“Cốm” (young rice or green rice flakes) is a delicacy that is made only in autumn and cherished by all Vietnamese. For Hanoians, nothing evokes autumn like the taste of young rice from Vong village. First rice collected from the fields is threshed and sieved. Then well rounded rice seeds are selected and roasted. It is necessary to stir steadily to keep the heat stable. After that roasted seeds are crushed about ten times and finished Cốm is wrapped in lotus leaves to absorb their subtle scent.
To Hanoians, Cốm is a rural popular gift, hence it is enjoyed in a very distinctively refined way. Young rice can be nibbled to feel the buttery and delicious taste. The dish is said to be a signal of autumn with its plain yet elegant taste, especially when it is enjoyed with ripe aromatic banana or persimmon.
Apart from plain Cốm, people nowadays make some more dishes from young rice as Bánh Cốm (sweet young rice cake), Cốm Xào (Fried Green Rice with sugar), Chè Cốm (young rice sweet soup for dessert), Chả Cốm (Grilled Minced Meat Cake), etc. Young sticky rice cake, together with a yellow-colored wedding pastry, is a symbol of steadfast and eternal love and becomes an indispensable item in the engagement ceremony in Vietnam.
Silk Path Travel Guide
Vong village (Làng Vòng) – ‘Cốm’ making village
Vong village is said to be the place producing the best green rice flakes in Vietnam. Visit Vong village (about 7km from the city center) during the Cốm making season, you will have a chance to listen to the special rhythmic pounding of wooden pestles against mortars filled with young rice and see women shifting and winnowing the pounded young rice.
Where to eat/buy dishes made from Cốm
Sweet young rice cake
Fried green rice with sugar
Young rice ice cream