A Food Lover's Travel Guide to the Best of Vietnamese Food


Sticky Rice

Don't let the name fool you, this dish is a lot more than a pile of rice. There are two types - the sweet version (ngọt) and the salty version (mặn). The sweet version could bring you flavours of pandan, coconut, durian, mung bean, and corn. While the salty versions include toppings like: chicken, slices of Vietnamese ham (cha lua), chinese sausage (lac xuong), little dried shrimps, quail's egg, and pork floss (ruốc in the north, chà bông in the south). This dish is eaten for breakfast, lunch, or as a snack. The sweet versions can usually be identified by their bright colors. It shouldn't be hard to find xoi as it's sold at many street food stalls scattered around every neighborhood. It's cheap, quick, and satisfying.

Popular Types

  • Xôi bắp - corn, fried onions, and mung beans
  • Xôi cá- fried fish
  • Xôi chiên phồng - deep-fried rice patty
  • Xôi đậu đen - black beans
  • Xôi đậu phộng - peanuts (southern name)
  • Xôi đậu xanh - mung beans
  • Xôi dừa - coconut
  • Xôi gà - chicken
  • Xôi gấc - gac fruit aka red melon (rice will be red)
  • Xôi khoai mì - cassava
  • Xôi khúc - mung bean and pandan leaves paste
  • Xôi lá cẩm - magenta plant (look for the purple rice)
  • Xôi lá cẩm đậu xanh - magenta plant and mung beans
  • Xôi lá dứa - pandan (look for the green rice)
  • Xôi lạc - peanuts (northern name)
  • Xôi lạc - steamed peanuts
  • Xôi lam - cooked in a tube of bamboo
  • Xôi lam - cooked in bamboo and served with grilled pork or chicken
  • Xôi lạp xưởng - Chinese sausage, pork floss and boiled quail egg
  • Xôi lúa - maize, shallot, and mung bean paste
  • Xôi mặn - salty or savoury version of sticky rice
  • Xôi nếp than - "coal sticky rice", a black glutinous rice
  • Xôi ngô - Peruvian corn
  • Xôi ngọt - sweet version
  • Xôi ngũ sắc - 5-colored (purple from magenta plant, green from pandan, red from gấc, yellow from mung beans, and the white)
  • Xôi nhộng - silk worms
  • Xôi sầu riêng - durian
  • Xôi thập cẩm - mixed vegetables and meat
  • Xôi thập cẩm chiên - mixed fried vegetables and meat
  • Xôi tím- magenta plant
  • Xôi vị - cooked twice, steamed and on the stovetop
  • Xôi vò - rice is coated with boiled mung beans so it doesn't stick together
  • Xôi xéo - tumeric, mung bean, and crispy fried shallots
  • Xôi xiêm - coconut juice
  • Xôi xíu mại - Cantonese-style roasted meats
  • Xôi xoài - coconut milk and mango

Where To Find It:

Ho Chi Minh City
Xoi Ga Number 1 - 21 Nguyễn Trung Trực, district 1