very good.

I can’t believe it was so easy to make and I am already thinking about different stuffing…I’m telling you…food is always on my mind, but today I also remember the lives of all those who have been effected by 9/11.


  1. I had never heard of this dessert and it looks fantastic! I love that ginger syrup too!

  2. I have tried this dessert before and I like it because it is not too sweet as I don't have a sweet tooth.

    Like you, we also watched the proceedings at WTC memorial and couldn't help but feel heartened by the courage, pride and dignity of the American people. I dedicate a blog post to the victims and their families and my thoughts and prayers are with them during this difficult time.

  3. I haven't made like this looks wonderful

  4. Hi Lilly, It was a sad day indeed here, I remember it like yesterday.

    I've never had anything like this, you are making my must try list even longer.

    Thanks you for your support, hope you have a great week.

  5. This looks so delicious! I've heard of mung beans and I'm constantly amazed at how BRIGHT rice flour is...it's such a pretty dessert!

  6. I love mung beans so this looks fantastic!

  7. I've never had rice balls. These look beautiful!

  8. It is very sweet of you to think of the U.S. and remember such a sorrowful time. Kamsamnida. I don't know much Korean, but I do know a few words from my daughter Tae Kwon Do class and that's one that says it all.

  9. OH! I love these glutinous balls...never made them, always got them from store.
    Yours look delicious with mung bean paste.
    Hope you have a wonderful week ahead :-)

  10. These look great- truly a labor of love!

  11. Oh, I love these things! Never knew what to call them til now. I had another version with a black sesame paste filling and they eat them dunked in sweetened soy milk. Now that I know it's so easy to make, I definitely will try a homemade version then those frozen ones from the stores.... not too sure what kind of preservatives they have in them. Thanks for sharing!

  12. Lilly, wow! Beeeeautiful dessert. I've never had these but definitely putting them on my "to make" list. Great photos too.

  13. Your mom did a great job and you became such a wonderful cook! I hope to do the same for my daughter... I don't know this dish, but I love sticky rice in any kind!

  14. What a great little treat to make with your mom! They look great =)

  15. Fabulous treat! And what a cool cultural history you have...makes for some great food, I'm sure ;) Buzzed!

  16. I am still munching on some of these balls so make sure you’ll have plenty of people to share it with. I think you can freeze them as well (after you rolled them in to balls), but I haven’t tried yet so if it doesn’t work out…Sorry!
    I know my posts rarely have the quantities of the ingredients I use, but that’s the way mom taught me to cook. Little bit of this, little bit of that. That’s why I am a horrible baker =)

  17. They look so good! love to try them....mmmm

  18. Gosh, Lilly this looks a lot like our onde onde except yours has that lovely ginger syrup. The process of making them into balls and cooking them is the same. I also loved that you made your own mung bean filling because I always buy store-bought. A bit pathetic, isn't it?


I’m curious by nature so please share whatever is on your mind.