If there is one dish that I had over and over again when I visited Việt Nam, it was Xôi Mặn.
This popular sticky rice dish is topped with a ton of toppings that are salty, sweet, tangy, and meaty. Let’s do it!
WHAT IS XÔI MẶN
Xôi mặn is a classic Vietnamese dish that consists of sticky rice served with a variety of toppings. Xôi meaning “sticky rice” and mặn meaning “salty”. It is usually sold as a street food and enjoyed for breakfast, although it can be found all-day long.
There are many different types of xôi mặn depending on the toppings used, however sticky rice remains the base.
HOW TO MAKE XÔI MẶN
Before starting, I recommend having all of your toppings ready. Then, it’s just a matter of cooking the rice and adding all the different toppings. This recipe is quite versatile, and there are as many versions of this dish as there are cooks. I choose to replicate my favorite one here.
You can prepare most of the toppings the day before, or even few days before as they keep well in the refrigerator.
- Paté and/or mayo: While mayo is not very common, here we mix it with paté to make a rich and creamy spread. For the recipe, check out my Vegan Paté recipe.
- Pickles: They add crunch and tanginess.
- Protein: I went with vegan sausage but feel free to use your favorite plant-based protein. It can be sautéed seitan, tofu, or vegan Chick’n.
- Roasted peanuts: For extra crunch and nuttiness.
- Green onions: Don’t omit it, sautéed green onions add a ton of flavor to this dish!
- Optional: vegan “meat” floss. Not only it makes the whole dish look better, it also adds saltiness and more meatiness.
Once all of your toppings are ready (or bought if you want to save time), it’s time to cook the sticky rice.
There are many ways to cook sticky rice, but my preferred way is to use the Instant Pot, it’s super easy and comes out great every time! Simply combine the dry sticky rice with water in a bowl and pressure cook for 12 minutes. Then wait 5 more minutes and manually release the pressure.
- Spread the sticky rice on a large plate. Yes, it’s a bit sticky.
- Generously spread the paté and mayo on top.
- Top with pickles, vegan sausage, and/or your favorite vegan “meat”.
- Finish with a sprinkle of sautéed green onions, “meat floss”, peanuts, and minced chili if you want it spicy.
- Serve immediately!
This dish is loaded with a mix of different flavors and textures, from tangy pickles to chewy sausage and buttery paté. It’s a delicious, filling, and carb-y dish that you should definitely try!
Looking for more Vietnamese-inspired recipes? Check out our round-up of 37 Vegan Vietnamese Recipes!
Let me know in the comments if you try this recipe!
Vietnamese Savory Sticky Rice (Xôi Mặn)
- 1 carrot peeled and cut into matchsticks
- 1 daikon radish peeled and cut into matchsticks
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 3 tbsp sugar
- 1/2 cup white vinegar
- 1/2 cup warm water
- Add the carrot and radish cut into matchsticks to a large mixing bowl. Sprinkle with the salt and stir with your hands to coat. Let it sit for about 30 minutes or until the radish matchsticks can bend and a lot of water has been drained.
- Drain and rinse the radish and carrots under cold water. Transfer to a bowl or a large glass jar.
- To prepare the brine: combine the sugar, white vinegar, and warm water. Stir until the sugar has been dissolved. Pour the brine over the carrots and radish, they should be fully covered. Cover with the lid.
- Transfer to the refrigerator and let marinade for at least 4 hours. Pickles are even better the next day and will keep for up to 1 week.
- Rinse the sticky rice under cold water and transfer to a small glass or ceramic bowl. Cover with the 2/3 cup of water.
- Pour 2 cups of water into the Instant Pot liner. Add the steamer rack and place the bowl of rice on top.
- Close the lid and set the steam release to the Seal position. Press the "Pressure Cook" button and set the time to 12 minutes. It will take a few minutes for the Instant Pot to start.
- After 12 minutes, wait 5 more minutes before releasing the pressure manually. Remove the bowl of sticky rice from the Instant Pot and let it cool a few minutes.
- In the meantime, heat the 2 tablespoons of oil in a small saucepan. Once hot, add chopped green onions and sautée 2-3 minutes. Remove from heat and let it cool.
- Spread the sticky rice into a 1-inch thickness on a large serving plate.
- Mix the vegan paté with the vegan mayo and spread it evenly on top of the rice. Top with about 1/2 cup of pickles, the sausage patty slices (or your plant-based protein of choice). Next, sprinkle with the vegan meat floss, sautéed green onions, and chopped chili if using. Top with roasted peanuts and serve immediately!
- This savory sticky rice is best enjoyed the same day.