Lotus is not only a cultural symbol of Viet Nam but is used for many special dishes one of which is com sen (lotus rice).
Under the Nguyen dynasty, com sen was listed on the royal menu for its delicate taste and the meticulous way it is cooked.
Com sen, a perfect combination of rice and lotus, can be vegetarian or non-vegetarian, both of which require careful selection of the key ingredient, lotus seeds. To have tasty com sen, one should choose fresh and good lotus seeds to get nutrition from the dish. The rice must be also fragrant and soft. Other accompanying ingredients include shrimp, Vietnamese ham, roast pork, carrots, peas, maize, onion, salt, sugar, pepper, egg and oil.
To prepare the dish, boil lotus seeds and use the boiled water to cook the rice. Boil peas, maize and diced carrots. Heat oil in a pan and add chopped spring onion and fry for about five minutes. Put the oil and spring onion in a bowl. Mix in carrots, peas, shrimp, ham and roasted pork and stir for about five minutes. Add egg and stir quickly. Later, add rice and lotus seeds, season them with salt, sugar, and pepper and keep stirring about 3-5 minutes.
Add chopped spring onion and oil and toss. Place a lotus leaf in a bowl, put the mixture of rice, lotus seeds, pork and vegetables in, wrap the lotus leaf and steam for 10 – 15 minutes. Serve it hot with soy bean sauce and chili.