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Com – a green shade of deliciousness

In Uncategorized on January 8, 2011 at 4:13 am

Com – a green shade of deliciousness

QĐND – Sunday, January 02, 2011, 20:18 (GMT+7)

Much has been said of Vietnam’s obsession with rice. There are rice noodles, rice desserts, rice pancakes and just plain rice… and then, there is com.

Com is no ordinary com. It is freshly harvested sticky rice, with a natural subtle sweetness prized by connoisseurs and gourmet chefs worldwide.

The immature rice kernels are roasted over very low heat and then pounded into flat flakes you see in markets.

Com is most common in the northern region of Vietnam. Visitors to Hanoi often buy small packs of com as souvenir gifts for family and friends.

Com is a traditionally gift to newly-wed couples, and also given during Tet and the mid-autumn festival.

Though it is grown all over Vietnam, the com of Vong village (on the outskirts of Hanoi) is the most prized for its unique flavor and fragrance. Vong villagers closely guard their family secrets of growing, harvesting, and processing the best green rice.

The most important thing when harvesting com is to check the suitability of the rice kernels. The farmer bites into raw grains to check their sweetness. If the rice is as sweet as milk, they are ready for harvest.

Mature grains do not produce the vivid green coloring, and grains that are too young fall apart when pounded.

Com-course meals

In the countryside, com is often steamed in lotus or banana leaf. In cities, it is most commonly used in banh com, a popular green rice cake peddled by street vendors and made in artisan kitchens.

To make the filling for banh com, steam pounded mung beans and caramelize it with sugar over very low heat.

Add shredded coconut, Vietnamese candied lotus seeds or candied winter melon to the caramelized mung beans. Stuff this filling in green rice cakes and wrap each cake in a banana leaf to make banh com.

Another popular green rice dish is cha com – fried ground pork with green rice.

To make cha com, ground pork is first mixed with green rice, fish sauce and pepper, steamed, and then fried until the meat turns brown and crispy.

Specialty restaurants use com in delicacies such as deep-fried shrimp or spring rolls coated with green rice.

Com is also used in the popular dish che com – green rice sweet soup. To make che com, green rice is cooked with arrowroot or Kudzu root powder, rock sugar, and drops of pomelo flower essential oil.

Other sweet com treats include green rice ice-cream and green rice fried with coconut.

Green rice delicacies are fast catching on in foodie circles across Vietnam. Several restaurants in Ho Chi Minh City also feature green rice dishes on menus now.

Source: thanhniennews/ Photo:


Source: QDND

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