Xoi: a perfect demonstration of the versatility of rice within Vietnam

06/30/2014
By ATA

The Vietnamese love their rice. It comes of course in many forms and is cooked in many different ways, but one of the most popular is Xoi. This is glutinous, or as it is more informally known, sticky rice. Even here, the variations are endless, with many different types of accompaniments. Vietnam tours, you will enjoy new “Xoi”.

Traditional “Xoi” cooking scene of Vietnamese people

It is a common sight on street corners early in the morning to see a crowd gathering. In the middle of the crowd there will be a woman, seated on the floor holding a basket. From the basket she will continuously serve a helping of food wrapped in or placed upon a banana leaf. This is Xoi. The Vietnamese people don’t seem to be able to ever get enough of it. The food is kept under a warm cloth and as a result customers are served in a couple of minutes.

how-to-cook-traditional-vietnamese-xoi
How to cook traditional Vietnamese “Xoi”

The rice is prepared by prolonged soaking in water, normally about four hours. This releases much of the starch but allows the rice to absorb water. The rice is then drained and steamed slowly until dry. This means that the grains are not in one soggy lump, but stay in individual grains, though can still be pressed together. It can be made in a modern rice cooker, but the old traditional method is widely regarded to still be the best.

Enjoy the “Xoi Ngu Sac” meaning of the people of Ha Giang Vietnam

At breakfast it will be served with: a stringy dried pork called “ruoc”, sesame seeds and peanuts called “muoi vung”, simply with shallots and a little oil, or very often with various beans. I have seen it with chicken breast , drumsticks and even small pork pies. If you travel up to the mountain areas like Sapa tours Vietnam, you might be lucky enough to see the local ethnic people selling their 5 colour rice. Local herbs are used to achieve the beautiful array of colours, from where the dish takes its name.

xoi-ngu-sac-culinary-specialties-of-hagiang-vietnam
Xoi Ngu Sac (5 colour rice) – culinary specialties of Ha Giang Vietnam

Recipes cooking “Xoi Gac” super delicious of Vietnamese people

The dish has many regional variations. In Saigon in the South, they often cook it in coconut and add panda leaves to achieve a rich aromatic flavour. Whilst in Hanoi tours, the locals love the sticky green rice that is an autumnal favourite. In addition to regional variations there are celebration dishes. At Tet, “Xoi Gac” is often cooked. The rice is died red using a bitter tasting melon / gourd type fruit, called momordica. This gives the rice the bright red colour which is considered to bring luck for the rest of the year. On the eve of school examinations students will eat Xoi with mung beans in the belief that it will provide high test results. Peanut Xoi is avoided at this time for the opposite reason.

xoi-gac
Xoi Gac

This really is a dish of many variations, many colours and many flavours. It is eaten throughout the country and has a special place in the cultural development of Vietnam.

The sophistication and meticulous way of cooking of Vietnam has created a unique “Xoi” that makes up its own identity. If you have the opportunity to travel to Vietnam tours, remember to enjoy and feel the delicate taste of this colorful dish. Not only enjoy, but you also have the opportunity to learn how to make “Xoi” under the guidance of the people here.

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