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Wednesday, June 19, 2024

Xoi xeo: A popular dish for breakfast in Hanoi

By Hoang Kim

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Xoi xeo, a traditional Vietnamese breakfast dish, offers a nutritious, affordable, and widely available morning meal option.

This Hanoi dish consists of sticky rice topped with mung bean paste and crispy fried shallots, often garnished with a sliver of rendered chicken fat for added flavor. The name “xeo” is said to derive from the diagonal slicing of the mung beans placed atop the sticky rice. Crafting a delicious serving of xoi xeo requires precision and care at every step—from selecting premium ingredients to meticulous preparation.

The process begins with selecting large, aromatic grains of glutinous rice, which are cooked twice to achieve the perfect stickiness. After the initial cooking, the rice is allowed to cool before undergoing a second round of cooking, finished with a touch of fat to enhance its flavor.

Mung beans are prepared by soaking them in water for two hours and then steaming for about 40 minutes. Once steamed, the beans are mashed or ground into a smooth paste and formed into small balls. These balls are then sliced diagonally and laid over the sticky rice.

Xoi xeo is celebrated for its vibrant yellow hue. It is typically served with a topping of fried shallots and meat floss, adding a savory crunch that complements the sweet undertones of the dish. Over time, xoi xeo has evolved with various additions such as braised meat with eggs, pâté, Vietnamese pork rolls, pickles, and cucumber, enhancing the dish’s complexity and appeal.

The combination of the chewy texture of the sticky rice, the rich flavor of the mung beans, and the variety of toppings makes xoi xeo a choice for a fulfilling breakfast.

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