easy recipe: Che Xoi Nuoc glutinous rice balls dessert

No-fill, plain pandan glutinous rice balls in ginger sauce
(sprinkled with toasted shredded coconut and sesame seeds)
At home sick (congested) and feeling really sick of getting sick so often !  My daughter Bee asked me to make her "white balls that drop in the water".  I knew right away what she meant and welcomed the request.  I forgot about this sweet treat !  What a great way to take in more gingers :)  Why more ginger ?  I don't know when it started but as I get older I become more nammer than I desired to be :)  When sick with a cold, all the words my mom nagged on me growing up suddenly filled my mind :) when down with a cold, we should eat only "warm" ingredients, like ginger, sesame leaves (Tia to), onion, scallion, garlic, etc.  It makes a lot of sense to me.  It seems a lot of what my mom said make a lot of sense nowadays :)

I propped Bee up next to the stove and let her roll the balls while I prepped the ginger sauce.  She only wanted plain ones so it'll be super quick to make. 15 min. later we were both rewarded with chewy glutinous rice balls in honeylicious ginger sauce.

Here's the original recipe.  If you want plain, omit the mung beans, and just mix the flour, rolled into what ever size rice balls you want and drop it in the ginger sauce.  I also tried something new, pandan flavoured rice balls filled with red beans in coconut milk.  In order to taste the food, I steamed my face in hot water for a few second and gained a few seconds of utter bliss !  I can breathe and taste my food.  It was the highlight of today.  I've appreciate this little nose so much !!!

Ingredients:
Yield 10 large glutinous rice balls or 18-20 small ones

- 1 bag of bot nep glutinous rice flour (400g)
- 2/3 bag of mug beans (use about 250g of the 400g bag)
- 1/4 teaspoon of salt
- one inch of ginger, minced or thinly julienned ginger
- 1/2 cup of brown sugar (or palm sugar or golden sugar or rock sugar, never use white sugar in any Viet dessert :)  you can use it but it doesn't give a nice smooth taste !)


Instructions:

Mung beans filling: 

- Wash the mung beans and put into a pot, cover with 1 1/2 times of water
- Add the 1/2 teaspoon of salt and bring to boil, cover and turn heat down to medium.  Simmer for 15 min. and turn off the heat.  Leave on stove with pot covered for another 15-20 min.  
- Mung beans are done when they are easily squished
- Remove from pot, let cool and chill in the fridge

*If you like sweet filling, add a teaspoon or two of cane sugar

Prep. for the ginger sauce

- Boil about 6 cups of water
- Add 1/2 cup of brown sugar (palm sugar or golden sugar or cane sugar works too), add more or less to your preference
- Add in the minced or sliced gingers
- Bring to boil and remove from stove

Making glutinous rice balls:

Mix flour with 1 2/3 cup of lukewarm water
- Knead the mixture well and leave a side
- Remove the mung beans from the fridge, with a fork or potato masher, crush the beans into powdery mixture
- Divide the mixture into 10, take each portion and formed into a ball, put aside
- Lightly greased hands, take an egg size of the mixed flour, roll into a ball then flatten it big enough to cover the mung bean ball 
- Place a mung bean ball in the middle of flattened flour, fold in from four sides, then rolled in between hands to form into a ball
- Place finished balls on a plate lined with saran wrap (to prevent balls from sticking to plate)

Cooking the rice balls:

- Boil a pot of water, about 8 cups of water
- When it's rolling boil, drop in slowly each of the rice ball, don't crowd the pot
- When rice ball is done it will float to top
- Scoop out the cooked rice balls and put into a plate, space out the balls so it doesn't stick to each other

Serve:
- Place 2 or 3 rice balls into a bowl (if balls are cold, warm up for a few seconds in microwave)
- Pour hot ginger sauce over the rice balls

*** You can also cook the rice balls directly in the ginger sauce pot and avoid boiling another pot of water altogether.  The different between the two ?  If you cook directly in the ginger sauce, the sauce will be a bit more thick.  It's personal preference so you decide :)


If you want to make pandan rice balls covered red bean, add the pandan flavoring to the lukewarm water before mixing it with the flour.  Substitute mung beans with red beans (soak red beans over night then cook it or use unsalted canned beans).  And substitute ginger sauce with coconut milk (bring coconut milk to boil and add sugar to your desired sweetness). 

Now that you know how easy this is, try out other fillings, like ground black sesame, or crushed peanuts with coconut and sugar !  Enjoy !