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Vietnam Educator's Guide Activity: Rice

Rice is Vietnam’s primary agricultural export, planted on more than 80 percent of the country’s total farmland. People eat hundreds of varieties that differ in their flavor, smell, color, and stickiness. Many Vietnamese prefer short-grain white rice, but some ethnic groups prefer glutinous rice (sticky rice). They also eat rice products, such as noodles and wrappers for grilled foods and spring rolls.

  • Look up different Vietnamese recipes for cooking rice either in cookbooks or on Web sites. Ask students to choose a rice dish to prepare as a class.

Vietnamese recipes, including rice dishes, are available at these websites:

http://www.food.com/recipes/vietnamese

http://www.epicurious.com/tools/browseresults?type=browse&att=26

http://www.vietworldkitchen.com/

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A Hmong village in the far north of Vietnam, surrounded by terraced fields. A labor-intensive enterprise in any circumstances, wet-rice cultivation on high mountain land is particularly challenging. Banh chung, boiled, filled rice cakes, are an essential element of a Tet, or Lunar New Year, meal. Wrapped in a broad leaf to make a square green package, the banh chung symbolizes earth. While the production of banh chung was once a time-consuming household task, most families now buy their holiday supply from stalls like these. 
Photo: VME/Nguyen Van Huy

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