Easy Com Chay Chien Gion Recipe: Crispy Rice Cakes & Tips

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Written By Hot Thai Restaurant

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We’ve all had those moments when we crave something crunchy, savory, and utterly satisfying. That’s where cơm cháy chiên giòn, a delightful Vietnamese crispy rice cake, comes into play. This dish is a fantastic way to transform leftover rice into a crunchy snack or side dish that’s impossible to resist.

Originating from the culinary traditions of Vietnam, cơm cháy chiên giòn has won hearts far beyond its homeland. It’s all about the texture and flavor – a golden, crispy exterior with a soft, slightly chewy center. Paired with a variety of dipping sauces, each bite is a little adventure in itself.

Let’s dive into the world of Vietnamese cuisine and give those leftover grains a glamorous makeover. Trust us, once you’ve tried this recipe, you’ll be looking for excuses to make extra rice just so you can enjoy cơm cháy chiên giòn again.

Ingredients for Com Chay Chien Gion

Crafting Com Chay Chien Gion, we turn leftover rice into a crunchy delight that’s simple yet incredibly satisfying. Gather these ingredients to embark on a culinary journey to Vietnam right from your kitchen.

Main Ingredients

  • 2 cups of cooked rice, preferably a day old
  • 1/4 cup of water
  • Oil for frying (vegetable or canola oil recommended)

Seasoning and Sauces

For the seasoning and sauces that will give our Com Chay Chien Gion its signature taste, you’ll need:

  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon fish sauce (optional for a more authentic flavor)
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely minced
  • 1 tablespoon rice vinegar

Optional Toppings

To enhance the texture and flavor of our crispy rice cakes, consider adding these optional toppings:

  • Sliced green onions for a fresh, sharp bite
  • Sesame seeds for a nutty crunch
  • Fried shallots for an extra layer of crispiness
  • Sliced chili for a hit of heat
  • A squeeze of lime juice for a zesty finish

Combining the crispiness of the fried rice with the rich flavors of the sauces and the optional freshness of the toppings, our Com Chay Chien Gion recipe promises a taste adventure that’s sure to impress.

Required Tools and Equipment

To embark on the delightful journey of making cơm cháy chiên giòn, you’ll need some essential tools and equipment that will make the cooking process smoother and ensure your crispy rice cakes turn out perfectly. Let’s dive into what you’ll need to gather from your kitchen to bring this savory Vietnamese dish to life.

Mixing Equipment

First off, we’ll need a large mixing bowl. This will serve as the primary vessel where we’ll combine our cooked rice with the soy sauce, fish sauce, sugar, salt, black pepper, and garlic. The size matters because we want enough space to mix thoroughly without spilling.

A sturdy spoon or spatula is crucial for mixing. Opt for one that can handle the sticky texture of the rice without bending or breaking. This tool will help us evenly incorporate all the flavors into the rice, ensuring each bite is as delightful as the last.

Cooking Tools

The star of the show in our cooking process is a non-stick frying pan or a heavy-bottomed skillet. It’s essential for achieving that coveted crispy texture without the rice cakes sticking and tearing apart. Make sure it’s well-seasoned (if using a skillet) or in good condition (if using a non-stick pan) for the best results.

A spatula, preferably a wide and thin one, will be our best friend when it comes to flipping the rice cakes. It needs to be sturdy and flexible enough to slide under the rice cakes without breaking them while ensuring a clean flip.

Measuring Utensils

Accurate measurements are key to the perfect balance of flavors in cơm cháy chiên giòn. You’ll need:

  • Measuring cups and spoons for the cooked rice, water, and all seasonings. These will ensure that we get the proportions right, making our dish flavorful without overpowering any element.

Additional Tools

Don’t forget a small bowl for mixing the sauce—rice vinegar, extra soy sauce, or any other liquid seasonings you’re using need to be whisked together before adding to the dish. A whisk or a fork will do the job nicely here.

Lastly, we’d recommend having a serving plate lined with paper towels ready. Once our rice cakes are golden and crispy, we’ll transfer them here to drain any excess oil, ensuring they stay crispy until served.

Preparing the Rice

Preparing the rice correctly is a crucial step in achieving the perfect crunch and flavor for our cơm cháy chiên giòn. Let’s dive into how to prepare the base of our dish with care and precision.

Washing and Soaking

First, we begin by meticulously washing our rice. Take 2 cups of uncooked rice and rinse it under cold water. Use your hands to gently swish the rice around, removing any excess starch. This process helps in ensuring that our rice doesn’t stick together during cooking. Repeat this step 2-3 times, or until the water runs clear.

Once our rice is thoroughly washed, it’s time to soak it. Fill the bowl with enough cold water to cover the rice by a few inches, then let it soak for at least 30 minutes. Soaking the rice aids in softening the grains, ensuring they expand to their full size when cooked, which is essential for achieving the right texture for our crispy rice cakes.

