Taste Vietnamese Broken Rice Will Make You Remember It Forever

Broken rice has been a popular dish on the streets of Vietnam although it is a specialty of the deep cultural and colorful land of Saigon. So, whether you are in Saigon or Hanoi, Da Nang, Hue, or the Mekong Delta, you can easily find a delicious broken rice dish right away.

In particular, now broken rice is not only famous and favored by Vietnamese people, but also foreign tourists who travel to Vietnam are also fascinated with this tasty food.

vietnamese broken rice
Vietnamese broken rice. @ellidong0919

Why does the Vietnamese broken rice impress diners?

Vietnamese broken rice is especially impressive with the fluffy rice cooked from broken white rice.

Explaining the reason why Vietnamese farmers used this type of rice to cook, that was an economical way of eating from ancient times, specifically on bad days when there was no food to eat, so the workers ate the broken rice, which usually was fed to chickens.

However, that was the old story in the past, and today, broken rice has changed a completely new look with many attractive ingredients in a set of rice. And the most common ingredient is grilled pork chop.

The pieces of meat are marinated with spices and then put in the oven. The smell of meat and spices blends up to the nose, accompanied by the sound of fat falling into the burning oven. Just that much is enough to wake up the diners’ sense of smell and taste.

broken rice in vietnam
A big grilled chop cover the broken rice. @liznguyennn

In particular, most of the broken rice in Saigon can be found everywhere with a large rib that covers most of the dish surface. That is why this is one of the very filling breakfast dishes for many people, even broken rice is gradually becoming popular in lunch and dinner with many famous broken rice shops established.

Not only ribs, but broken rice is also served with many other ingredients such as rolls, pigskin, eggs, and also cucumbers, tomatoes, and pickles. With a plate of broken rice full of such attractive toppings, it is not difficult to understand when most foreign guests, who taste a plate of this rice, will admire and praise all the words.

grilled pork broken rice
A lot of things in the grilled pork broken rice. @daviddiepvn

Not stopping there, one of the most quintessential parts of broken rice that cannot be ignored is the tasty fish sauce. The plate of broken rice is delicious or not depends a lot on preparing the fish sauce.

In particular, the point that catches your attention about Vietnamese broken rice is using a spoon and fork to eat, not using chopsticks as usual. This is a way of combining East-West culture in Vietnamese dishes, making this broken rice dish even more special and interesting.

Conditions to have a tasty broken rice

A delicious plate of broken rice must be cooked from moderately opening rice. Opening too much means too soft when cooking, makes the rice grain too spongy, each grain is discrete, eating feels very pale.

If the white rice is even a bit sticky, the cooked rice will be sticky. When eating, you can’t feel each grain of rice touching the tip of your tongue, then the broken rice feature will no longer be evident.

It means choosing a suitable kind of rice for cooking broken rice is very important, not so sticky, not too soft.

broken rice vietnam
Very tasty when eating a mixed broken rice in Saigon. @thu_hien0109

Also, a dish of rice must be hot and steamed, making the meat more fragrant.

The rib meat must be cutlet, not lean thigh meat or pork belly, even less meat with a big bone. The piece of meat should still have a bit of bone, it will taste better when eaten.

The meat is grilled to just cooked over hot coals, without letting the coals smolder, making the meat dry and tough.

The pork chop should be seasoned just right, not too strong to lose its own flavor, with a little sugar, salt, pepper, garlic, or minced lemongrass, just a little bit each.

The fish sauce must be diluted, garlic, minced chili very fine, a little lemon, less salty, slightly sweet. When looking at the sauce cup, the small pieces of chili still float to the top. Those who eat spicily can add chopped chili.

How to present a nice plate of broken rice properly

A good plate of rice needs to be presented in an eye-catching way. You can present it according to the following criteria:

vietnam broken rice
A beautiful broken rice dish. @im_pcz
  1. The steamed broken rice is pressed in a cup and then put the rice on a plate.
  2. Put the ribs on top, spread a layer of fried spring onion with fat but still have the natural green color.
  3. Around decorate slices of tomato, cucumber, pickled cabbage, pickled radish … harmoniously and beautifully.
  4. You can add a few stalks of cilantro or flowers with stylized trimmed vegetables.
  5. Those who like to eat more ingredients can include pork skin, meat rolls, omelets.
  6. Particularly, the omelet must be cooked to one side, the yolk on the other side is still viscous, the aroma and the new fatty taste will be rich, newly blended together to form a delicious meal.

