| 10 Most Popular Vietnamese Rice Dishes

10 Most Popular Vietnamese Rice Dishes

Dishes made from rice: sticky rice, broken rice, sticky rice with chicken, banh tet, rice lice,…
1/ Vietnamese Rice Balls (Cơm nắm)
Cơm nắm is a traditional Vietnamese dish prepared with long-grain rice as the only ingredient. The rice is cooked, fluffed, and kneaded like it’s a ball of dough. This dish is shaped into dense logs or balls, and it’s then also eaten by hand. Each ball or log of rice is picked up, then usually combined with sesame salt or caramelized minced pork, and eaten.
In the past, cơm nắm was often used for road trips and picnics.
2/ Bamboo Cooked Sticky Rice (Cơm lam)
Cơm lam is prepared by stuffing sticky rice into bamboo tubes which are first wrapped in banana leaves and then roasted over hot coals. It was invented as a convenient and portable dish that was intended for long journeys, and its origin is usually associated with Northern and Northwest Vietnam, especially in Sapa, though similar techniques and dishes can be found in Laos, Cambodia, Myanmar, and Thailand.
Cơm lam is typically served with grilled pork or chicken, and it is usually sprinkled with sesame seeds or roasted peanuts.
3/ Chicken Sticky Rice (Xôi gà)
In its basic form, this simple Vietnamese dish consists of sticky rice topped with fried or boiled chicken, and it’s traditionally served on a banana leaf. Variations may include tinted and flavored rice, fried and fresh vegetables, or xá xíu (Chinese roast pork).
The dish is usually finished off with a sprinkle of ground shrimp and a drizzle of chili sauce. Xôi Gà is served in restaurants, but it is mostly enjoyed as a nutritious and cheap street food option.
4/ Vietnamese Fried Rice (Cơm chiên)
Cơm chiên is the Vietnamese take on fried rice. The dish is very versatile because almost anything can be added to the rice to enrich it, but it’s usually prepared with white rice, garlic, salt, and pepper. The rice is cooked and it’s then stir-fried in hot oil.
Cơm chiên is served while still hot, and it can be enriched with various vegetables, eggs, or sausage meat. Soy sauce or fish sauce can be used as a seasoning, while chopped spring onions provide extra texture and a nice visual contrast to the rice.
5/ Square Sticky Rice Cake (Bánh chưng)
The main ingredients of this traditional Vietnamese rice cake are glutinous rice, mung beans, fatty pork and spices such as salt, pepper, green onions and nước mắm (fish sauce). The pork is seasoned, tucked into the rice and bean paste, wrapped in lá dong (a leafy plant), giang strings (a type of bamboo) or banana leaves, and then boiled.
Sometimes, in order to give the resulting wrap a better shape, square wooden molds are used. Bánh chưng has a valuable cultural and historical meaning. Served for tết, the Vietnamese New Year, it is said to have been created by a Vietnamese prince, Lang Liêu, along with bánh giầy.
6/ Burnt Rice (Cơm cháy)
Cơm cháy is a traditional Vietnamese dish and a specialty of Ninh Binh. The dish is made from steamed rice that’s sliced into flat and round shapes. The rice needs to be glutinous Huong rice, with round and pure grains. It is then dried in the sun for a few times and preserved in dark and cold space to keep the flavor and avoid the development of mold.
After the drying, the slices of rice are fried in hot oil until the rice develops a crisp texture. Cơm cháy is typically served with goat meat, beef, pig’s heart, carrots, and mushrooms.
7/ Broken Rice (Cơm tấm)
Cơm tấm is a traditional Vietnamese dish that’s typically sold as street food. It consists of broken and imperfect rice grains that were traditionally chucked away after the milling process, but nowadays it’s a signature dish of Ho Chi Minh City.
Broken rice has a texture that’s similar to normal rice, just smaller. When served, cơm tấm is accompanied by numerous toppings such as fried eggs, shredded pork skin, grilled pork chops, or deep-fried fish patties. The usual garnishes include lime wedges, chopped spring onions, and mint, while accompaniments served on the side include sliced tomatoes and cucumbers, pickled vegetables, or dipping sauces.
8/ Xôi
With as many versions as one can imagine, xôi is one of Vietnam’s favorite foods that is easily found anywhere from numerous roadside vendors to traditional and upscale restaurants. Made with a base of steamed sticky rice, these dishes can be made in savory – xôi mặn, or sweet versions – xôi ngọt.
They are traditionally served in a banana leaf, and most commonly enjoyed either as a cheap and scrumptious on-the-go breakfast meal, a mid-day snack or a dessert, although in many mountainous areas of northern Vietnam people eat xôi as a main dish.
9/ Sticky Rice Cakes with Mung Beans or Pork (Bánh tét)
Bánh tét is a South Vietnamese specialty, a sticky rice cake that can be either savory or sweet. It is made from glutinous rice stuffed with a mung bean or pork filling and wrapped in a banana leaf. The whole concoction is then boiled or steamed, the banana leaf is removed, and the log-shaped cake is sliced into cylindrical pieces.
Banana leaves are used because they impart a unique aroma and flavor to the rice, reminiscent of tea. The cake will often be wrapped in plastic with a red or gold ribbon tied around it in order to make bánh tét look more festive, because it is traditionally prepared and served for the Vietnamese Lunar New Year celebration.
10/ Vietnamese Steamed Savory Rice Cake (Bánh bèo)
Bánh bèo is a popular Vietnamese steamed cake consisting of key ingredients such as rice flour, fish sauce with green chili peppers, and either shrimps or pork. Additionally, noodles, roasted peanuts, or fried onions can be added to the cake in order to improve its flavors.
Apart from savory cakes, there are also sweet versions which are almost exclusively available in Hội An. Bánh bèo is traditionally served in a porcelain bowl with a bamboo spoon for consumption. Some people refer to it as the Vietnamese version of tapas, and it is believed that the most important characteristic of a good bánh bèo is an indentation in its center which is used for holding the flavorful, savory stuffings.

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