Cooking and Drying the Rice

After soaking, drain the rice and move it to a medium-sized pot. Add 3 cups of fresh water, ensuring the rice is fully submerged. We’ll bring the pot to a boil over high heat. Once it starts boiling, reduce the heat to low, cover the pot, and let it simmer for about 18 minutes, or until all the water is absorbed and the rice is tender.

Once cooked, spread the rice on a tray lined with a clean kitchen towel or a sheet of parchment paper. This step is crucial for our cơm cháy chiên giòn, as drying the rice removes any residual moisture, which is the secret to achieving that iconic crispy texture. Allow the rice to dry at room temperature for about 1 hour. For those in a rush, a short stint in the oven on the lowest setting can speed up the drying process, but keep a close eye to prevent any browning.

Making the Seasoning Mix

After meticulously preparing the rice to ensure it achieves the perfect texture and flavor, the next critical step in crafting our cơm cháy chiên giòn is creating the seasoning mix that will give it its distinctive, savory profile. Let’s dive into the process of making this flavorful concoction.

Ingredients for the Seasoning Mix

  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon fish sauce
  • 1 tablespoon rice vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely minced
  1. Start with the Liquid Base: In a small bowl, whisk together the soy sauce, fish sauce, and rice vinegar. This trio forms the liquid foundation of our seasoning, infusing the rice cakes with a depth of umami, a touch of acidity, and the distinctive essence of Southeast Asian cuisine.
  2. Add Sweetness and Seasoning: To the liquid mixture, sprinkle in the sugar, salt, and black pepper. The sugar not only balances the saltiness but also adds a subtle hint of sweetness that complements the garlicky kick that will follow. Mix well until the sugar and salt are fully dissolved.
  3. Incorporate the Garlic: The final step in our seasoning mix is to stir in the finely minced garlic. Garlic adds a pungent, aromatic quality that’s irresistible in many dishes worldwide, especially in Vietnamese cuisine. Its inclusion here promises a burst of flavor in every bite of the crispy rice cakes.

After thoroughly combining all the ingredients in the seasoning mix, we set it aside, allowing the flavors to meld together. This mix will be pivotal in transforming the plain, crispy rice into a dish bursting with flavors, embodying a perfect blend of salty, sweet, and aromatic notes, guaranteed to tantalize the taste buds. Remember, the key to a successful seasoning mix is in the details – the precise measurements and thorough mixing ensure that every rice cake is evenly coated and packed with flavor.

Frying the Rice

Now that our rice cakes are well-coated in the savory and aromatic seasoning mix, it’s time to bring them to life by frying them to golden, crispy perfection. This step will transform the seasoned rice cakes into the delightful cơm cháy chiên giòn, offering a satisfying crunch with each bite.

Prepping the Frying Station

Before we begin frying, let’s get our station ready. We’ll need a large, heavy-bottomed pan or wok for even heating and a spider strainer or slotted spoon for safely removing the rice cakes from the hot oil.

  1. Pour high-heat cooking oil into the pan, ensuring there’s enough to completely submerge the rice cakes. A depth of about 2-3 inches of oil is ideal.
  2. Heat the oil over medium heat and bring it to about 350°F (177°C). Use a kitchen thermometer to check the temperature.
  3. Line a plate with paper towels. This will be where we place the fried rice cakes to drain any excess oil.
  4. Keep the seasoned rice cakes and the seasoning mix close at hand. We’ll fry in batches to avoid overcrowding the pan and to ensure each rice cake fries evenly.

Frying in Batches

Frying the rice cakes properly ensures that they are crispy on the outside and tender on the inside. Here’s how we do it:

  1. Once the oil has reached the right temperature, gently lower a few rice cakes into the oil. Do not overcrowd the pan; leave enough space for the cakes to float freely.
  2. Fry the rice cakes for about 2-4 minutes or until they turn a deep golden brown. The exact time will depend on their thickness and the temperature of the oil.
  3. Use the spider strainer or slotted spoon to carefully remove the rice cakes from the oil and transfer them to the prepared plate with paper towels. The towels will absorb any extra oil, keeping the rice cakes crisp.
  4. Wait for the oil to return to 350°F (177°C) before adding the next batch. This ensures all the rice cakes cook evenly and become equally crispy.
  5. Repeat the process until all rice cakes are fried. Make sure to give the oil time to heat back up between batches.

Frying the rice cakes in batches allows us to control the cooking process closely and ensures that each one comes out perfectly crispy. As they cool slightly on the paper towel-lined plate, you’ll start to hear the subtle crackling sounds — a promising sign of the crispy delights that await.

Assembling the Com Chay Chien Gion

After we’ve crisped up our rice cakes to golden perfection, the final step is to assemble the Com Chay Chien Gion with an array of flavorful toppings and seasonings that bring this dish to life.

