Sticky Rice with Ant Eggs

Ant egg sticky rice (Xoi trung kien) is a famous specialty of Nho Quan land, Ninh Binh. This dish attracts visitors with its unique flavor, delicious and extremely nutritious. At first, Ant egg sticky rice was just a rustic dish of the Muong ethnic minority people. However, due to its special taste and processing process, this dish gradually improved and became a "specialty".


Sticky rice is a popular dish with Vietnamese people, but not everyone knows about the rare and unique Ant egg sticky rice specialty of the Nho Quan area (Ninh Binh). With jagged limestone terrain, Nho Quan often has many types of brown ants nesting on the treetops. In some places, they are called asphyxiating ants, curved ants can lay fatty and protein-rich eggs. People have cleverly used this ingredient to create ant egg sticky rice that is both delicious and nutritious. At the same time, this is also a precious dish because ant eggs are only seasonal, starting around the full moon of the second lunar month. Furthermore, the process of finding, taking, and processing ant eggs is not simple.


Usually, people here go to beat ant eggs on sunny days. Carrying tools include a machete, basket, sieve, fishing rod. The selected ant nests are nests with closed, smooth, round faces because they will give many eggs, and those nests that are porous, if the outside is not smooth, the intestines are flat. First, people use a fishing rod to throw down the anthill, discharging the ant nest into pieces and placing it in a sieve. After that, use the knife to knock the sieve to make the ant eggs and the mother fall into the basket.


When the ant eggs are brought back, remove all the mother ants, use a pot of warm water to treat the ant eggs, then drain the water, then take away and fry the onions to make them smell delicious. The ant egg sticky rice dish is especially delicious in that the ant eggs, after being fried, are carefully wrapped in dried banana leaves to marinate and then heated over the fire. Sticky rice is also very elaborately cooked from round grains of glutinous rice, then steamed in a clay pot until the sticky rice is cooked with the aroma of delicious glutinous rice. It is brought out to sprinkle ant eggs, stir well to make the sticky rice, sticky rice and ant eggs are mixed together.


When eating, diners can clearly feel the greasy taste of ant eggs with the aroma of sticky rice, a slight smell of fried onion fat, and banana leaves. Not only that, when chewing slowly, diners can listen to the sound of eggs crackling in their mouths.

However, this sticky rice with ant eggs is not always available because it depends on the breeding season of brown ants. Nho Quan ant's egg sticky rice is only seasonal, that is on the full moon day of the second lunar month every year. At this time, brown ants proliferate, and also during the tourist festival season. So, if you want to enjoy this rare Nho Quan dish, visit Ninh Binh on this occasion. This delicious and nutritious specialty must make visitors satisfied. They eat once but remember forever.

Leading address to enjoy Ant Egg Sticky Rice: Ngoc Luong Commune, Nho Quan District, Ninh Binh Province.

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