Young rice – A gift containing the flavors of Hanoi autumn

Young rice, known as cốm, is a delightful specialty in Hanoi, the capital of Vietnam with a rich thousand-year-old culture. Visit Hanoi during the romantic autumn season to experience the amazing sights of local culture, environment, and way of life. The season brings enchanting scents of street food that captivate both Hanoians and the many visitors who reside there. Let’s delve into the characteristics and delights of this specialty.

The most famous and delicious young rice

There are two crops of glutinous a year, but the best glutinous paddy is harvested in autumn from July to October of the lunar calendar. So, fresh cốm which bought in autumn has the best delicious taste in a year time. If Hanoi has the famous Vong village for the perfect Com, in the Northwest mountains of our country, there is especially delicious young rice from Tu Le Village, Yen Bai Province.

Young rice from Vong Village

Young rice from Vong Village, Cau Giay District, Hanoi, has existed for thousands of years. Each grain contains a fragrant and refreshing colostrum flavor that not all kinds of nuggets have. Com Vong has become a specialty of Hanoi, a delicacy that locals love, and tourists from far and near all choose to buy it as a gift. By its original deliciousness, the reputation of Com Vong is more and more widespread, associated with the childhood of many Hanoians. 

If you ever have the chance to visit Yen Bai, you must try the Tu Le young rice. It has long been renowned for its enormous, round shape with a stunning natural green color. It also has become a specialty of Yen Bai Province because of its characteristic green color, fragrant granules and a bit bitter aftertaste before turning to a sweet taste. In order to produce high-quality specialty, Thai girls have to go to the fields early in the morning and choose the plump and round grains to reap carefully. 

How to make young rice

Vong village residents are reputed to have the most intricate method for producing young rice. Firstly, glutinous paddy is planted. The sticky glutinous needs to be gathered at the ideal time. It is only harvested at dawn when the paddy starts to mature and is still slightly milky.  To avoid breaking the grains, the rice is meticulously pulled off. 

Farmers harvest young rice

After that, the highest-quality grains are carefully selected, sifted and washed. At night, the grains are dried in a large pan over a soft fire and then pounded in stone mortars. The young rice is then taken out of the mortar and winnowed, then the procedure is repeated with a new batch. The immature sticky grains’ husk is subsequently completely removed by repeating this process exactly seven times. The grains’ original green color will vanish and be unexpectedly replaced by a brown color if the pounding occurs incorrectly.

Select young rice

The specialities from Cốm

Fresh young rice (Cốm tươi)

Fresh young rice is even more delicious if accompanied with banana. It is usually made from young sticky rice harvested at the beginning of the season, which is soft and fragrant. This harmonious blend creates a culinary symphony that tantalizes the taste buds with every bite.

Yound rice and banana

Young rice cake (Bánh cốm)

Bánh cốm is one of Hanoi’s specialties, which is a kind of sweet cake in northern Vietnam that is made of young green sticky rice flakes and mung bean filling. People often have fond memories when they see this speciality, as this is a must-have item in some occasions, like weddings or Lunar New Year.

Young rice cake

Young rice sausage (Chả cốm)

This is must-have side dish combing with fermented shrimp paste with fried tofu and vermicelli (bún đậu mắm tôm). Selecting the appropriate kind of young rice is important to the quality of the dish. It is divided into two kinds of young rice: early autumn and mid-autumn. The grain of the first kind is thin and soft, suitable for vegetarian dishes or being eaten with bananas. The second is a bit thicker and a little hard, suitable for cooking young rice sausage.

Bún đậu mắm tôm

Young rice should be mixed with lean shoulder pork because the fat in the meat will prevent the flavor from becoming too dry. Afterward, seasonings like salt and delectable fish sauce will be added to the mixture. The mixture is then cut into small pieces and cooked for 15 to 20 minutes. Finally, young rice sausage is fried until it becomes light brown on both sides. 

Young rice sausage

Young rice is the traditional dish that is made only in autumn and cherished by all Vietnamese. Especially, for Hanoians, nothing evokes autumn feeling like the taste of this speciality.

Coming to Gia Restaurant – a fine dining destination dedicated to elevating Vietnamese cuisine, we always want to bring visitors typical dishes of Vietnam in each season with the fullest flavor.