VietnamFood & DrinksMust-try Vietnamese Sticky Rice in Ho Chi Minh City

Must-try Vietnamese Sticky Rice in Ho Chi Minh City

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In Vietnam, many delicious foods can easily make you fall in love with Vietnamese cuisine. Besides the top iconic Vietnamese foods known by many people around the world, Vietnamese sticky rice is a must-try local food you may not know. Learn more about the variety of Vietnamese sticky rice with our guide and see where you can try it in Ho Chi Minh City.

Vietnamese Savory Sticky Rice

Xoi Man (sticky rice with meat and sausage)

“Xoi man” is usually the best choice for busy people who want a cheap and quick breakfast. Banh mi and Xoi man are often sold by the same vendors, so you can easily choose between the two for your tasty breakfast in Ho Chi Minh City. Like most Vietnamese takeaway foods, sticky rice is also put in a Styrofoam box or wrapped in banana leaf and tied with a rubber band.

Sticky rice with grilled chicken
Sticky rice with cold cuts

The most common Xoi man combination includes a piece of white sticky rice, soy sauce, a spread of liver pate, Vietnamese pork sausage, pork floss, slices of Chinese sausage, green onion oil, fried shallot, and crushed peanuts. You can also choose other kinds of meat, like chicken floss, chicken drumstick, or shrimp flakes, for the topping.

Xoi Khuc (mung beans filling sticky rice)

“Banh khuc,” also called “Xoi khuc,” is originally from the Northern Delta of Vietnam. It may be rare in Ho Chi Minh City, but you can still find it in sticky rice-specialized stores and local markets. It is a small ball wrapped in banana leaves.

In the northern region, Xoi khuc’s outer skin is made initially from “Khuc” leaves mixed with sticky rice flour. The filling includes other ingredients like sticky rice, mung beans, and pork fat, seasoned with salt and pepper. However, in the southern regions like Ho Chi Minh City, the Xoi khuc can go without the skin of Khuc leaves outside, and there is only the sticky rice wrapping around the seasoned mung beans and pork fat.

Xoi Chien (deep-fried sticky rice)

Xoi chien is actually a deep-fried meat sticky rice ball. Chopped chicken or pork is often put in the middle of a piece of cooked sticky rice with other ingredients like cut carrots, beans, floss meat, and wood ear. The brownish and crunchy texture outside, contrasting with the hot and juicy filling, will definitely satisfy your hunger. You can easily find this savory sticky rice at vendors near high schools in Ho Chi Minh City.

Sticky Rice Cake

Banh Chung (square sticky rice cake)

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Banh Chung is a traditional Vietnamese cake and symbolic food on the Tet holiday. Its main ingredients, including sticky rice, pork, and mung beans, are wrapped in “Dong” leaves in a square shape. This cake is popular on the Tet holiday, so its price around this time is quite high, about 180,000 VND—210,000 VND.

Before the midnight of the lunar new year, most Vietnamese families will pay offerings with this cake and other foods on their ancestor’s altar. Making Banh Chung is a bit complicated, and sometimes, you will need to stay up overnight to prepare and cook the cake.

Banh Tet (cylindrical sticky rice cake)

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The main ingredients of Banh tet are the same as those of Banh chung, but its shape is a cylinder. On Tet holidays, especially in the South of Vietnam, people often make this cake as offering to their ancestors instead of Banh Chung. Besides, they sometimes use banana leaves to wrap this cake instead of “Dong” leaves (a type of palm leaves), and the filling could be sweet like banana and coconut floss. If you love seeing and exploring this food, you should spend your trip to Vietnam on the Tet holidays. To have a Banh Tet would cost you approximately 150,000 VND.

Banh U Ba Trang (Chinese sticky rice cake)

“Banh u Ba Trang” or “Banh Khuat Nguyen” is mostly made by Vietnamese Chinese living in Cho Lon. On “Tet Doan Ngo,” a special occasion of the Chinese on the 5th May Lunar Calendar, “Banh u Ba Trang” is often used in an offering ritual. This cake is similar to the traditional Vietnamese Banh u, but it is bigger and has savory stuffing inside instead of sweet mungbean.

The main ingredients of “Banh u Ba Trang” include fried Chinese sausage, dried shrimp, shiitake mushrooms, salted eggs, and pork. The cake was initially wrapped with bamboo leaves, but “Dong” leaves are also typical because it is convenient does not change the flavor of the cake. Usually, you can have this Banh u with only about 35,000 VND – 45,000, but the price could be doubled on “Tet Doan Ngo”.

Vietnamese Sweet Sticky Rice

Xoi Gac (red-colored sticky rice)

The red-orange color of Xoi gac is originally from the spiny bitter gourd. The gourd meat is mixed with sticky rice and coconut milk and then steamed. Not only is it delicious, but some Vietnamese also use Xoi gac as an offering food on the Tet holiday because the red-orange color is considered to be a lucky color to start the year.

