Sai Gon Street Food - Broken rice (Com Tam)

Published:  14:29 Friday - September 14, 2018

Sai Gon Street Food - Broken rice (Com Tam)

It is true to say that "Com tam" symbolises for cuisine of Saigon people and respected as quintessential "Pho" of Hanoians. If you have stepped into Ho Chi Minh city without trying this dish, it was definitely a pity in your life to forget experiencing such a delicious food of Vietnam.

Top must-try dishes in Hoi An

Top iconic dishes bring you a true taste of Hue

3 must-try delicious dishes in Ha Long


broken rice

Com tam

"Com tam" is considered as a legendary symbol of harmony combination between East and Western cuisine styles. The broken rice is served on a plate and eaters have to use a fork and a spoon to try the food in the style of Westerners, added with French grilled pork or ribs, egg omelette of Chinese, pork skin or "thinh" of Northerners and typical fish sauce of Southerners. It is the most unique and magical combination to create best flavor ever for the dish. 

History of "Com tam"

During the process of harvesting and transporting or milling rice, the grains are often damaged. Moreover, at that time, broken rice grains are considered as a cheap product, often used to feed animals like chickens and pigs or cook rice for poor people. It was very difficult to sell it because people preferred to eat the whole long grain rice. But over the years, broken rice was cooked for meals during the loss of crop and still kept people full then they didn't waste the rice anymore. Later, broken rice gains became more popular and favourable by more people and spread out the whole Sai Gon, which has been introduced to small stores on the streets and even expensive restaurants nowadays. 

Normally, rice will be cook in the pot, however, "com tam" requires another way that is teaming rice by water like cooking "xoi" - glutinous sticky rice, so the whole broken rice will be cooked, hot and soft. 

Steamed white broken rice is served onto a plate; sliced tomato and cucumber with grilled pork chop marinated in fish sauce, spices and lemongrass then will be grilled over hot coals until done but not overcooked to add smoky flavor for the dish, a fried egg, a loaf of steamed egg cake that is described as "stuffing", "bi" or chewy pork skins shredded on the top and a drizzle of chopped spring onion, pickled carrot and radish on the side. Besides, you can sprinkle black pepper and require extra rice and a bowl of clear broth with spring onion to line the stomach.

 sai gon broken rice

Aroma of grilled pork chop


Dipping fish sauce with red chilli and garlic

com tam

A full plate of "com tam" with egg cake, shredded pork skin, grill pork chop and vegetables 

Some recommendation for places to try "com tam"

- Com Tam Ba Ghien: 84 Dang Van Ngu, Phu Nhuan distric, Ho Chi Minh

- Com Tam Tu Map: 812 Su Van Hanh, ward 12, district 10, Ho Chi Minh

- Com Tam Ba Ha: 389 Hung Phu, district 8, Ho Chi Minh

- Price: 35.000 - 60.000 VND

We appreciate your comments. Should you have any feedback or thoughts on how to improve VIETNAMTOURISM.ORG.VN , please contact us at:
Việt nam tourism Chuyên cung cấp website du lịch và dich vụ tour du lịch VIETNAMTOURISM.ORG.VN Xếp hạng 9.5/10 4999 Bình chọn