Cơm tấm , a Vietnamese dish whose main ingredient is broken rice, was recently listed among the ten best rated rice dishes in the world by the Croatian online food guide Taste Atlas.
Over the years, Vietnamese have become fond of broken rice grains and today cơm tấm is one of Vietnam's most common street food dishes.
Cơm tấm can be found on nearly every street of most Vietnamese cities, with street vendors relying on the sizzle and smell of grilled pork to grab the attention of passers-by.
In Ho Chi Minh City, the dish is so popular that many deem it the primary representation of their culinary heritage, on a par with pho .
In the Taste Atlas list, cơm tấm came in third place, following Japanese sushi and the leading Italian Risotto ai funghi porcini.
" Cơm tấm is a traditional Vietnamese dish that’s typically sold as street food," Taste Atlas wrote.
"It consists of broken and imperfect rice grains that were traditionally chucked away after the milling process."
|Grilled ribs and a sign reading ‘Cơm tấm’ on the sidewalk in Ho Chi Minh City. Photo: Dong Nguyen / Tuoi Tre News|
According to Taste Atlas, broken rice has a texture similar to, and smaller than, normal rice.
"When served, cơm tấm is accompanied by numerous toppings such as fried eggs, shredded pork skin, grilled pork chops, or deep-fried fish patties.”
The site also emphasized that "local cơm tấm eateries are easily found because they usually have a coal-fired grill on the street, dispersing smoke scented with lemongrass and charred meat, a result of preparing the accompaniments for broken rice."
Another rice dish from Vietnam, bánh chưng , also made it to the Taste Atlas list of 100 best rated rice dishes in the world.
The dish, known as square sticky rice cake, is a traditional delicacy in the northern region of Vietnam, especially during Tet (Lunar New Year) celebrations.
It consists of glutinous rice and fillings made of mung beans as well as fatty pork.
|A woman puts pork and ground mung beans onto rice to make ‘bánh chưng.’ Photo: Tuoi Tre|
All ingredients are wrapped in dong leaves before being brought to a boil to be cooked thoroughly.
" Bánh chưng has a valuable cultural and historical meaning," Tatse Atlas explained.
"Nowadays bánh chưng is still placed on family altars as an honorary token for the ancestors.
"As for the way it is enjoyed, the cake is unwrapped from the leaves and can be served at room temperature or warm."
|A wrapped ‘bánh chưng’ is pictured in Ho Chi Minh City, January 2019. Photo: Tuoi Tre|
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