Ô Mai

Ô mai is a Vietnamese snack made from dried fruits, often seasoned with various spices.

Lastest Updated January 6, 2024
Verified by A-Z Cuisines Team
  • Traditional
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Fact: In Hanoi, Hang Duong Street in the Old Quarter is where locals and tourists easily find ô mai to enjoy as a snack or gift.

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Basic Information

Ô Mai: Basic Information

Pronunciation

/oh my/

Alternative Name(s)

Xí muội

Dish Type

Snacks

Course

Non-course dish

Mealtime

Anytime
Origin and Region

Ô Mai: Origin and Region

Origin

Vietnam

Continent’s Region

Southeast Asia

Country’s Region

Northern Vietnam

Associated Region

Unspecified
Vietnam Map
A Deep Dive

Popular Ô Mai Variations

Ingredients and Preparation

Ô Mai: Ingredients and Preparation

Main Ingredients

Apricots (mainly), other fruits, spices

Main Cooking Method

Candying

Preparation Process

The fruits are sun-dried until they shrink completely and infused with various ingredients.
A Deep Dive

Ô Mai: A Deep Dive

Cultural Significance

A popular snack and culinary ingredient in Vietnamese cuisine

Taste

Sweet, sour, salty

Texture

Chewy and soft

Aroma

Fruity

Color

Gray, dark brown

Serving Style

In its own package

Serving Temperature

At room temperature

Accompaniment

No accompaniment

Occasions

On any occasions

Seasons

Year-round

Special Diets

Gluten-free, vegan, vegetarian

Calories

10 calories, according to data of MyFitnessPal for 0.635 ounces of Xi Muoi.

Popularity

Vietnam

Popular Similar Dishes

  1. Tamarind Candy
  2. Gotgam
  3. Umeboshi

Popular Dining Area

Snack shops, markets, and as a household treat in Vietnam

Ô mai, or xí muội (in the South), is a Vietnamese word for traditionally salted dried fruit, but it also mostly denotes dried apricots. Interestingly, the word xí muội, when used in the North, refers to a specific salty and sour ô mai variety that has little sugar on it.

O Mai Infographic

To make medicinal ô mai, Vietnamese pick almost ripe apricots for sun-drying 3 to 4 times. Then, the fruits are soaked in ash water before they are dried a few more times until the skin shrinks.

As a culinary treat, ô mai is made into a candy using apricots, tamarind, peaches, Chinese plums, yellow mombin, sấu (dracontomelon duperreanum), mango, jackfruit, apple, and many more fruits.

Thanks to the drying process, ô mai comes with a chewy and soft texture. Commonly, Vietnamese locals savor ô mai as a snack or incorporate it into dishes to extract the flavor.

To know more about ô mai, you should have a peek at some of the versions of ô mai along with its implications for medical and culinary aspects. Then, find out the positive and negative features of eating ô mai with a few inquiries about the treat. Also, let me provide you with some dishes that are like ô mai.

Key Points

  • Ô mai is a phrase that encompasses salted dried fruits, but it also refers to dried apricots.
  • Ô mai is used for both medicinal and culinary purposes.
  • The dried fruits often have a soft and chewy texture

Ô Mai Images

What Are the Variants of Ô Mai?

To diversify the flavor of the fruits used for ô mai, various ingredients are employed to create many versions of the treat:

O Mai Mo Gung

This variation includes apricot and ginger, features a blend of the sweet and tart taste of apricots with the spicy, warm flavor of ginger.

O Mai Mo Cam Thao

A combination of apricot with licorice. Offers a sweet, slightly spicy, and herbal flavor, with the licorice adding a distinctive taste.

Xi Muoi Chua Ngot

A sweet and sour version of ô mai.

O Mai Sau

Made from sấu (dracontomelon), this variation is known for its sour taste.

O Mai Man

This variation uses plums (mận) and is characterized by a sweet and slightly tart flavor, with the plums providing a juicy and refreshing taste.

Additionally, make sure you have a thorough understanding of ô mai by looking at how this treat is implemented into medicinal and culinary usage.

How Ô Mai Is Used in the Medicinal and Culinary Scenes?

Ô mai is not just a snack in Vietnam as people come up with various ways to implement it into dishes and even use it as a healthy traditional medicine:

In Traditional MedicineIn Culinary Use
Ô Mai is considered to have cooling propertiesTraditionally made from apricots, but now includes various fruits
It is used to alleviate coughs and produce phlegmDried fruits are marinated with spices like sugar, ginger, chili, and licorice root
Used to relieve coughs, soothe dry and inflamed throats, and treat hoarsenessÔ Mai is enjoyed as a popular snack
Often combined with honey or ginger to enhance effectiveness in relieving coughsConsidered a type of candied fruit
Still used in traditional medicine and incorporated into traditional cough remedies.Consumed during traditional holidays and festivals.

Additionally, there are many benefits and drawbacks that ô mai offers especially when you’re planning to make it as a part of your diet.

Pros and Cons of Eating Ô Mai

These are the features that people should be aware of when planning to enjoy ô mai as a snack:

Pros

  • Flavorful snack: Ô mai offers a unique and enjoyable blend of sweet, sour, and sometimes spicy flavors, making it a delightful snack.
  • Potential health benefits: Depending on the fruits and ingredients used, ô mai can offer various vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants.
  • Convenient and portable: As a dried snack, ô mai is easy to store, transport, and consume on the go.
  • Variety of tastes: With different fruits and seasonings used, Ô mai provides a wide range of flavors to suit different palates.

Cons

  • Sugar content: Some varieties of Ô mai can be high in sugar, which is not suitable for those monitoring their sugar intake.
  • Dental health: Sticky and sweet snacks like ô mai can adhere to teeth, potentially contributing to dental issues if consumed frequently and without proper dental hygiene.

Don’t stop at only the pros and cons of eating ô mai as the common concerns of others about this fruity treat are exciting to explore.

Ô Mai FAQs

While uncommon, some people are allergic to specific fruits or additives used in Ô mai. Always check the ingredients if you have food allergies.

It should be stored in an airtight container in a cool, dry place to maintain its freshness and prevent moisture absorption.

While ô mai can be included in a balanced diet, its sugar content should be considered, especially in weight management plans.

Ô mai is generally safe for children, but be mindful of the sugar content and potential choking hazards for very young children.

Truc Tran (Kris)

Truc Tran (Kris)

Senior Food Editor

Expertise

Home Cooking, Meal Planning, Recipe Development, Baking and Pastry, Food Editor, Cooking-video Maker, Vietnamese Food Evaluation Expert

Education

  • Hospitality (Commercial Cookery) at TasTAFE
  • Culinary Arts at Kendall College (Australia Branch in Sydney)
  • Vietnamese Cuisine Head Chef at HNAAu School (Vietnam, International Joint Training Program)

Truc Tran (Kris), an experienced food writer and editor, is great at exploring and describing global cuisines, from simple street food to fancy dining. In her writing, she skillfully mixes different flavors, cooking methods, and culinary traditions, showing the unique character of various cultures through their food and drinks. On azcuisines.com, Kris highlights her knowledge, especially in Asian cuisine and worldwide traditional dishes.

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