Com Tam – Broken Rice in Saigon

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If you walk around Saigon streets, you can easily recognize an omnipresent dish that has always been highly recommended by locals and in foreign guidebooks. The sign says it right: Com Tam (Broken rice).

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History

Com Tam – Broken Rice

Vietnamese Broken rice (Com Tam) is a traditional dish in the South of Vietnam, especially in Saigon. It was served as breakfast, lunch or dinner. Its origin is quite interesting: The farmers used to have Com Tam thanks its cheap price, the grains are left-over during drying and milling process. Therefore, it is used for brewers, rice flour or animal feed because the price is much cheaper than whole grain. That’s the reason why farmer use it up to make “Broken rice” dish. Day by day, people find that many kinds of broken rice has the same quality as the whole price in terms of tasty, smell,… then they decided to use it to make the popular “Broken rice” dish as you now know.

How to make

Gradually Com Tam has become a prefered dish by most Southerners and found anywhere from city markets, street vendors to luxurious restaurants.

Com Tam – Broken Rice

The dish rose to such popularity today probably because of its unforgettable taste made from simple ingredients. A dish of Broken Rice includes pork chops (suon nuong), shredded pork skin (bi), steamed pork and egg patty (cha trung), a sunny side up fried egg placed over cooked broken rice. Then sliced spring onions fried in hot oil will be sprinkled on top of the dish. Pickle carrot and daikon, sliced cucumber are arranged at the corner of the dish. Another essential part that makes up the dish is dipping sauce, a mixture of fish sauce, sugar, lime and chili.

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