A highlight of Vietnam travel is trying local food, in which Vietnamese sticky rice is a distinguished example. There are many variations to make the dish satisfy diverse tastes, which embody the creativity of Vietnamese people. Vietnamese sticky rice is also a symbolic dish of local agricultural civilisation. Learn more about it here!
1. Vietnamese sticky rice ingredients
Vietnamese sticky rice (xoi) is a popular Vietnamese food for breakfast, which is sold by both street vendors and high-end restaurants. As the name suggests, the dish is made of steamed glutinous rice (or sticky rice), together with other ingredients such as cereals (peanuts, mung beans, black beans, seasames), fruits (mango, sweet gourd), or meat (pork, bird, chicken). Vietnamese sticky rice is tasty, healthy, and especially affordable.
2. How is the flavor of Vietnamese sticky rice?
Vietnamese sticky rice has many variations, all of which are soft and tasty. Their flavours depend on each variation. Xoi is the most affordable dish that can fill an empty stomach, so locals usually choose it for breakfast. Still, it can also be enjoyed for other meals during the day.
3. What are common types of Vietnamese sticky rice?
3.1. Vietnamese sticky rice with mung beans and crispy fried shallots (Xoi xeo)
Vietnamese sticky rice with mung beans is especially popular in the Northern and Central regions. Steamed sticky rice is covered with steamed minced mung beans, which is then topped with chicken fat, salted shredded pork, and fried shallots. This dish is most suitable for the cold weather. Eating it hot, you will feel the softness of sticky rice, the smoothness of minced mung beans, and the crispiness of fried shallots.
3.2. Sticky rice with small bird meat (Xoi chim)
Vietnamese sticky rice with bird meat is a new variation of the traditional xoi. This dish is often served on special occasions rather than in daily meals. High-quality sticky rice is served with bird meat, such as pigeon, sparrow, and quail. The meat is removed from the bones, marinated, chopped into small pieces, mixed with the sticky rice, and steamed.
3.3. Sticky rice with assorted meat (Xoi man)
Vietnamese sticky rice with assorted meat is often served with fried pork paste, shredded pork, e quail eggs, and a large amount of crushed peanuts. This variation of Vietnamese sticky rice is more suitable for lunch or dinner, as it is often a large dish with lots of nutritions.
3.4. Chicken sticky rice with Vietnamese coriander (Xoi ga)
Chicken sticky rice with Vietnamese coriander is more popular in the Central region. The feature of this dish is the broth from boiled chicken, which brings a yellow colour and butter-like taste to the rice. The chicken meat is shredded into small pieces. Some sliced onions, pickled carrot or kohlrabi, and coriander are added in to enhance the flavour. Some scallions may be used as well.
3.5. Some variations of sweet sticky rice (Xoi ngot)
Sweet sticky rice (or coconut sticky rice), as its name suggests, has a unique sweet taste. The sticky rice is cooked with coconut milk and often has a green or purple colour due to being mixed with pandan or magenta. Sweet sticky rice can be served with a variety of other ingredients, resulting in the many variations below:
- Sticky rice with beans (Xoi dau)
Sticky rice with beans is among the most popular variations of Vietnamese sticky rice as it can be served with different ingredients. The beans can be green beans, black beans, or red beans.
- Sweet gourd sticky rice with coconut milk (Xoi gac)
Sweet gourd sticky rice has the signature red colour. The more sweet gourd you use, the redder the dish will be. In Vietnam, red is the colour of good luck. Therefore, xoi gac is often present on special occasions, such as Tet holiday and weddings. You can also find xoi gac at any street corners and markets on regular days as well.
- Sticky rice with corn (Xoi bap)
Sticky rice with corn is sticky rice topped with slightly steamed corn, crushed mung beans, shredded coconut, roasted peanuts, and fried shallots. The fat used to fry the shallots is also spread on the dish to make it softer and richer.
- Magenta sticky rice (Xoi la cam)
Magenta sticky rice has a beautiful purple colour, which comes from magenta flowers. Due to its distinguished colour, this Vietnamese purple sticky rice dish can be put next to other coloured sticky rice to decorate the food tray prepared on special occasions.
- Vietnamese sticky rice with mango (Xoi xoai)
Vietnamese sticky rice with mango is a popular dish in Southern Vietnam, where there are more mangoes available. To make this dish, steamed sticky rice is softened with coconut milk and mixed with mango slices.
Coming to Vietnam, you can easily find a place to enjoy Vietnamese sticky rice, such as in Hanoi, Da Nang, Nha Trang, Hoi An, Ho Chi Minh City, Phu Quoc, etc. No matter which destination you choose, you should plan in advance regarding where to stay to have the best accommodation experience.
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Vietnamese cuisine is very diverse with lots of unique dishes, among which Vietnamese sticky rice is an iconic specialty of. There are so many variations of sticky rice for you to enjoy, all of which are nutritious, healthy, and tasty. Enrich your knowledge on Vietnamese cuisine with the information above and make sure to try those variations someday!
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