Me Tri village in Hanoi’s outlying Nam Tu Liem District is famous for its tradition of producing Com or green sticky rice. The product has been recognized as a national trademark and is one of Hanoi’s best specialties.
Vong and Me Tri – 2 villages being famous for Green Sticky Rice
Vong and Me Tri are the two Hanoi villages famous for making green sticky rice. They are only 1km apart but the craft has survived better in Me Tri, where many families are still involved in making green sticky rice.
Green sticky rice can be made from several different types of paddy, but the most delicious is yellow flowery paddy.
Nguyen Thi Buoi, the owner of the Nguyen Khac Tuan workshop in Me Tri village, said, “To produce delicious green sticky rice, we should select young paddy whose grains look yellowish and taste as sweet as milk. We must go to Bac Ninh or Bac Giang to buy them. A typical characteristic of Me Tri green sticky rice is that it is never dyed. Its green is the original color of young paddy.”
In the past, Me Tri villagers only made green sticky rice in autumn, the harvest season. Now they make the specialty all year round and use machines in many steps of the process to save time, increase productivity, and preserve the typical flavor.
Le Thi Hien, the owner of the Ngo Cong Bao workshop said, “The rice grains are roasted and constantly stirred for steady heat until evenly cooked. Roasting is the most important step.
How to make and enjoy Com
The roasted grains are then put in a mortar to be pounded and winnowed several times. 100 kilos of unhusked paddy produce at most 15 to 18 kilos of green sticky rice. High quality products should be fragrant, glutinous, chewy, and soft.”
People preserve the flavor by wrapping the rice in lotus leaves and using straw to tie up the packet. Lotus leaves and young sticky rice have always been a happy combination. Lotus leaves represent purity. The aroma of the lotus leaves mingles with the sweet fragrance of the young sticky rice to create an aroma of great delicacy.
Nguyen Thi Bich, the owner of the Lien Du workshop in Me Tri, told VOV: “There are many big workshops producing green sticky rice. My family’s workshop makes fresh and dried cốm for export to Japan, Britain, France, and the US. Our product is favored by overseas Vietnamese.
To make com sausage, pork meat is ground and mixed in the proportion 1 kilo of meat to 250g or 300 g of fresh green sticky rice. The mixed meat balls should be steamed before frying. Steamed sticky rice is a mixture of fresh young sticky rice, green beans, and coconut milk or coconut extract.”
Green sticky rice is both popular and luxurious. Visitors to Hanoi often buy packages of green sticky rice flakes as gifts. Me Tri villagers proudly received President Barack Obama during his official visit to Vietnam last May.
Green sticky rice is a symbol of Thang Long-Hanoi gastronomy often mentioned in Vietnamese literature and poetry and an enduring source of pride for the village of Me Tri.
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