Sesame Rice Balls (Dau Xanh Vung)

A vegan Vietnamese treat!

Photo by Gilmer Diaz Estela on Pexels.com

Dau Xanh Vung or sesame rice balls are a very popular treat in Vietnam. They are sweet dumplings made of rice flour, filled with mung bean paste, covered in sesame seeds, and then deep fried. Other versions of these dumplings can be sweet filled with taro root or red bean paste, or savory filled with pork. Vietnamese sesame rice dumplings were adapted from a Chinese recipe where the sweet dumplings are filled with lotus or red bean paste. The mung bean paste makes this recipe distinctly Vietnamese in flavor.

When I was little I would go to local Vietnamese sweet shops with my parents and brother. Seeing the fried sesame rice balls in the dessert case always excited us. The baker would take their tongs and place two in a paper bag for my brother and me. The bag was not necessary because as soon as we left the shop we would devour our sesame treasures. I would bite into the crispy sesame seed covered outside, and find creamy mung bean paste inside. It was delicious, sweet, and a little savory. I thought I would bring those flavors from childhood back by creating them at home.

Sesame Rice Balls (Dau Xanh Vung)

Yields 15 balls

Prep Time 10 minutes Cook Time 25 minutes Inactive Time 3 hours

Vegan

Drink Pairing Suggestion: Jasmine Tea

Ingredients

1/4 cup split mung beans, soaked for 3 hours and drained

1/4 cup granulated sugar

1 1/2 cups sweet rice flour

1 baking potato, peeled, boiled, and mashed

1/3 cup water

1/4 cup sesame seeds

Vegetable oil for deep frying

Directions

Put 1 cup of water in a pot and simmer on medium heat. Add the mung beans and 1/8 cup sugar. Cook the mixture and constantly stir until the water is all absorbed. This will take about 20 minutes.

Remove the pot from heat and allow to cool. Crush the beans to form a paste.

In a bowl, stir together the remaining 1/8 cup of sugar, sweet rice flour, and potato.

Add 1/2 cup of water to the bowl and mix together until all the ingredients are well incorporated.

Knead dough 2-3 times until it feels moist and a little sticky.

Roll the dough until it forms a rope and cut into 15 pieces. Flatten each piece into a disc.

Scoop cooked mung beans evenly onto the 15 discs. Shape the discs into balls.

Pour sesame seeds on a plate. Gently roll the balls in the seeds until they are evenly covered.

Heat the oil in a pot or wok over medium heat (360-375 F). Work in batches, and carefully lower the balls into the hot oil. Fry until golden and crisp, about 3 to 5 minutes. Drain on paper towels.

Serve warm.

This works well as an after dinner dessert or a snack anytime of the day!

Feel free to experiment with other fillings! Red bean paste, or sweetened taro all work well.

This dough also works for savory non-vegan recipes. Make it a savory appetizer and fill it with cooked pork or chicken!

DID YOU MAKE THIS DISH?

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