Xoi chien phong or fried sticky rice cake is a popular food in Southern Vietnam. It is made from steamed glutinous rice and green beans and has the shape of a big yellowish-brown ball.
According to researchers, there were a number of food stalls selling fried sticky rice cakes in Dong Nai in the year 1952. This stunning dish has become very popular throughout the southern provinces of Vietnam because it is acceptable in all regions as a kind of snack that is easy to eat and easy to make.
To prepare fried glutinous rice cakes, there are several stages, including selecting ingredients, cooking, kneading and frying. If you want the dish to reach the desired size, it is necessary to select a variety of tasty sticky rice and green beans of the same size. The beans are the main ingredient which makes the dish have its distinctive taste.
How to make it
Once you select all the necessary ingredients, soak the sticky rice and green beans in water for a few hours before bringing them to a boil. In this stage, the rice and beans should be well-cooked as it is an important step to make the cakes increase in size. If the ingredients are not cooked well, the cake will not rise completely and on the other hand if the mixture is overcooked the cake will not be crispy and large.
The next stage is to knead the steamed sticky rice with cooking oil and sugar until they attach into each other as shapes. Roll the mixture and cut it into small round pieces. Preheat the pan and pour in the cooking oil. Not until the oil is boiling can pieces of sticky rice be dropped in. This stage requires the cook’s skillfulness because this decides whether the cake will rise or not. When frying, it should be stirred well so as to be even. You will see it sink to the bottom at first but it will float to the surface later when it is cooked and start bloating. Gently press the sticky balls at first then when they start to float on the surface, increase the intensively so that they can permeate the oil and be well done. When they become yellowish brown and rise enough, raise the temperature and the dish will be crunchy and fleshy, both inside and out. Depending on the amount of sticky rice used, the ball-shaped cakes can be different in size.
It is best served when it is just cooked. Press and cut the cakes into pieces and serve with fried, grilled or roasted birds or chicken. The specific taste of fried sticky rice is usually crunchy as well as fleshy, with the pliability of rice, the fatness of beans and the sweetness of sugar.
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