Adding the Seasoning and Toppings

To bring our Com Chay Chien Gion together, we begin by placing the crispy rice cakes on a serving platter. While they’re still hot, we sprinkle them generously with the seasoning mix we prepared earlier. The warm rice cakes absorb the flavors beautifully, creating a taste sensation that is both robust and satisfying.

Next, we layer on the toppings. For a traditional touch, we recommend adding a mixture of finely chopped green onions, cilantro, and a sprinkle of toasted sesame seeds for an extra crunch. If you’re feeling adventurous, a drizzle of sriracha or a sprinkle of chili flakes can add a spicy kick that beautifully contrasts the crispiness of the rice cakes.

For those who love a hint of acidity, a squeeze of fresh lime juice over the top just before serving adds a bright note that elevates the dish to the next level. Finally, for an added umami boost, a light drizzle of fish sauce or a sprinkle of fried garlic can be an amazing addition.

As we arrange these toppings, we ensure each rice cake is covered to our liking, making every bite a delightful blend of crispy, savory, and fresh flavors. The combination of these ingredients not only enhances the taste but also adds a beautiful array of colors and textures to the dish, making it as pleasing to the eye as it is to the palate.

Serving Suggestions

After meticulously crafting our cơm cháy chiên giòn to achieve that perfect crispy texture and infusing it with a savory blend of Vietnamese flavors, it’s time to talk about the best ways to serve this delightful dish. Serving cơm cháy chiên giòn is as much about the presentation and accompaniments as it is about the preparation.

On a Platter

We love to serve cơm cháy chiên giòn on a large platter, allowing the golden, crispy rice cakes to take center stage. This not only showcases the visual appeal of the dish but also makes it easy for everyone to pick their own pieces, creating a shared dining experience that’s at the heart of Vietnamese cuisine.

With Dipping Sauce

A must-have accompaniment is the dipping sauce. The sauce we introduced earlier, combining fish sauce, lime juice, chili, and a touch of sweetness, is not merely a side but an integral part of the dish. Pour it into small bowls and place them around the platter so each bite can be generously dipped, mingling the crispy rice cakes with the sauce’s complexity and depth.

Fresh Herbs and Vegetables

To balance the savory, rich flavors of the cơm cháy chiên giòn, we suggest serving it with a side of fresh herbs and vegetables. A mix of cilantro, mint, sliced cucumber, and pickled carrots adds a refreshing crunch and a burst of freshness with every bite. These not only add a layer of flavor but also a beautiful array of colors to the table.

Beverage Pairings

When it comes to what to drink with cơm cháy chiên giòn, light and refreshing is the way to go. Iced green tea or a crisp beer complements the dish wonderfully, balancing the richness and helping cleanse the palate between bites.

Make-Ahead Instructions

In the world of Vietnamese cooking, cơm cháy chiên giòn stands out not just for its delightful crunch and flavor but also for its convenience. We understand that sometimes, the kitchen can become a busy place, or perhaps you’re planning to serve this dish as part of a larger feast. That’s where our make-ahead instructions come in handy, offering you a way to prepare parts of this dish in advance without sacrificing quality or taste.

Preparing the Rice Cakes

The key to crispy rice cakes is, unsurprisingly, the rice itself. For those who plan ahead, cooking and drying the rice can be done up to two days before frying. Simply cook your rice as usual, then spread it out on a baking sheet or plate to dry out overnight at room temperature. This step ensures that the rice dries adequately, making it easier to form into cakes that will crisp up perfectly when fried. Store the dried rice in an airtight container in the refrigerator until you’re ready to proceed with the recipe.

Seasoning Mix

Our seasoning mix — a vibrant blend of spices and flavors that characterizes cơm cháy chiên giòn — can also be made ahead of time. Combine all the necessary spices, including your salt, sugar, and any additional seasonings you prefer, in a small bowl. This mixture can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to a week. Having this step done beforehand streamlines the cooking process, ensuring that the final assembly of your crispy rice cakes is as effortless as it is delicious.

Dipping Sauce

The dipping sauce, an integral part of the serving suggestions, can likewise be prepared in advance. Whisk together the fish sauce, lime juice, water, sugar, minced garlic, and finely sliced chili in a bowl. This sauce only improves with time as the flavors meld together, so feel free to prepare this up to three days ahead. Store it in the refrigerator in a jar or an airtight container. Before serving, give the sauce a good stir to redistribute the flavors evenly.


We’ve covered everything you need to know to make your very own cơm cháy chiên giòn, from the initial steps to the final presentation. With our make-ahead tips, you’re all set to whip up these crispy delights with ease, ensuring they’re not just tasty but also a feast for the eyes. Remember, the secret to a memorable dish lies not just in its flavor but in its presentation and the joy it brings to the table. So go ahead, give it a try, and watch as these crispy rice cakes become a new favorite in your culinary repertoire. Happy cooking!

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