Vietnam Rice Culture: Where Rice Is The Spice of Life

The world’s rice production for 2017/2018 is estimated to be 481.04 million metric tons; with Vietnam in the top 5 rice-producing countries contributing over 28 million metric tons. But did you know that rice is used in more than just the normal sticky rice cuisine in Vietnam rice culture? Here are some unique and special ways in which you can enjoy rice today in Vietnam.

Vietnam rice culture. Rice Paper Production
Rice Paper Production ©MDHarding

Explore Vietnam Rice Culture


Rice is thought to have been grown since the Harappan civilization 2500 BC. Then the Spanish introduced rice to South America in the 18th century. Recently Korean archaeologists discovered the oldest rice remains in China dating back around 12,000 years ago.

It is said that the origin of rice began in India then travelled through Asia, with Vietnam being one of the oldest rice-producing countries in the world.

Did you know that it takes between four to five months for the rice plant to hit maturity; and that on average an acre field will yield more than 8,000 pounds of rice?

Rice Paper

Today rice paper is used to make traditional Vietnamese spring rolls; and in western countries, coloured with decorative pictures to put on top of cupcakes.

The production of rice paper is labour intensive, starting with mixing white rice flour, tapioca flour, salt and water. The mixture is then screened flat and cooked like a crepe, before skillfully lifting onto its drying place.

Vietnam rice culture. Rice Paper
Rice Paper ©MDHarding

Rice Candy

The sticky flavoured rice candy is produced in thousands of square chunk pieces, before being individually wrapped and sold in bags. There are a number of flavours to choose from including peanut. Whether you are visiting Vietnam and the Mekong Delta from Ho Chi Minh City on a package tour or from a cruise ship,  you might like to go to the Rice Candy Factory, taste some of the treats and see the incredible transformation!

Vietnam rice culture. Rice Candy
Rice Candy ©MDHarding

Rice Popcorn

From little grains of rice, rice popcorn is made. This incredible process has to be seen! The small grains of rice are mixed alongside hot sand in a large wok; and within seconds the rice is transformed into delicious rice popcorn.

Vietnam rice culture, Rice Popcorn
Rice Popcorn ©MDHarding

Rice/Snake Wine

The highly alcoholic rice/snake wine can be seen on many a market stall shelf in Vietnam. The speciality originated in China and was produced in Vietnam illegally, like moonshine before becoming what it is today. The process starts, when the rice is left to ferment, the starches are then transformed into sugars. At the beginning, the alcoholic content is lethal! That’s when nature is added with Snakes and Scorpions to infuse during the distilling process.  The average alcoholic volume sold today is 40 percent!

Vietnam rice culture,Vietnam Snake Wine
Vietnam Snake Wine ©MDHarding

Rice Pictures

Beautiful rice pictures are created using the tiny coloured rice grains. Discover more in the short video below.

I hope you have enjoyed reading about Vietnam rice culture; and are inspired to visit and taste some of the delicious rice delicacies. As always, we would love to hear from you. Please leave any comments/questions below. Happy Travels:) x

About MichelleDeansHarding


 Michelle has a love of travel and photography, which has currently taken her to six continents. Experiencing other cultures/history and food both independently and while working on-board luxury cruise ships. Discover more about Michelle, her enthusiasm for travel and photography via:

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