Sticky Business – clockwise from top left – xôi đậu đen, xôi đậu xanh, xôi vò, xôi nếp than
Xôi is cheap, filling, sweet or savory, and really easy to carry while running, which is absolutely essential because that’s the way I roll.
There are two vendors located on Ton That Thuyet Street that I usually frequent. One is a little skimpy with her portions, while the other is muy generoso. I visit the generoso one more often, but on her rest days, I buy from the stingier one. For as little as 2,000 VND, I’m set until lunchtime. Score!
My current favorite is xôi vò—sticky rice with coconut milk, sugar and mung beans. It’s so good, I don’t even miss cereal.
I purchased the other three varieties to spice things up a bit, but they were too bland to rank high.
The xôi đậu đen (sticky rice with black beans) and xôi đậu xanh (sticky rice with whole mung beans), while both high in fiber, were really boring. They needed a lot more oomph than what the bland shredded coconut provided.
The xôi nếp than (black sticky rice) was smeared with mung bean paste, sprinkled with sesame seeds and salt, and came with a baggie of sweet coconut milk. The jury is still out on xôi nếp than because I ate it without the coconut milk and therefore, the chef’s vision was incomplete.
I still need to try xôi đậu phộng, but after that, I think I’m tapped out of new xôi to try. Say it ain’t so!