Xoi Vo (mung beans sticky rice)

“Xoi vo” often has a yellow color because of the mung beans. Mung beans are steamed before smashed into flour to be mixed with the sticky rice. The mixture is often steamed for 30 minutes and added a bit of sugar when it is cooked. A good Xoi vo when freshly cooked, shouldn’t be lumpy, but when you shape (means “vo” in Vietnamese) it into a ball, it should stick together. The simple flavor and light sweetness of Xoi vo accompanied by a piece of silky smooth pork sausage would blow your mind.

Xoi Xeo (mung bean sticky rice with chicken fat)

“Xoi xeo” is a typical breakfast for many people living in Hanoi, especially for the elderly. The golden Xoi xeo is wrapped in lotus leaves and sprinkled with some pieces of crunchy fried shallot, greasy chicken fat, and, last but not least, mung bean paste. Xoi xeo has its color from the turmeric powder, and if you enjoy it in the cold weather, its savor and delicious taste will make you want more. To enjoy this northern sticky rice in Ho Chi Minh City, you can look for vendors or stores that specialize in north foods.

Xoi Com (green sticky rice)

“Xoi com” is common in the North of Vietnam, especially in the countryside areas. It is usually served with coconut floss, a sprinkle of cooked mung beans, and lotus seeds, which combine with the green sticky rice “Com” to create an aromatic and sweet dessert.

Xoi Dau and Xoi Dau Phong (sticky rice with beans and peanuts)

These rustic dishes are easy to find at any street vendors. The beans (red, black, or white) and peanuts must be peeled and soaked in water before mixing with sticky rice to cook well. You can have it sweet with coconut milk or a bit savory with a mixture of salt and sesame seeds. It is a simple but delicious dish that can fill your stomach and give you much energy in the morning.

Xoi Nep Cam and Xoi La Cam (purple sticky rice)

Both of these sticky rice dishes have a beautiful purple color. While “Xoi nep cam” color is from the sticky rice itself, “Xoi la cam” sticky rice is colored with “Cam” leaves from the magenta plant. The purple color made the dishes more colorful and appetizing.

Xoi Vi (pandan sticky rice)

The green color of “Xoi vi” is from the pandan leaves. The mixture is a combination of white sticky rice, crushed pandan leaves, and coconut milk, and it is covered with sesame seeds after it is cooked. When buying from local sellers, they will add a little sugar to it, depending on your preference. You can also find Xoi vi in other colors like purple (from the magenta plant) and orange (from the spiny bitter gourd), but you will most likely come across the green one. This kind of dish is also popular in some northern provinces of Vietnam, but you can easily find it in local markets in Ho Chi Minh City.

Xoi Boc Chuoi Nuong (grilled banana sticky rice)

The main star of this dish is the banana. Peeled bananas are wrapped and rolled in a layer of cooked sticky rice and finished with a layer of banana leaves outside. Sometimes, people add crushed peanuts to the mixture to enhance the smoky flavor. The banana sticky rice roll is then grilled on a fire grate for a few minutes. You cannot complete this sweet treat without the mixture of coconut meat and condensed milk.

Xoi Bap (corn sticky rice)

A vegetable you can put in sticky rice is corn. Dry corn seeds are soaked with water for 5 hours, cooked for another 30 minutes until they become softer and limper, and finally steamed with the sticky rice. This soft and sweet dessert is usually accompanied by coconut floss and crushed peanuts. “Xoi bap” has been one of the favorite local fast foods in Vietnam, especially for Vietnamese students, for decades.

Where to Try Sticky Rice in Ho Chi Minh City

Besides the local markets and street vendors, these are authentic food stalls where you could come to explore Vietnamese sticky rice.

Xoi Che Bui Thi Xuan
Address: 111 Bui Thi Xuan Street, District 1

Xoi La Chuoi
Address: 868 Tran Hung Dao Street, District 5

Xoi Man 409 (Street Vendor)
Address: 409 Tran Phu Street, District 5

Xoi Ton Dan
Address: 232 Ton Dan Street, District 4

Xoi Binh Tien
Address: 88 Minh Phung Street, District 6

Banh mi Hanoi
Address: 83 – 85 Nguyen Thien Thuat Street, District 3

Price range: The price would change depending on where you buy Vietnamese sticky rice, regular vendors at local markets or renowned food vendors, and the size of your portion.
Savory Sticky Rice: 20,000 VND – 30,000 VND
Sweet Sticky Rice: 10,000 VND – 15,000 VND

Summary of Must-try Sticky Rice in Ho Chi Minh City

In Vietnam, Xoi or sticky rice is food that keeps your stomach full and an art that you can use your creativity to make more new delicious dishes. It may take you a while to discover them all, and it is even harder to choose which is your favorite.

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