The Five-colour Sticky Rice, in the past the dish is usually seen during festivals and ceremonies or even whenever reputable guests were invited, but now it has become a part of daily lives.The coloured sticky rice can be found all over Vietnam but best known as a speciality in the north-western highlands part of the country.
‘Xoi Ngu Sac’ is not only found in one colour, but as you can guess from the name it is found in five beautifully bright colours; red, yellow, green, white and black or purple. Usually shaped into a flower petal and each of the colours of the sticky rice, signify the five natural elements in the Vietnamese belief.
The colour yellow is the colour of the earth, green is the colour of the wood, red represents fire, white represents metal and black of water. This symbolises the harmony of nature. But depending on the region, some Vietnamese tend to mix the colours instead of sticking to the original five.
The five-colour sticky rice involves an arduous dyeing process. The rice is cleaned and soaked in water with desired colours for about 6-8 hours to ensure it ‘blooms’ enough and the rice absorbed the colours.
The five-colour sticky rice uses all-natural colouring agents that are locally found in the forest. The red colour is made from red leaves, green colour from ginger leaves, black colour is made from ash mixed with lime water, and yellow colour from turmeric, while the purple colour is from elderberries.
Pretty to look and delicious to eat, it is definitely a wonderful choice for children who tend to refuse to eat. This recipe provides the less laborious, express version of the recipe that you can easily follow.
Ingredients (4 servings):
- 2 cups Glutinous Rice
- 1 cup Water
- 1 cup Coconut Milk
- 3 drops colour of choice
- ¼ tsp Salt
- Soak the glutinous rice in a large bowl overnight.
- Drain the water.
- Separate the rice into three portions. Mix each portion of rice with salt and food colouring accordingly.
- Evenly coat the rice the colour.
- Combine the rice in a pot. Then, add water and coconut milk into the pot.
- Turn on the stove to medium heat, and keep the lid on.
- Periodically stir the rice and wait until it is sticky and translucent.
- Remove from stove and ready to serve.