Friday, April 5, 2013

Xôi Sầu Riêng and Xôi Gấc

Xôi sầu riêng and xôi gấc
Deli Chu Minh, $1.75/each

Deli Chu Minh in Seattle's little Saigon neighborhood sells a variety of sweet and savory products featuring its own housemade tofu, as well as selected Vietnamese treats from local producers.  Made by Cô Thu Ba, these confections combine xôi, steamed sticky rice, with two potent flavorings. 

Golden yellow xôi sầu riêng is flavored with durian, the huge spiky fruit that's both a delicacy and an outlaw in Southeast Asia.  Known as "the King of Fruits" for its compelling flavor, it is also, in many areas, banned from hotels, buses, and subways due to its penetratingly fetid aroma. 

Rusty red xôi gấc also features a regional fruit.  An off-the-charts carotene content gives the pulp of the gấc or "baby" jackfruit an intense red color; the fruit stains any dish to which it is added (and also to the cook's hands, clothes, kitchen walls, etc.).  Because bright red is the color Vietnamese most associate with luck and celebration, xôi gấc is a staple of New Year's tables and wedding buffets.   

Deli Chu Minh
1043 S Jackson St
Seattle, WA

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