Have you ever heard of rice-paddy herbs (Ngo Om)? While being a bit unfamiliar in Western countries, this herb thrives in popularity in most Asian regions – especially Vietnam. Thanks to its bright and distinctive flavor, Ngo Om has been used in many specialty foods, such as Canh Chua and beef Pho! Still, how to grow rice paddy herb is an issue that confuses even some Vietnamese people.
No worry; our guide will dig deep into the matter! Here, everyone will learn all there is to know about rice paddy herb in Vietnamese. Let’s get started!
What Do People Use Rice Paddy Herbs For?
Ngo Om is famous for its complex and bright flavoring, which explains its popularity in savory dishes. Their leaves are often torn, washed, or chopped to yield the best aromas. Sometimes, people also like to sprinkle it into salad bowls, marinades, or dips. Certain countries (like India) even include this herb in light sauces, grain dishes, and roasted meats!
All in all, these plants work well with pork, fish, beef, and poultry. Seasoned cooks also love to combine them with other herbs like mint, basil, lime, peppers, or lemongrass to diversify the flavors!
Another usage of rice-paddy herb (though a bit untraditional) is to enhance cocktails and drinks. They offer a scurry boost to the water taste, lingering on the tip of your tongue in the best way possible! It’s hard to find any rice paddy herb substitute that can achieve the same effect.
*Side note: They must be used right away!
You should use rice-paddy herbs immediately to achieve optimal taste quality. Otherwise, unwashed or stored herbs will perish sooner than expected.
How to Grow Rice Paddy Herb?
Under What Conditions Is It Grown?
Ngo Oms are tropical vegetables that thrive best in both humidity and heat. That’s why areas lacking temp and heat balance are not considered a perfect environment for these plants to grow! Excessive frost is even worse, which may lead to premature death. Only the right weather conditions and proper maintenance can help the growth of plants stay green and lush for a long time.
Most growing rice paddy herbs are from quick cuttings and set their roots once placed underwater. It’s possible to plant them around your garden or balcony where is your nutrition storage green.
Simple Steps to Grow Ngò Om Seeds
Step 1. Find some fresh Ngo Om in Asian markets.
Step 2. Once you have purchased it, put the stems under the water. In a few days, you can see its roots growing!
Step 3. Wait until the roots are one inch long. Then, put your Ngo Om in the soil.
Choosing the soil for growing braised vegetables must be a soil rich in humus that retains moisture well, should use nutrient soil with vermicompost or soil for growing vegetables.
The feature to note is that braised rice paddy herb is not suitable for freshly mixed media, use a plastic pot with a diameter of 20 cm, put nutrient soil in 2/3 of the pot, then pin 3-4 cuttings of braised rice paddy herb a pot. Note: place the cuttings at an angle of 300 and firmly insert them to prevent the root from being shaken.
Put the newly planted vegetable pots in a cool place or with little sunlight, when the plants grow well, put them in a place with 60-70% illumination.
Step 4. As the roots extend longer, you may start introducing them to some direct sunlight (or partial shades, depending on the light intensity).
Step 5. We must stress again that herb grows best in watery and warm surroundings (such as flooded fields); thus, we suggest you always keep your pot moist!
And no, these plants will never suffer from overflooding issues, so you should always be confident with your watering methods!
Step 6. When you feel ready, cultivate your months of hard work and use it for delicious recipes.
When harvesting, remember to use a clean sharp knife to cut across the braised vegetable, leaving only about 3 cm from the pot surface, add organic fertilizer, and continue watering normally, after 40-45 days you can cut a new batch.
After 3-4 months, the roots of Ngo Om will run out of nutrients, the leaves will gradually turn yellow, and need to be replaced with a larger pot to help the vegetables grow for a long time.
How To Pick Up Rice Paddy Herb Quickly And Simply?
First, you use a knife to cut off the old stem of the rice paddy herb. After that, you remove damaged leaves and keep only young leaves.
After picking up the leaves, you cut the stem of the paddy herb into bite-sized pieces, about 5cm long, and then put them in the basket.
Next, you wash the paddy herb with diluted salt water to remove bacteria, then rinse with clean water about 2-3 times.
Finally, you take them out into the basket and let them drain before processing.
1. What Do These Rice Paddy Herbs Taste Like?
Ngo Om enjoys a distinctive citrus aroma – a fusion of cumin and zest!
Most people claim it may serve as a terrific cumin substitute in both non-Vietnamese and Vietnamese cuisines. Combining both cumin and Ngo Om produces great results, too, adding more freshness and depth to the dishes!
Rice-paddy/Ngo Om, of course!
But aside from Ngo Om, many other herbs are in the mix, such as basil, sprout, cilantro, and chile. The latter is often sliced to sprinkle the Pho water with more sweetness.
There’s no right or wrong when it comes to Pho herbs. As long as the overall taste suits you, feel free to add any ingredients you like to the mix!
You have been introduced to rice-paddy already. Here are some other options like flavor nutrition storage:
- Coriander (Rau Mui)
- Thai Basil (Hung Que)
- Garlic Chives (He)
- Vietnamese Coriander (or Rau Ram)
- Sawtooth (Ngo Gai)
- Perilla (Tia To)
Most Vietnamese people love serving it with seafood soup, beef, and salad. Some regions keep things simpler, stir-frying these zests with beef and eating them with steamed rice.
Still, as we already established, do not force yourself to abide by any rule. Experiment with your dishes till you feel satisfied with how the recipes cultivation flavor turns out!
This article has discussed how to grow rice paddy herb, giving you excellent tips for both its maintenance and usage! We hope you will enjoy the most pleasant dishes with these wonderful ingredients. Feel free to write to us if there are still questions!