Thursday, February 28, 2013

Xôi xéo or sticky rice in northern style

In my blog, I do mention not once about the popularity of sticky rice dish, we have southern style, northern style, we have sweet and also savory sticky rice dish. We have many! 
I also mention in one of my posts about the rumor - how big is the business by selling only a good sticky rice on the street...the sales over 80.000 USD per month (don't ask me is it after tax or not, no clue!). 
And that famous sticky rice stall with a fabulous sales located in the old quarter of Hanoi - it's called Xôi Yến (sticky rice and Yến - should be the female owner's name). I do visit this place twice during my short stay in Hanoi. 

              Two or three girls sitting in a stall, selling three kinds of xôi. 

They are selling their signature xôi xéo (originally sticky rice with only green mung bean paste, fried shallot, but now ham, egg, chinese sausage...have been added), xôi bắp (sticky rice mixed with corn, green mung bean paste, fried shallot), xôi gà (sticky rice with chicken, green mung mean paste, fried shallot). I like the word "xéo"? But what does it mean? 

Actually I tried xôi xéo in Hanoi long ago, and never stop asking my friends, what does it mean "xéo". No clear answer. Some said that's the way they cut very thin slices of green mung bean paste over sticky rice.  

                The girl is cutting thin slices of green mung bean paste over sticky rice...
I came back to Hanoi last week, when the temperature was down to 15oC, in the cold weather at night I got a chance to taste the sticky rice with chicken from Xôi Yến. I have to say - superb! So tasty!  Good sticky rice, good chicken and esp. those thin green mung bean paste mixed with chicken fat... oh dear, should be very high cholesterol!

               their secret could be from the bottle of chicken fat's (!), it makes the dish so tasty.   

               Then she adds cooked ham, cooked fried egg, ground meat paste, chinese sausage...

                Here's a big pan to stew different kinds of ham, and the other part for ground meat paste. 

The huge pan to stew all kinds of ham is very typical for sticky rice dish in Hanoi, we don't have it in Saigon. I remember when I saw it for the first time, I was quite surprised, we have sticky rice with ham, but to stew ham like this - to make it more tasty, softer, it's unique, by some how it seems doesn't work for southern taste.

                 Ready to serve, look very irresistible...  

               but to finish this bowl with so many things on could make me very full. 

              and here you go - Xôi Yến in Hanoi, where the sales over 80,000 USD per month! 
 Let's think about it! Meanwhile you better try xôi xéo by yourself if you happen to be in Hanoi!
 Don't miss the chance to discover the secret of how to get rich!

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