2 cups glutinous rice, soaked overnight

1 cup dried mung beans, soaked for an hour

200g pork belly, sliced into half centimetre pieces with fat and skin

1 shallot, finely sliced

salt & pepper for seasoning

3 sheets of banana leaf



16cm x 16cm cake tin (or adapt ingredients to fit a loaf tin, cake tin)


Sticky Rice Cake with Mung Bean & Pork Belly – Bánh Chưng

banh chungMethod

Soak the glutinous rice overnight, then drain.

Soak dried mung beans for about an hour in warm water then add to a sauce pan submerged in about 2cm of water and bring to a gentle boil with a pinch of salt. Cook for about 20 mins until the mung beans have soaked in all the water and become soft and fluffy. Mash it further with a fork to create a lumpy paste.

Marinade the pork belly slices in salt, pepper and shallots for at least an hour.

Lay two or three layers of banana leaves in a square cake tin dark side facing inside the tin (so that tints the rice a light colour of green), cut to size if necessary. Make sure there is enough banana leaf to cover the cake.

Place a centimetre layer of glutinous rice, spreading it up the sides of the then add a layer of mung bean paste. Season with salt. Add another centimetre of glutinous rice to the sides then place a layer of pork belly, season with salt and pepper, then a layer of mung bean paste again, season with salt. Make sure all the sides are covered with glutinous rice. Lay the final layer of glutinous rice on top and push everything down tightly.

Pull the banana leaf flaps to get the entire mixture out of the tin and wrap. Then coat the entire cake with another banana leaf, the dark and shinny side out (so that it looks nice) with string securely but not too tight and not too loose so that the rice can expand and swell.

Place in a steamer and steam on a low/ medium heat for at least 3.5 – 4 hours.

Serve at room temperature, sliced (banana leaves removed) with pickles, Vietnamese ham and a soy and chilli sauce. I love it served warm slices lightly fried til golden and crispy.

This should keep for a few days. They are great edible gifts at Lunar new year.