Com chay (Burned rice)
It is a natural and simple dish but very yummy and attractive. Cơm Cháy is made from steamed rice sliced into flat round shapes. After drying, slices of steamed rice are fried in hot oil pan until they turn yellow and crisp. Together with main ingredient, steamed rice, are beef, pig’s heart or kidney, some vegetables like mushroom, tomato, carrot and spices such as” nước mắm”, pepper, red chili, onion, salt. Beef and pig’s heart or kidney are thinly sliced, marinated with such spices and mixed with vegetables . Then the mixture is fried until fragrant and put into Cơm Cháy bowl.
The method of cooking Cơm Cháy is quite simple but through skilful makers it becomes one of the most famous specialty of Ninh Binh. To make good dish, we also need experience in choosing ingredients, especially rice. Rice to make this dish is glutinous rice named “ Hương” which has pure and round grains helping the dish get extra flavor. Cơm Cháy should be supported heat by charcoal and during cooking , we keep suitable heat to create burned rice with equal thickness around the bottom of the deep pot . It is one of the most difficult step in cooking. After that, burned rice is put out to dry in the sun several times and preserved in fresh places to avoid mouldy state and keep its flavor.
The dish is best served with goat meat and Kim Son wine. Each bowl of Cơm Cháy is perfect combination of the crispness of yellow burned rice , greasy taste of meat and the freshness of vegetables that wake up visitors ‘taste and take them from world to world.
This dish is named after the famous place making it. In the past, it was a dish served to students who came from other regions but stopped at Ninh Binh before continuing their trip to the examination. But now, it becomes a local delicacy that can be served in many restaurants in big cities like Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City, Da Nang.
Thanks to topography with large part of the province is mountainous area, Ninh Binh is a wonderful place to grow goat and then also famous for dishes made with goat meat .