Com Nep Mat (Honey Sweet Rice)

Relationship: Child of im/migrant
Sweet rice before becoming "Com Nep Mat"
Sweet rice before becoming "Com Nep Mat"

 This dessert/snack/side dish (it is dark brown like the color of honey after cooked) is made from sweet rice, also called sticky rice because it sticks to whatever it's put on. Vietnamese people have dishes made from sweet rice or sweet rice flour in every special event, party, family gathering, occasionally on the weekend, etc. 
This specific dish is called "Com Nep Mat" (Honey Sweet Rice). It is also called Che Con Ong (Bee-Con Ong, Sweet Soup-Che), but I prefer to call it "Com Nep Mat" because this is what my whole family calls. In Vietnamese, "Com Nep" means steamed sweet rice and "Mat" means honey. So "Com Nep Mat" means sweet rice with honey (the color of the dish looks like honey) even though honey isn't one of the ingredients. 
I chose to introduce this dessert because it played a very important part to my four older siblings during their trips to the U.S. in 1980's. In fact, they were called boat people for escaping their origin country to the U.S. with the hope for a better life. On the night my older siblings left our house, my mom cooked them "Com Nep Mat," the only food they had, so they wouldn't be hungry when they were on the boat to an island in either Thailand or Philippines. Since then, my mom never cooked it again, until today. That's why I don't have any picture of it.
More than 30 years since my older siblings were on the boat to the U.S., they still talk about this special dessert occasionally when we have family gatherings and recall their long, full of challenges journey. 

Place(s): Vietnam, Thailand, Philippines, USA

– Huong

Relationship:  Child of im/migrant Child of im/migrant