Vietnamese Empress Rice Bento


I made Empress Rice or Com Hoang Hau in Vietnamese (please excuse the missing accents!) today. I had always wanted to make it ever since I saw it in my Vietnamese cookbook Quick and Easy Vietnamese Home Cooking for Everyone by Andre Nguyen and Yukiko Moriyama. It looks gorgeous, festive and delicious too! Unfortunately the bento pictures here don't really show how pretty the rice actually looks, because it's covered by fruit, vegetables and so on...! My husband especially found the rice really yummy and aromatic, I guess a real change from the usual fried rice. It's not very complicated to make either.

The rice uses coconut juice and vanilla leaves, which I think really accentuate the beautiful aroma of the rice.

Ingredients - serves 2
Adapted from Quick and Easy Vietnamese Home Cooking for Everyone
  • 1 cup jasmine rice, rinsed and drained
  • 10 cm Asian vanilla leaves
  • 2 cups coconut juice (not coconut milk...!)
  • 1/2 cup Chinese sausage, diced
  • 1/2 cup Vietnamese ham, diced
  • 1/2 cup chicken fillet, diced
  • 60 g long beans, sliced
  • 1/2 cup chopped green onions
  • 2 salted eggs (use only chopped yolks)
  • 2 thin omelets
  • 1 teaspoon chopped garlic
  • 1 teaspoon sliced chili, seeded
  • 5 - 6 quail eggs, hard boiled
  • 1/2 teaspoon each, sugar, salt, pepper, soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoon oil for stir-frying
  • Cook rice with vanilla leaves and coconut juice in a rice cooker.
  • In a non-stick skillet, make 2 thin omelets and shred finely. Cut up all the remaining ingredients, except for quail eggs.
  • Heat oil in a wok and stir fry all ingredients except quail eggs. Season with sugar, salt, pepper and soy sauce.
  • Place hard boiled quail eggs in a rice bowl.
  • Press down the meat mixture to line the bowl. Add cooked rice and press hard. Turn over to unmold.
Note: I didn't add the quail eggs to the rice, as it's actually meant to be, because I wanted to make some cute characters with them.

Filling: Vietnamese Empress Rice, slices of mango, grapes, blueberries, red currant, strawberries, tamagoyaki (Japanese rolled omelet), flower sausages, cherry tomato, broccoli, hard-boiled bear, chick and piggy quail eggs.

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  1. So innovative and colorful!!


  2. Delicious and awesome crafty food.

  3. Que colorido, es una delicia.


  4. Very impresive bento, you should submit them to the Wholesome Lunchbox event sometime, always on the 15th of the month on my blog.
    Love those little chicks! :)

  5. Have to say everything you make looks so fresh, so good and so creative! This is fantastic! Love the piggies! The fried rice sounds amazing!

  6. This is so pretty! I couldn't take my eyes away from the eggs!

  7. This comment has been removed by the author.

  8. Each time I visit your blog, it put a smile on my face. This dish is like a piece of handicraft. You are not only a good cook but a food artist. Love your creation and the photo is fabulous!

  9. I love your Bentos you know, are lovely cute and yummy!! This look wonderful and tempting!!! gloria

  10. very colorful n yummy..
    must have tasted divine..:P
    Tasty Appetite

  11. Very colorful looking bento. Loved the elaborate decoration of it.

    Hamaree Rasoi

  12. Whoaaaa.., totally cute! I think you are becoming an expert for Bento ;)

  13. hey CG! i love those quail eggs that you turn into little bear, pig, and chicken.. they're so cute!

  14. You are so creative! Your hubby is so blessed to have you!

  15. Awww.... Soooo cute! Those little guys truly brighten my day! :D

  16. cuuute !!
    i love the bears? monkeys? haha ^ ^

    so adorable

  17. lovely, cute, and yummy,yummy

  18. Wowwww....

    This is super cuteeeee. :D love it.

  19. talk about being creative. Geez..I wish I am as creative as you are. You are amazing!!!!

  20. Aw too cute! I love the fruit filling. Looks so bright and healthy of course!

  21. So cute! I wish I had bento like this for lunch!

  22. Beautiful colors and I loved the flavors in this!

  23. beautiful ,beautiful,beautiful!:)

  24. CG, your little little cute animals are sooooo lovely.. i try to do the little chick that is out from the egg, but then i think i was too clumsy and the egg yolk doesnt look that nice haha