White rice is an anchor for daily meals in Vietnam. It is either used a satisfying, starchy filler or to balance meat and vegetable dishes. In poorer regions of Vietnam, rice is eaten in sizeable amounts with salty dishes in order to compsensate the lack of food. However, it can be used for special dishes such as fried rice, rice porridge or congee, and rice flour is the main ingredient for many Vietnamese tasty cakes.
There are number of rice varieties used in Vietnamese dishes:
Jasmine Rice: It is a long-grain variety of rice that has a nutty aroma and a subtle pandan-like flavor. Jasmine rice is originally from Thailand and the mostcommonly used in daily meals
Black sticky rice (Xôi Nếp Than): This grain is typically long and grounded . It is commonly used for sweet puddings, but also commonly found in xôi, which is a dish of steamed rice that may be served as a main dish or sweet. As a savory main dish, it might accompanied by pork pâté, or dried shredded pork. The rice has its own unique flavor, when you steam it covered in pandan leaves, the leaves perfume the rice with a very dense, organic aroma.
Sticky White Rice (also called Glutinous rice): This grain is typically short and rounded. It is usually found in the form of xôi, served savory or sweet. Sticky rice is also a main ingredient for Bánh Chung, Bánh Tét, specially cakes eaten during the Lunar New Year. In its sweet form, sticky rice flour is also used to make cakes, dyed red and sweetened for weddings and enagement parties to symbolize the stickiness of the newly wed couples.
Young rice (Cốm): This grain is typically very light in weight, almost like flakes and has a delicate celadon color. Young rice is eaten by itself steamed, wrapped in banana leaves, or added to savory and sweet dishes such as chè.
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