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Sunday, July 14, 2024

A savory delight: Northern sticky rice

By Hoang Kim

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The northern sticky rice (xoi bac) combines soft, chewy sticky rice with savory braised pork belly, creating a balance of rich flavors that makes it an ideal breakfast dish.

The sticky rice is prepared using premium northern glutinous rice with round and flat grains, steamed to perfection for a soft and chewy texture.

The braised pork belly, a classic Vietnamese dish, is cooked in a mixture of soy sauce, fish sauce, caramelized sugar, and aromatic spices until tender and flavorful. The braised egg is a highlight of the dish, featuring an evenly fried golden outer layer that is slightly chewy, while the inside remains creamy with a soft yolk.

When served, the braised pork belly and its sauce are poured over the plain white sticky rice in a bowl, creating a harmonious blend of flavors and textures. Instead of soy sauce, the sticky rice is drizzled with braised pork belly sauce, giving it a mild flavor without the strong saltiness of soy sauce.

Crispy fried shallots are sprinkled on top, adding a delightful crunch to every bite. Some vendors also add Vietnamese sausage, Chinese sausage, and pâté, offering a variety of delicious toppings for diners to customize their culinary experience. The dish is served with a few slices of pickled cucumber to balance the flavors.

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