Steam glutinous rice with ant egg: A speciality of Tay ethnic people

‘Xoi trung kien’ (steam glutinous rice with ant egg) is one of specialities and traditional dishes of Tay people in the northern mountains of Vietnam. The crispy sounds of ant eggs seem to melt in the mouth and bring eaters the unforgettable taste of sticky rice and dried onions blended with ant eggs.


In spring, during March and April when ants enter the reproductive stage, locals go into the forests to collect ant eggs. It is noted that not all kinds of ant eggs are edible; but only the eggs of black ants that built their nests in trees can be used to make this sticky rice. In addition, black ants can produce the biggest sweet eggs to serve the taste of eaters.

These tiny eggs are cleaned gently with warm water and mixed with seasonings, dried onions and fried with fat until the eggs spread a nice aroma. Then ant eggs will be stored in banana leaves to store and add more flavours.

While the steamed glutinous rice is cooked and a soft texture, they will mix with the ant eggs delicately and carefully to avoid breaking the eggs. You should take a small pinch of sticky rice to enjoy the crunchy crispy experience in your mouth with the scent of fresh glutinous rice and fatty taste of pickled fried onions in oil on top.