Saigon is a land of multiculturalism, thus cuisine of Saigon mixed flavors of many regions. And broken rice is very popular in South Vietnam, this type of cooked rice is also found in others places in the Central, Northern and overseas.
Although not honored as Pho but broken rice has been transcontinental to Russia, to America and other countries. Laborers prefer it, civil servants and students also choose it because of its economic and dainty.
In the American period, some hybrid foods, such as the Western omelet, came into being. After the unification of the country (1976), broken rice appeared in the United States, but it was very different from the type of rice that we eat today. Later on, combining the Vietnamese food that we know with the above mentioned hybrid foods, broken rice which we are familiar with, appears from that day.
Broken Rice Dish
- How to eat:
Courses are often served on a plate or pantry (if purchased). Eating it the same way as eating other types of rice sold on the plate. However, people in the South often use a spoon and fork, and the North is unfamiliar with the fork, so Central and North restaurants often add chopsticks for easy use.
A plate of broken rice may consist of grilled pork, shredded pork, pork skin, fried egg, Western omelet, pickle, and sliced cucumber, or not including all of the above items, but these are the most popular foods that people often put together on the plates:
- Grilled pork:
Marinated with sweet and sour sauce and often grilled on the charcoal stove in front of the shop, creating a special flavor so many people will notice there is a broken rice shop when they are passing by.
- Eggs: They are usually omelet.
- Pork skin: A mixture of minced pork and pig skins, mixed together with spices. When eating, it is tenacious, sluggish and very fragrant.
- Western omelet: They are made from mashed eggs, crabs, minced meat, mushrooms and rice noodles, then steamed. Especially, the dish has a layer of egg yolk on top, making the pieces not only beautiful yellow but also more fatty, aromatic and soft. A Western omelet is prepared into a round or rectangular mold and sliced into pieces when eaten.
- Rice: Cooked from broken rice. Middlings is the first part of the rice kernels; this is the main raw material. Because the grains are very fragrant and sweet, the plate is not too dry or too dull.
- Side dishes: The broken rice itself is one of the must-eat dishes in Saigon but ordinary or high rate depends on the food accompany.
- Fat onions: It is a liquid mixture made from green onion, oil or fat, sometimes mixed with pork rind.
- Fish sauce: The main ingredients are refined sugar, fresh coconut milk, and scrumptious fish sauce. Along with it is garlic and chili sauce if people want to eat spicily. Depending on the processing and taste of the people, fish sauce can be sweet or salty, can add lemon.
- Pickle: Usually made from tomatoes, carrots, radishes, cucumbers, and sometimes papaya. Everything can be chopped or rounded, then soaked in vinegar with salt. Beside fish sauce, pickle is the dish that makes the plate more delicious. It can be added to the dish directly or into the fish sauce.
Broken Rice Plate
- Other modes
Sometimes broken rice is eaten with braised beef, stuffed tofu, fried fish, stir fried vegetables … like whole grain rice. This type of food is usually found in the restaurant at night. And every rice shop always gives each guest a glass of iced tea.
On August 1, 2012, at the Faridabad, India, the Asian Records Association recognized Asia's record for culinary value for Saigonese rice and others nine Vietnamese dishes. Early 2012, CNN viewed broken rice as a popular street food in Saigon.
Broken rice dish is a simple but delicate cuisine in Saigon. Whether ordinary or high-level, in the South in general and Saigon in particular, it still ensures the full sense of the diners. Guests do not have to wonder what to eat in Saigon anymore once coming to Saigon food tours.