How to make Vietnamese grilled pork chop broken rice

The method to make grilled pork chop broken rice is simple, but not everybody knows its secret to make this food the most attractive flavor.

If you want to have the perfect broken rice pork chop dish, you can’t just marinate the ribs with a little spice, but you need to have your own secret to ensure the dish becomes the most stimulating taste.

The following will suggest you a great recipe how to make tasty Vietnamese broken rice with the grilled pork chop.

vietnamese grilled pork chop broken rice recipe
A perfect plate of Vietnamese grilled pork chop broken rice. @damanfood

Ingredients for 4 sets:

  • 0.5 kg cutlet rib (4 slides)
  • 0.5 pigskin (200 gram)
  • 1 bowl of broken rice
  • 1 carrot
  • 1.5 white radish
  • 1/5 orange
  • 1 horny chili
  • Red onion (shallot), spring onion, garlic
  • Other condiments: condensed milk, oyster sauce, salt, sugar, ground pepper, fish sauce, soy sauce, cooking oil, seasoning powder, honey, vinegar

Steps to cook Vietnamese broken rice

Process ingredients

To have a delicious broken rice plate with the grilled pork, when buying pork ribs, you should choose pieces that have both the bone and the outer layer of fat.

  1. Bought cutlet ribs are washed several times with cool water and 1-2 times with light saltwater to clean and deodorize. Drain and then cut the ribs into bite-sized pieces. Usually, keep it whole slice to look more beautiful. Then, use the back of a knife handle or a specialized meat beater to beat it tender. The meat will be easier to absorb the spices during the marinating process.
  2. Broken rice is washed with 3 times of water, soaked rice for about 20-30 minutes, and then drained.
  3. Pork skin is shaved, washed with light saltwater, taken out, drained, and diced.
  4. Red onion and garlic are peeled, washed, and minced.
  5. Wash spring onion and slice to be a small piece, and scallion head smashed.
  6. Squeeze orange juice to extract the juice.
  7. Carrots, white radishes peeled, washed, sliced into small lines.
  8. Red chilis are washed, seeded out, and finely chopped.

How to marinate grilled ribs to cook broken rice

After preparing the ribs, marinate them with 1/2 tablespoon fish sauce, 1/2 tablespoon honey, 1/2 tablespoon condensed milk, 1/2 tablespoon oyster sauce, 1/2 tablespoon cooking oil, 1/2 tablespoon soy sauce, 1/3 teaspoon salt, 1/3 teaspoon pepper, 1/3 seasoning powder. Mix well with minced shallot and garlic.

A good way to marinate grilled ribs for great taste is to add orange juice to the marinade. Orange juice has the effect of bringing up the typical aroma of grilled chops. Spread the spices all over the ribs, cover with cling film, and place in the freezer to chill for about 2-4 hours.

When taking it out, defrost naturally and then grill the ribs. Taking care not to defrost by soaking in water. If you have time, you can marinate the chops overnight so that the ribs can absorb the spices more, the dish increases the flavor and attractiveness.

Steam broken rice

After washing the broken rice, you put the rice in the rice cooker and then pour the corresponding amount of water.

To have a delicious plate of broken rice, you should add water equal to the number of rice bowls plus ½ bowl. For example, if you cook 1 bowl of rice, the amount of water needed will be 1.5 bowls of water or 2 bowls of rice will add 2.5 bowls of water.

After measuring the right amount of water, add about 1/4 teaspoon of salt and 1/2 tablespoon of cooking oil and cook.

After the rice is well-steamed, keep the rice for about 10-15 minutes to dry the surface of the broken rice, making the rice grains not stick to the pot body and cook evenly.

Make pickle

While waiting for the rice to cook well and the ribs to soak up the spices, you prepare sour food to serve with broken rice.

Carrots, white radish marinated with 1.5 tablespoons of vinegar, 1/2 tablespoon of sugar, 1/2 tablespoon of fish sauce, mix well and then soak for about 60 minutes to be eaten.

Make onion fat

Put the diced pork skin in the hot oil pan. Heat until the oil is hot and the pork skin is tender, then pour it into a bowl of spring onions. This way to add hot oil can make the green onion fragrant.

Make the sweet and sour fish sauce

Put a small pot on the stove, add in the pot 1 tablespoon of sugar, 1.5 tablespoons of fish sauce, 1/2 tablespoon of vinegar, 1/3 teaspoon of salt, dissolve with 80ml -100ml of filtered water, and simmer on the stove.

