Mon, 15th Apr 2024 12:26 (GMT +7)

Hanoi's sticky rice and fried pate: a 2-hour breakfast favorite

Tuesday, 19/03/2024 | 00:57:10 [GMT +7] A  A

Despite being open for only 2 hours, a 21-year-old sticky rice stall in Hanoi's Old Quarter remains a beloved breakfast spot for many, renowned for its signature topping: fried pate.

Hanoi's sticky rice and fried pate: a 2-hour breakfast favorite

From 7 a.m., the sticky rice eatery of Nguyen Thi Thao, 55 years old, located at 43 Hang Ma Street, Hoan Kiem District, is bustling with customers.

Situated on the sidewalk, with no sign, the shop covers less than 10 square meters, just enough to accommodate a table for Thao to place her dishes and plastic chairs for guests.

Hanoi's sticky rice and fried pate: a 2-hour breakfast favorite

"In 2003, while I was pregnant and craving sticky rice due to morning sickness, the idea of selling it came to me," Thao said.

"With a family history of selling sticky rice, I already had some know-how. At the beginning, I kept the menu simple with staples like fried eggs, braised pork belly, and pork rolls. But after trying fried pate elsewhere and loving it, I decided to introduce it to the menu."

Hanoi's sticky rice and fried pate: a 2-hour breakfast favorite
Today, the eatery offers a wide range of toppings, including different varieties of pork rolls, fried eggs, braised pork, Chinese sausages, and fried pate. Among these toppings, fried pate remains the preferred choice of diners.
Hanoi's sticky rice and fried pate: a 2-hour breakfast favorite
The pate is sliced into squares and fried to render the fat and pork skin. When taking a bite, the pate, with its smooth texture, melts in the mouth.

Hanoi's sticky rice and fried pate: a 2-hour breakfast favorite

To prepare the braised pork, Thao selects roasted pork belly from a supplier on Tran Xuan Soan Street, Hai Ba Trung District.

After marinating the roasted meat with spices, it is then cut into palm-sized pieces. This process ensures that even when cooked to tenderness, the meat retains its shape without falling apart.

When placing their orders, customers are asked about their preferences for either fatty or lean cuts of meat.

Hanoi's sticky rice and fried pate: a 2-hour breakfast favorite
Each serving of sticky rice is priced from VND20,000 (about 80 U.S. cents), with a variety of side options. Additionally, a sprinkle of pepper is commonly added to enhance the flavor.
Hanoi's sticky rice and fried pate: a 2-hour breakfast favorite
The most commonly ordered meal comprises braised pork belly, fried eggs, and fried pate, adorned with a drizzle of meat sauce.
Hanoi's sticky rice and fried pate: a 2-hour breakfast favorite
Open from 6 a.m. to 8 a.m., the eatery is busy with customers choosing to dine in or take away. The sidewalk area can seat about 20 guests at once.

Hanoi's sticky rice and fried pate: a 2-hour breakfast favorite

Pham Tuan Dat (L), a 26-year-old resident of Hoan Kiem District, opted for a set of sticky rice, pate, eggs, and braised pork belly priced at VND35,000.

"I've been coming here for two years now, usually 2-3 times a week. Fried pate is my absolute favorite. I grew up with my grandmother's braised pork, which had that sweet southern touch. So, when I taste the braised pork belly here, it brings back those nostalgic flavors," he said.

Hanoi's sticky rice and fried pate: a 2-hour breakfast favorite

"Up to five days a week, I bring my daughter here to have breakfast before school. The sticky rice is tender, the braised meat is flavorful. My child really loves it," Dieu Huong (L) said.

Hanoi's sticky rice and fried pate: a 2-hour breakfast favorite

The sticky rice is soft, making it appealing from the first bite. Each juicy piece of braised pork belly is full of flavor from the braising meat, soaking into every bite. The fried eggs and pate make each mouthful even more delicious.

However, many diners find the braised meat sauce sweet, so it's advisable to request just the right amount of sauce for your serving.

Source: VnExpress