The original point of Vietnamese cuisine is always rice. That simple ingredient is cooked in different styles to create fine dishes, from the aromatic bamboo-tube rice of the Northwest to the rice with mussel of Hue’s people or clay pot rice and rice with chicken belly of Southern people.
Distinctive bamboo-tube rice
Bamboo-tube rice is an indispensable dish in the daily life of mountainous people in Northwestern Vietnam. Each mountainous region features different flavors of bamboo-tube rice. The glutinous rice, which is often harvested from September to October lunar month, is grilled in bamboo tubes. In this season, the rice is viscous and aromatic.
When having this dish, diners will use a knife to split the tube but remain its white thin layer covering the rice inside. It will be a fantastic experience when break the rice into small pieces and enjoy the deliciousness of the rice mixed in the thin silk layer. The mountainous flavor is blended in the small bamboo tube covering the viscid glutinous rice and coconut milk, which will wake up your taste buds.
Bamboo-tube rice is often served with grilled chicken or bamboo-tube beef and sesame and salt. Travel to Northwestern Vietnam in the cold ambiance in the beginning of winter to sit by the campfire, sip the wine drunk out of a jar through pipes and enjoy the grilled bamboo-tube rice. In Hanoi, you can also try this dish when remembering the coldness of the mountainous area.
Com Lam Pac Bo
- 437 Au Co, Tay Ho, Hanoi
- Tel: 04. 3718 2017
Plain rice with mussel
Mussel has been a well-known dish of Hue’s people. Rice with mussel is as a mixed dish with various but simple ingredients. Delicious rice is stirred with small mussels (mussel in Con Hen is the most delicious) and served with raw vegetables such as salad, basil, banana flower, sour star-fruit, knotweed, fried peanut, some slices of fried pork skin, onion and Hue’s shrimp paste. All are served as a cool dish, except for hot mussel broth.
Rice with mussel is also accompanied with hot chilli as the taste of Hue’s people. The deep flavor of shrimp paste, the sour of star-fruit and the fatty of pork’s skin are blended in the hot mussel broth will be a memorable culinary experience.
Com Hen Restaurant
- 2 Truong Dinh, Hue
Original clay-pot rice
In the past, when products made of cast iron, aluminum and stainless steel were considered as luxurious things in meals, Vietnamese people in the Mekong River Delta often used clay pots. Therefore, clay-pot rice was a popular dish of ancient people.
Legend has it that when being served for kings of the Nguyen dynasty, the clay pot was broken after the Kings finished their meals in order not to reuse. Since then, the dish has been also called pot-breaking rice To have scrumptious rice, the clay pot must be put on the hearth for cooking. After many researches to restore the ancient cuisine, Com Nieu restaurant created its particular mark.
The special rice for this dish is very sophisticated. The rice is cooked by charcoal until it makes the pot’s cover turn out and there is not more water in the pot, the cook will quickly soak the pot in hot charcoal. With the pot-breaking rice, the cook needs bigger fire to create the rice crust around the pot. In particularly, when enjoying these two dishes, you will have a chance to witness the skillful performance of waiters when throwing and catching the “flying rice crust”. A waiter will throw while the other will break the pot that is very interesting.
The dish is served with any other dishes. Even, diners can only enjoy the rice with fish sauce.
Com Nieu Sai Gon
- 59 Ho Xuan Huong, Ward 6, Dist. 3, HCMC
- Tel: (08) 3930 2888
Rice with chicken in Hoi An
Known as a popular dish of the ancient town, Hoi An’s rice with chicken has been a favorite dish of guests here with viscous rice mixed in the saffron water. Chicken of this dish must be soft and aromatic with thin skin. When placing on the dish, the cook often add torn chicken on the rice accompanied with aromatic vegetables of Tra Que, onion, vegetable pickles, Hoi An’s hot chilli sauce, soya sauce, garlic and chilli sauce.
When enjoying rice with chicken, you can feel the deep and hot flavor of this special dish of Hoi An ancient town. The yellow color of rice and the slight pink of chicken, the green of lemon leaves and spices will surely allure its diners.
Com Ga Ba Buoi
- 22 Phan Chu Trinh, Hoi An City
Com Ga Hoi An
- 1A Cua Dong, Hoan Kiem, Hanoi
- Tel: 04. 3923 3728.
Saigon’s broken rice
Crushed rice when being husked has been created as a mouthwatering dish named “Cơm tấm” or broken rice.
The broken rice is best served with grilled pork spareribs with honey. To make the dish more beautiful, apart from cooking the broken rice in the right method, the dish is also decorated with pork skin mixed with powered grilled rice and garlic. In addition, they also cook the pork pie made of pork meat, eggs, mushroom, vermicelli and spices. The pie is steamed and sliced carefully to display on the dish with the rice. This dish is also accompanied with omelet or sausage.
To add the flavor for the broken rice, diners should be served some sweet-and-sour spinach and other vegetables. The broken rice always includes its “specialized” fish sauce. This is the secret of each restaurant to attract guests. In particular, broken rice is also ranked into 10 must-try dishes of Saigon recognized by international guests.
Com Tam Moc
- 85 Ly Tu Trong, Dist. 1, HCMC
- Tel (08) 3824 8561
- Website: www.comtammoc.com
Ba Luan’s rice with chicken
Many restaurants in Saigon offer many famous dishes of rice and grilled or boiled chicken cooked in Chinese style. However, the rice with chicken of Ba Luan (Mrs. Luan) Tam Ky restaurant is the most popular. This brandname is expressed in its 50 years of operation.
To have the best dish as being cooked in Tam Ky, the restaurant bought chicken from Tam Ky and spices from the Central Coast, and then carefully processed it with their traditional spices.
The restaurant has its own special secret of cooking this dish. The rice with chicken of the restaurant is different from that of Chinese people. The chicken is boiled only once that is unlike the methods of other restaurants in the city.
You can enjoy a variety of chicken dishes such as chicken with lemon leaves, chicken mixed in aromatic vegetables, chicken stir-fried with ginger, chicken with lemongrass and fried chicken with butter or fish sauce. At present, apart from the special chicken dishes of Tam Ky, Quang Nam, Mrs. Luan’s family also serves gourmets with many other selections of chicken.
Com ga Ba Luan
- 21 Pho Duc Chinh, Dist. 1, HCMC
- Tel: 08 3914 7567
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