Sticky rice for breakfast in Hanoi
Alongside the world-renowned banh mi and the traditional pho, xoi (sticky rice) has long secured a concrete position on the untouchable breakfast map of anyone who calls Hanoi capital city their home. Let’s enjoy with: Indochina tours Vietnam. Xoi, easy to find, cheap to purchase, quick to finish, has extended itself in terms of both variety and popularity, each having its own aroma, taste and texture. Let’s get on a journey to try some of the most popular xoi kinds in Hanoi.
Vietnamese sticky rice (Xôi xéo)
Thanks to its rather low price, its fulfillment and palatability, xoi xeo, which is amazingly attractive with its bright yellow color, is a special dish for breakfast, especially with students and manual laborers. Xoi xeo is kept warm in a bamboo basket which the sellers carry on their shoulder or fasten behind the bicycle.
While the origin of the name xeo is still a topic of dispute, Xôi xéo is considered as one of the hardest-to-make xôi, in spite of the fact that it is concocted from ingredients which are very familiar and popular with Vietnamese. The ingredients to make xôi xéo are the same everywhere: glutinous rice, mung bean, turmeric powder, some liquid fat and fried shallot. Anyone who has ever tried xoi xeo can tell immediately what it is made of as it is served right before them.
The glutinous rice is soaked in the mix of turmeric powder and water to have the natural yellow. After being dyed yellow with turmeric, the rice will be left to dry and be mixed with salt and finally steamed. Actually, steamed green beans ground to a pulp and shaped into ball, ready to be sliced and spread all over the pile of sticky rice is the yellow powder that helps alleviate the stickiness and absorb the fat. Carefully chosen and peeled mung bean is steamed, pummeled and then made into small balls. Diners are often amazed at the sight of the sellers skillfully smashing these balls inside these palms and then covering the base with several thin layers of yellow bean. Tours in Vietnam
Stuffed in a small bowl, upended onto a lotus leaf, covered with ground beans, topped up with fried shallots and finished with liquid fat, xoi xeo is the go-to breakfast for so many Hanoians. Hanoi itself has several villages specializing in cooking xoi xeo, which helps prepare people for such a long day ahead. Though it is satisfying enough to eat xoi xeo alone, this dish has become a specialty when being combined with boiled chicken. Yummy!
Another sticky choice of breakfast for Hanoians is xoi ngo (sticky rice with corn), also called as ngo bung’ (burst corn) or xoi lua (“rice” sticky rice). Based on the traditional sticky rice recipe, xoi ngo diversifies itself with the addition of burst corn. Nevertheless, xoi ngo shares the similar toppings with its brother xoi xeo. It is the boiled corn that changes the texture of the already diverse xoi xeo. Together with xoi xeo and a few other types of xoi, xoi ngo offers diners a wide selection of choices and are easily found at all markets or corners in Hanoi.
Another special variety of xoi is banh khuc, less than half of which is made of sticky rice. The remaining with ground beans, pepper and pork as the stuffing reminds diners of the ingredients used in banh chung (chung cake). However, unlike the traditional banh chung, which is usually served cold, banh khuc is always kept warm and served hot, really hot adding to the aroma of the fat wrapped in the double blankets of sticky rice and beans and the spiciness of the pepper. It is the use of a khuc leaf wrapper creating a distinctive scent instead of the green from the more commonly used dong leaf (which is used to wrap banh chung) that sets the banh khuc apart.
Banh khuc, sold mostly by mobile vendors both day and night, is the only xoi that is most popular kind of xoi at night in Hanoi, bringing night-owls something to fend away hunger in the small hours.
The capital city of Hanoi is well known for its xoi com– young green sticky rice, a specialty that is found only in autumn. Together with white coconut, the grains are so sweetly scent that it will leave a lasting taste. The stunning flavor of xoi com will stay forever in your mind.
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