Steam sticky rice with fish

(VOVWORLD) - For Vietnamese people, sticky rice is a great company in every single occasion, from big sacred ceremonies to daily breakfast. Sticky rice is a common dish, which can be found in almost every corner of Hanoi. But there is a unique sticky rice style served with “rô đồng”, a local anabas fish that can only found in rice fields.

A: Hello, we’re A and B. Welcome to “Food Delight”, which introduces interesting dishes and tips to make your menu more diversified.

B: Hey A, lately I have ran out of options for breakfast. Do you have any new recommendation for me?

A: Of course I do. Have you heard of “Xoi ca ro dong”? It’s sticky rice served with anabas fish.

Steam sticky rice with fish - ảnh 1Anabas fish (Photo: Dan Viet) 

B: I know that anabas fish is favorited for its scrumptious taste that can hardly be found in any other type of local fish. But with sticky rice? No.

A: There are quite a few restaurants in Hanoi that serve that dish, but in my opinion, the best one is a small stall at No.1, Alley 107, Nguyen Chi Thanh street. Today we’ll have Ms. Thảo Linh, the stall’s owner and main chef, to tell us how to make the best bowl of anabas sticky rice. Linh told us that the first step is to process the fish in a right way. Linh said: "The fish is bought from a farm in Ha Nam province. The most importance is that the fish must be fresh. First we must clean the fish. I use vinegar or rice wine to partly get rid of the stinky smell of the fish. Additionally, when boiling the fish, I add some ginger to make it smell better.

B: That’s some very helpful tips on cleaning the fish before cooking. What is the next step?

A: Then you will fry the anabas. The key for the best dish is patience, according to Ms. Linh.

"After boiling the fish, I have to separate the flesh and bone. Then we stir fry the flesh. The best way is to fry it with medium-low heat, beat the flesh gently and patiently for about an hour so the spice, including pepper, salt, and fish sauce, can be soaked perfectly into the meat."

B: That sounds like a very long time. I notice that the seasonings are all very familiar, but it’s the hard work that makes the best outcome.What will we do with the fish bones?

A: We will make soup, Ms. Linh said to make the soup, she will stew the fish bones for quite a long time. “It takes 5 to 6 hours to stew the fish bones. Then we will add some ginger and vegetables. The best veggie is mustard greens.”

Steam sticky rice with fish - ảnh 2 The soup is made with mustard greens (Photo: Foody)

B: Sound so delicious. I can’t wait to try this.

A: But that’s not all. According to Ms. Linh, another important ingredient to make the taste better to the fried onion. Linh said: “You have to use Welsh onion. Be careful as if the heat is too high, the onion will be scorched, if the heat is too low, they will not be crispy. Despite not being a main ingredient, fried onion is irreplaceable. You need to fry the onion right after cutting them into pieces.”

B: I love fried onion. And obviously, some dishes are much better with them. I begin to feel that this dish will be perfect for me.

A: It has been on my favorite list for almost 2 years. I can take you to the fish restaurant tomorrow, if you want.

B: For sure. If you guys visit Hanoi, remember to try this dish, or maybe after this show, you can even make one yourself. Please let us know if our recipes and tips work for you. Follow us on our Facebook Fanpage - VOV5 English Service - or email us at

B: We love hearing from you. Goodbye.