Xôi Mặn Sticky Rice with Shrimp, Pork and Egg – 355 of 365

Xôi Mặn

Unlike other sticky rice breakfasts in Saigon, this one is more savory than sweet.  Cutting the sugar and adding spice created something I rather enjoyed quite nicely.  This sidewalk delight bought off the back of a cart is a who’s who of everything possible out in the wild streets.

Actually, let me back things up now that I have digested this one a bit.  I liked it a lot except for the shredded pork floss.  That salty, dry, stringy foolishness found in everything from sandwiches to rice dishes just holds so little appeal to me.  It’s as if they scraped the top layer off a pig, dried it all in the sun and then sent it through a shredder.  Troi oi!

The handwritten sign advertised xôi mặn and since I had never before tried this one, I knew I had to bite.   This cart could be here today and gone tomorrow so it’s all about striking while the iron is hot.  Sausage, quail eggs, chicken, tiny dried shrimp, oil marinated scallions, chicken, spicy sauce, soy sauce and more all combine to create a taste explosion in the most amazing sense of the word.  Since I had never before bought from this woman, I hoped her food wouldn’t create an explosion of a different kind though.  So far so good and she did have a steady stream of people waiting their turns to cheat gastro-intestinal woes so I figured the hungry masses can’t be too wrong.

Xôi Mặn Stand

While I was waiting for her to scoop and pile everything into the awaiting Styrofoam box, the neighborhood freaky women kept pestering me.  Doesn’t every street seem to have this person everyone knows and just accepts for their oddness?  She kept touching my arm, blowing me kisses, and rubbing my butt while everyone around got a good laugh.  Maybe they were just jealous this woman somehow was able to get up on me so close.

After a few too many brushes against my behind, I had enough and shooed her along.  By this time my food was ready and all I can say is yum, yum, yum.  Minus the pork floss of course!  Where else can a guy get felt up and fed all within a few minutes?  You have to love the wild, wild west of the Saigon streets.

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Categories: Vietnamese Food

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