To Vietnamese, the meal will not be perfect without a good rice.No matter how delicious other dishes are, rice is considered as the soul of the meal.That is no surprise that different regions have developed their unique rice dishes, which should be listed as a must-try thing to do in Vietnam. Let’s see them in details & sort out your best rice dish to try…..
1. Cơm Niêu – Rice in Earthenware Pot
Nieu is the Vietnamese word for clay pot which used to be a useful tool to cook rice in Vietnam’s rural areas before other types of modern cookers were invented. So the rice is cooked in earthenware pot is called Cơm Niêu, which brings an exceptional taste and is mostly served in luxury restaurants nowadays.
Up to your favourite, the restaurants can meet your demands with any of the following cooking options : medium, well-cooked to a yellowish brown colour, and rice so well-cooked it is nearly burnt.
Cơm Niêu is one of tasty rice dishes in Vietnam & goes particularly well with ca kho to, a specially prepared fish in soya sauce with some herbs and in smaller earthenware pots, which may take more than four hours to cook.
Recommended places to try Cơm Niêu in Vietnam
2. Cơm Dừa – Coconut Rice in Vietnam
There are two types of Cơm Dừa you can try in Vietnam, one from Ben Tre and the other from Hue.Wherever you are, once tasting it, you will not be able to forget it
The similar things between these two types are that they are both cooked with coconut juice and served in a coconut. However, the cooking processes are quite different.
In Ben Tre – the Land of Coconut, the way people cook Coconut is that they fill the rice inside a coconut and steam until it is cooked. The process may sound simple but still requires a skillful and experienced chef to do and assure the deliciousness of the rice. The best dish to eat with Ben Tre Coconut Rice is roasted riverine shrimps, a stale dish of the Vietnamese countryside.
On the other hand, in Hue – a land which has always been famous for elaborate cuisine, Coconut rice Hue is believed to have been a dish for kings and the noble. After being cooked, the rice would be seasoned and mixed with shrimps, pork, Vietnamese sausage, peas, and Hue cold cuts; all are cut into bite-size. Right before being served, it would be put into a coconut and steamed to make the coconut aroma absorbed into the rice.
Recommended places to taste Cơm Dừa in Vietnam
– Din Ky Restaurant – 137C Nguyen Trai, District 1, Ho Chi Minh City.
3. Cơm Tấm – Broken Rice
Originated from the South, Cơm Tấm is another special rice dish in Vietnam.It has become a symbol of Saigonese food culture, so it is a dish you should not miss when travelling to Sai Gon or Ho Chi Minh city.
Cơm Tấm is named after the main ingredient – broken rice and going perfectly with a huge slide of grilled pork, sunny-sided up eggs, shredded pork skin and fish sauce.It will surely touches all your senses & you would love to try it again & again.Like iconic Pho in the North, broken rice dish can be tried at any time of the day, whether it is breakfast, lunch, dinner, or late-night snack
Com Tam can be found in many corners of Vietnam, from sidewalks to luxury restaurants. Here are some suggested places for your first experience with it in Vietnam.
4. Cơm Gà Hội An – Hoi An Chicken Rice
Known as a famous dish in Hoi An ancient town, Hoi An Chicken Rice was first served in very modest food stalls along the streets of this ancient city. In these days, you can find the dish even in high-ending restaurants, but don’t miss out your chance to taste Cơm Gà Hội An at some of the most old-established stores when travelling to Hoi An.
To make Cơm Gà Hội An, every single ingredient needs a meticulous cooking process and unique recipe specialized by each cook.Chicken rice is simply rice cooked with chicken bouillon and a dash of turmeric – the reason why the rice in this dish is not white as usual but an appetizing yellowish color of chicken fat.Chicken in this dish is shredded into small pieces and then mashed with crushed onions, Vietnamese coriander and the other spices. This mixing step is important and clearly shows the delicacy of the cooker.
It goes well with different types of sauces: fish sauces or soy sauce. Some restaurant may also have their secret sauce to make their food stand out from one of the others. If you can eat spicy food, you should add some chilly peppers to the dish and create a more exciting taste.
Where to try Hoi An Chicken Rice in Vietnam?
– Com Ga Ba Buoi – 22 Phan Chu Trinh, Hoi An City
– Com Ga Ba Van– 21 Phan Chu Trinh, Hoi An City
– Com Ga Hoi An – 95/1 Nguyen Trai, Ben Thanh Ward, District 1, HCM city
– Hoi Pho Quan– 152/22 Nguyen Trong Tuyen, Ward 8, Phu Nhuan District, HCM city
– Com Ga Hoi An De Faifo – 98 Trieu Viet Vuong, Bui Thi Xuan Ward, Hai Ba Trung District, Hanoi city
5. Cơm Lam – Bamboo Rice
Cơm Lam is the dish of sticky rice cooked in a bamboo tube, servedserved with grilled pork or chicken & sometimes just simple with salty sesame.It is a specialty of local ethnic minorities living in Northern Mountain Vietnam, whose farms are normally far from home, so they prepare Bamboo Rice for lunch or dinner because Com Lam can stay in good condition for a few days.
The bamboo to make Com Lam must be both fresh and young so that the new membrane inside the tube can wrap the rice, adding a special flavor, fragrance and sweetness.
To make Bamboo Rice, the gluntinous rice must be soaked in water for 4-6 hours, then it is filled into the bamboo tube, together with some water, and burnt on fire until it smells pleasant.