Xoi (Sticky rice) is a traditional dish of Vietnam and many Asian countries. Because many countries in Asia grow rice as primary food, many variants of rice were invented include Xoi. Xoi in Vietnam is particularly unique. Below is some information that helps you understand about Xoi and the importance of Xoi in Vietnamese’s daily life.
WHAT IS XOI?
“Xoi”; or “glutinous rice”, “sweet rice”, “sticky rice” in English; can be found in many Asian dishes, especially in the South East Asia areas. To cook “xoi”, Vietnamese often soak the glutinous rice for around four hours until the grains have absorbed enough water. Then, the rice will be drained and steamed dry so that the grains can remain as the whole, soft but not mushy, sticking together in a lump.
Sometimes people can also make “xoi” using an electric rice cooker, with the same method when cooking regular rice. However, the grain will break down under the direct heat, becoming glue-like and soggy.
“Xoi” can be eaten at any time of the day, but typically, Vietnamese often choose it as a cheap and scrumptious dish for their morning meal.
VARIOUS KINDS OF XOI
From one main white plain”xoi”, there are nearly hundreds of variations have been created. Normally, sticky rice can be steamed together with other seeds like mung bean (black and red mung bean are also included), corn, peanut, etc.
As many other Vietnamese street foods, “xoi” is an “enjoy it in your own way” cuisine, because one is free to eat whatever he wants according to his personal taste!
For breakfast, people usually eat “xoi” with “ruoc”- stringy, salty dried pork; “muoi vung- salty sesame and peanut; or even with only deep fried shallots and a tablespoon of vegetable oil. It will cost around VND7000-VND10000 for a simple set of “xoi”. Others may serve their “xoi” with braised egg, braised pork, ‘”lap xuong”- Chinese-like sausage, “gio cha”- Vietnamese pork pies, or chicken breast, chicken drumstick; but the price will be higher, from VND15000 up to even VND50000.
Different areas have various kinds of “xoi” with a distinct taste. In the mountainous area of Northern Vietnam, the ethnic minority are very proud of their “five-color xoi”. “Xoi” is cooked with special local herbs which originate the colors of red, black, purple, and yellow. No food coloring using, all are natural and good for your health.
Hanoi, the capital, is famous for its “Xoi com”- “young green sticky rice”, a delicacy that is made only in autumn. Together with white coconut, the grains are so sweetly scented that it will leave a lasting flavor. In Southern Vietnam, coconut milk and panda leaves are also added, which makes “xoi” a sweet dessert fitting perfectly for supper
To be continued….
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