“Xoi” is the name for a whole suite of sweet and savoury Vietnamese dishes made using sticky rice. Often these are served for breakfast as a filling main dish but some types are simple snacks, wrapped in paper and eaten on the run; toppings include coconut, steamed dried beans, peanuts and taro. Similar to Chinese stir-fried sticky rice, this example of xoi is a ‘one-pot’ dish that makes a great easy dinner.
- 600 g chicken thigh fillets
- 3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
- 2 tbsp light soy sauce
- 2 tsp dark soy sauce
- 1½ tbsp fish sauce
- 600 g (3 cups) white sticky (glutinous) rice, soaked overnight
- 2½ tbsp vegetable oil
- 1 onion, finely chopped
- 300 g (about 4, see note) Chinese sausages (lup cheong), thinly sliced
- 30 g (¼ cup) dried shrimp, soaked in warm water for 30 minutes
- 1 tbsp caster sugar
- 3 green onions, trimmed and finely sliced
- Chinese pork floss (see Note) and fried shallots, to serve
- coriander sprigs, to serve
- 60 ml (¼ cup) fish sauce
- 2 tbsp clear rice vinegar
- 125 ml (¼ cup) water
- 2 tbsp sugar
- 60 ml (¼ cup) lime juice
- 2 birds-eye chillies, thinly sliced
- ½ carrot, cut into very fine julienne
Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.
Soaking time: overnight or 8 hours
Marinating time: 30 minutes
Combine the chicken with the garlic, soy sauces and fish sauce in a large bowl, tossing to coat well. Cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes or until ready to cook – the chicken can be marinated overnight, if you like.
Drain the sticky rice well, then transfer to a steamer lined with either muslin or a clean tea towel, spreading the rice evenly. Cover with a tight-fitting lid, then cook over boiling water for 20 minutes or until the rice is tender. Remove from the heat and set the rice aside.
Meanwhile, for the nuoc cham, combine all the ingredients in a small bowl, stirring to dissolve the sugar.
Drain the chicken well, reserving any liquid. Heat the oil in a large wok over medium-high. Add the onion and stir fry for 1–2 minutes or until slightly softened. Add the drained chicken and cook, stirring, for 4 minutes or until chicken is partially cooked, then add the sausage and cook, stirring, for another 4 minutes or until the chicken is nearly cooked through. Drain the dried shrimp well, then add to the wok with the reserved chicken marinade, sugar and green onions and toss to combine well. Add the rice to the wok, using a wooden spoon to break it up and distribute it among the other ingredients. Cook, tossing the wok, for 3 minutes or until everything is heated through and the chicken is cooked. Divide among bowls or plates, scatter each with pork floss and fried shallots to taste and some coriander sprigs. Serve with the nuoc cham to spoon over.
• Pork floss, or rou song, is a Chinese ingredient; the Vietnamese use it as well. It’s made from pork that has been cooked, finely shredded, seasoned with soy sauce and sugar and cooked again until it is dry and has a soft, woolly texture. You’ll find it on the shelves of Asian food stores. As you will Chinese sausage, or lup cheong. There are many different brands of these – some are harder and smaller than others so just buy whichever brand you can find or that you fancy, it doesn't really matter. For this recipe we used Thai-style lup cheong, which are softer, and sweeter (take care – they burn easily!).
Photography, styling and food preparation by china squirrel.
When she doesn’t have her head in the pantry cupboard, Leanne Kitchen finds time to photograph food and write cookbooks. You can view her work on her website.