For The Sticky Rice
- ¾ cup long-grain sticky rice
- ¼ cup yellow mung bean centers
- Water for soaking and steaming
- ½ teaspoon vegetable oil
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 3 tablespoons white sesame seeds, toasted
- 1/3 cup coarsely chopped roasted and salted peanuts
- 2 tablespoons sugar
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At least 3 hours before you plan to serve, combine the raw sticky rice and the mung bean centers in a medium bowl. Add water to cover them, swirl with your hands, and drain well. Repeat the process, rinsing away most of the yellow color released by the beans. Add fresh water to cover by about 1 inch, and set aside to soak for at least 3 hours and up to 12 hours.
To cook the rice and beans, drain them well, and then mix in the oil and salt. Scrape the mixture into the basket or onto the cloth-lined tray of your steaming vessel, and place it over a steamer base filled with 4 to 6 inches of water. Bring the water to a rolling boil over high heat, and then adjust the heat to maintain an active flow of steam.
When steam is flowing through the rice and beans, cover with a folded kitchen towel, a big square of banana leaf, or a lid, and let it steam until the tiny yellow beans are tender and the rice plumps up, changing from bright white to a warm ivory shade, 20 to 35 minutes. The rice should be tender to the bite. It should stick to itself when rolled into a little ball, but not stick to your fingers.
While the rice and beans steam, prepare the topping, if using. You can chop the toasted sesame seeds, pound them lightly with a mortar and pestle, or leave them whole. Combine the peanuts, sesame seeds, and sugar in a small bowl, stirring to mix them well. Place on the serving platter you will use for the rice and beans.
Turn out the cooked sticky rice and beans onto a cutting board or tray and quickly spread them out into a fairly even layer. Let cool and release steam for 5 to 10 minutes.
Gather the warm rice and beans into a large clump and transfer to the serving platter with the bowl of topping, if using. Sprinkle the topping over the rice and serve hot, warm, or at room temperature.