Cook until the fish sauce thickens, then turn off the heat and let it cool. After the fish sauce has been glued and cooled completely, then add the minced garlic and chili peppers and stir carefully.

>>> Here is another way to prepare a tasty fish sauce.

Grilled pork chops

grilled pork chop broken rice saigon
Grill pork chop for broken rice Saigon. @ellidong0919

Make sure to grill only after the chops are completely defrosted. You can bake them in the microwave.

However, to make Vietnamese grilled pork chop broken rice properly, you should grill it on a charcoal stove.

When grilling, you need to pay attention to regularly flip the two sides of the meat so that the ribs are cooked evenly because the marinade has honey, so the meat is easy to burn.

Present and enjoy

After the ribs and rice are cooked, put the rice on a plate, you can cut them into small pieces and then sprinkle onion fat on top.

You can serve this dish with sour food and sweet and sour fish sauce prepared in advance.

Broken rice with the grilled pork chop has the most complete flavor and is best eaten while the rice and ribs are still hot. Hot, spongy broken rice with fragrant grilled ribs creates a combination that stimulates the taste buds.

With the instructions above, you can confidently complete special quality and delicious grilled rib broken rice.

Addresses to taste broken rice in Vietnam

Many shops sell very flavorful broken rice all around Vietnam. Here are the top restaurants in Saigon and Hanoi, which we like to enjoy Com Tam.

You may come to check these addresses:

  • Ba Nghien Broken Rice, address: 84 Dang Van Ngu, Ward 10, Phu Nhuan District, HCMC, Vietnam, Opening hours: 7:00 am – 9:00 pm
  • Com Tam 36, address: 11 Phung Hung, Hang Ma, Hoan Kiem District, Hanoi, Vietnam, Opening hours: 10:30 am – 2:00 pm, and 5:30 pm – 9:00 pm.
saigon broken rice
A tasty broken rice dish in Com Tam Ba Nghien in Saigon. @nh0kwjnkul

Frequently asked about Vietnamese broken rice

1. How much does a plate of Vietnamese broken rice cost?

The average price of a plate of broken rice in Saigon and Hanoi is very affordable, from VND 50,000 to VND 70,000. That price depends on the number of ingredients, more or less, or in a large or small restaurant.

2. Eating broken rice, can I gain weight?

Broken rice has a lot of energy, especially from grilled pork ribs, eggs, and oil in the process.

It is estimated that a plate of grilled pork chop broken rice, in addition to other ingredients, has a content of 500 to 770 calories, which is high in fat and protein. Therefore, if you eat broken rice regularly, it can make you gain weight.

Even so, with broken rice’s many nutrients and high energy content, it can be the perfect main meal if you can control your portion sizes.

3. Is it good to eat broken rice?

Com Tam is the part of rice that is broken, usually from the top of the rice grain where the germ is located, which is also the section that easily breaks out of the rice grain when milling. So, this is the part that contains a lot of nutrients and vitamins and can be considered the best part of the rice grains.

However, due to high demand, the real broken rice is not enough to supply. Many restaurants only use broken rice grains, not real broken rice, to make Com Tam dishes to serve diners.


Eating a broken rice dish with grilled pork chops, drinking a cup of black coffee before going to work in the morning can be an enjoyable breakfast, not too fussy or luxurious, still keeping the popular, close and harmonious with the daily life, typically in the busy city of Ho Chi Minh.

Rib broken rice can still be considered a street food but can be a dish in a restaurant or a luxury restaurant. Not only eating in the morning but also at lunch or dinner, you can see broken rice with different ingredients such as eggs, rolls, skin sold in many places.

So, broken rice in Vietnam is a dish with a high synthesis of popularity and luxury, both food of the poor but also a favorite dish of the rich, both for eating to enjoyment and filling, both found in the countryside and urban area, both fast food and traditional one in Vietnam.

Although the broken rice has started from Mekong Delta coming to Saigon for the past hundred years, it has spread to the Central, North of Vietnam, and abroad where Vietnamese people live. So now, broken rice with ribs is one of the proud dishes, being a tasty food of Vietnam.

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    About the author

    The editorial staff of Vietnamdrive is a team of travel experts managed by Mr. Thom who has worked in tourism for 14 years. Trusted by thousands of tourists from all over the world.