Hanoi’s heritage treat: Young green rice vendor near St. Joseph’s Cathedral


Hanoi’s autumn allure

As autumn graces Hanoi, the city reveals a cultural gem that evokes deep-rooted traditions and fond memories. What’s this gem, you ask? It’s the enchanting allure of young green rice or ‘com’. This seasonal snack encapsulates the city’s heritage and is a must-try for anyone strolling through the streets near St. Joseph’s Cathedral.

Hoc’s legacy on Nha Chung Street

Each year, like clockwork, Nguyen Thi Hoc brings the taste of autumn to life with her bamboo basket filled with lotus-wrapped delights. But it’s not just about the snack. It’s about the story, the legacy, and the experience she offers. Isn’t it fascinating how a simple bamboo basket and aluminum tray can tell such a compelling story?

Did you know she begins her day as early as 6 a.m., ensuring her customers have access to the freshest bundles of green rice? Positioned strategically near a popular coffee shop, Hoc’s offerings are a favorite among office-goers, young photography enthusiasts, and, of course, coffee aficionados.

Diving deep into the world of young green rice

Behind every grain of rice, there’s a tale waiting to be told. Me Tri Village isn’t just a place; it’s the heart of young green rice making. With a legacy spanning over a century, this craft is so revered that it has been recognized as a national intangible cultural heritage.

How often do we get to meet artisans who have over 30 years of experience in their craft? Nguyen Thi Nhung, Hoc’s sister, is one such artisan. Imagine, two generations of a family, dedicated to crafting the perfect grain of com. The sheer dedication and love they put into their craft are truly awe-inspiring.

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Ever wondered what makes com so fragrant? It’s all about the yellow flower sticky rice. This rice variant is treasured for its sweet aroma and distinct flavor.

The meticulous process behind making com

From the moment the rice is harvested until it lands on your plate, a series of intricate steps ensures its impeccable quality. Picture this: young rice undergoing multiple rounds of threshing, winnowing, roasting, and pounding. It’s an art, an age-old tradition, now enhanced with modern technology. Gone are the days when everything was done manually. Today, machines have made the process more efficient while preserving the authentic taste.

Each grain of com possesses a distinctive hue – a vibrant green with a hint of young rice leaf yellow. Did you ever think rice could be so colorful?

The nuances of young green rice

Just like wine has its varieties, so does com. Each season brings with it a unique flavor profile. Early-season com captures the essence of rice milk while late-season ones are richer and sweeter. However, the crown jewel is undoubtedly the September variation. There’s something magical about it.

But, com isn’t just about taste. It’s also about the fragrance, traditionally enhanced by wrapping it in lotus leaves. Times are changing, and while some vendors resort to alternative leaves, the authentic aroma of lotus leaves remains unmatched.

Relishing the young green rice experience

Diving into a pack of com is an experience in itself. No plates, no formalities. Just you, molding bite-sized morsels and savoring each flavor. Ever tried pairing it with bananas? Or perhaps turned it into an omelette or stir-fried rice? The possibilities are endless.

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Listening to Ngoc Anh and Nguyen Tham share their love for com is like taking a trip down memory lane. Whether it’s reminiscing about childhood or exploring new culinary adventures, com seems to strike a chord with everyone.


Hanoi, with its rich history and culture, offers numerous experiences. But, relishing com near St. Joseph’s Cathedral, especially from Hoc’s stall, is an unmissable treat. It’s not just about food; it’s about connecting with a legacy, a tradition, and a story. So, next time autumn whispers its arrival in Hanoi, you know where to go.


  1. What is com?
    • Com is young green rice, a traditional Vietnamese snack.
  2. Where can I find the best com in Hanoi?
    • Nha Chung Street near St. Joseph’s Cathedral is renowned for its authentic com, especially from Hoc’s stall.
  3. How is com typically consumed?
    • It’s enjoyed in bite-sized morsels, often paired with bananas or other accompaniments.
  4. Why is the yellow flower sticky rice preferred for com?
    • This rice variety is favored for its sweet aroma and distinct flavor, making it perfect for com.
  5. Can I find com throughout the year in Hanoi?
    • Com is a seasonal snack, typically available during autumn.