Green Sticky Rice from Vong village

Autumn is high time for many people stopping at the gate of Da Loc village in Xuan Thuy street to buy “cốm” (Green sticky rice)

Green sticky rice wrap in Lotus leaf

Cốm’ in Vong village has been famous for many years. It is serviced with a special banana (banana having freckles). Skillful hands of women also stir-fry it with sugar to make ‘Cốm’ sweat soup. It is difficult to find a good ‘Cốm’ in any other region that has the same taste. It gives inspiration to artists from Hanoi and all over Vietnam.

How to go to Vong Village from Hanoi city centre

Vong village is about 7-10km from Hanoi city centre (Hoan Kiem district). Vong village is in Dich Vong Hau ward, Cau Giay District, Hanoi.

Visiting Vong village on your own, the best way to go to the village is ‘Xe ôm’ – Motorbike taxi or take a cab.

What is green sticky rice?

Many of you might wonder ‘what is ‘green sticky rice’? ‘Cốm’ is ‘green sticky rice’ in Vietnamese. The ideal rice to make ‘Com’ should be young, green and milky. If it gets older, ‘Cốm’  will be hard and not delicious. The popular time for making ‘Cốm’ falls in August of the lunar year. ‘Cốm’ is also available in May, however, gourmets like to enjoy ‘Cốm’ in August. Rice should be processed as soon as possible after harvesting to get the best ‘Cốm’ are the same as making rice. Bundles of rice are put into a threshing machine. Wash rice in water and throw away the floating grains. Formally, people often produced ‘Cốm’ by manual methods. Nowadays, it is made with machines. Clean rice is stir fried in a pan on high heat until dry and has fragrance. Leave it to cool then pound in a mortar to unhusk it.

Green Sticky rice cover with coconut threads

After 4 -5 times pounding and removing the husk and bran, we have ‘Cốm’.

“We should wrap ‘Cốm’ in lotus leaves to keep it fresh and tasty,” said Mr. Binh – his family has made ‘Cốm’ for many generations in Hau hamlet.

Although the method of making ‘Cốm’ is not the same as before. ‘Cốm’ still exists in the hearts of Trang An people (Hanoians) during the renewal era. People who live far away from home usually remember Hanoi Autumn as well as ‘Cốm’ of Vong village. It is something that cannot be missed in Mid-Autumn Festival. Hanoians wish that no matter how modern the Capital City becomes, Vong village’s ‘Cốm’ still exists.

Where to buy Green Sticky Rice from Vong Village

There are many places in Hanoi that you can buy the green sticky rice.

When I lived in Hanoi, I often went to number 11 Hang Than street, Ba Dinh District.

I could buy green sticky rice cake. The cake version would be nice gifts for my friends who live in other provinces. I bought the dry green sticky rice version to make ‘Chả Cốm’ – ‘Green Sticky Rice patties. With this form of the green sticky rice you can put it in the freezer and store it for a long time.

‘Xôi Cốm’ – Steamed Green Sticky Rice is a typical breakfast for Hanoians. You can buy it from vendors in the Hanoi Old Quarter.

A vendor selling steamed Green Sticky Rice in the morning

You might wonder “how I can find the vendor selling Steamed Green Sticky Rice in Hanoi”. While you are wandering around Hanoi Old Quarter if you see any vendor with a bunch of green rice straw on the carrying pole. It should be the right one.

A vendor with two bunches of green rice straws on her shoulder pole

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Dis-claimer: All of the content in this blog is based on my own personal experience. However, I have included some links that you might find useful – and I do make a little money if you use them.