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US envoy tastes Saigon's broken rice

By Hoang Phong   August 14, 2022 | 11:41 pm PT
US envoy tastes Saigon's broken rice
U.S. Ambassador to Vietnam Marc Knapper and food blogger Thuyen Vo try broken rice at a restaurant in HCMC. Photo courtesy of the U.S. Embassy in Hanoi
U.S. Ambassador to Vietnam Marc Knapper enjoyed com tam (broken rice), a popular Saigonese dish, during a working trip to Ho Chi Minh City.

The U.S. Embassy in Hanoi last weekend shared a video on its Facebook page, showing the U.S. ambassador and food blogger Thuyen Vo trying the broken rice dish with grilled pork, bi (shredded pork skin) and cha (Vietnamese meatloaf with steamed pork, egg and other ingredients inside) at Moc's Restaurant in District 1.

After trying the rice and the bi and the cha in his plate, using a pair of chopsticks, Knapper said in Vietnamese: "Rat la ngon!" ("Very delicious!")

He said later in an embassy's statement: "It was great to have real com tam right here in Ho Chi Minh City with food blogger Thuyen Vo. She introduced me to one of her favorite com tam restaurants and told me how they make it. I hope to find some good com tam restaurants back home in Hanoi too."

Com tam, usually garnished with pickled vegetables like daikon radish and carrot, is a popular breakfast in HCMC and southern provinces.

The broken rice dish was also featured in a Netflix documentary series on Asian street food in 2019.

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