Nuoc Nong Community, Tu Le Village, Van Chan Town, Yen Bai Province

7 dishes on the journey to discover the northwest viet nam

Grilled chicken in a bamboo tube

It is a famous dish of Thai people in many northwestern provinces. Chicken is marinated with spices and “mac khen” for about an hour and then put into bamboo tube. Then, the chef covers the bamboo tube with leaves to make the food more flavorful. Meeting the heat, the spices and “mac khen” will emit a fragrant aroma. When finished, chickens will have layers of yellow skin, fragrant bamboo fragrant meat, sweet, spicy.

Minced pork grilled inside leaves

The main ingredient of this dish is minced pork marinates with spices, the most characteristic is “mac khen”. The meat is wrapped in many layers of leaves, then grilled on a charcoal stove or buried in a wood stove. The chef must be very skillful so that the meat is cooked evenly, with a yellow color slightly browning, the layer of the leaves just burn dry outside. The leaves keep the inner meat moist. When the leaves are removed, the meat is still hot, sweet, soft and fragrant. The specialty of this dish is the taste of grilled meat mingles with the scent of “dong” leaves.

Steamed fish

The main ingredients are the fishes caught from Da River. Fishes are filtered, chopped into small pieces then marinated with minced ginger, onions, and spices. The chef placed heated pebbles (taken from the streams in the region) at the end of the pot, then spread the fragrant sticky leaves, lemongrass and ginger, then put the fish on, poured wine in and covered the pot. “The wine flowing into the hot pebbles creates a vapor that makes the fish ripe and fragrant. The fish is delicious, fresh and meaty and can be cooked right the table of the guest ”, said Bui Quy, a Muong chef in Hoa Binh.

Purple sticky rice

This delicious sticky rice dish has a quite sophisticated process of coloring. The chef often uses large-grain white glutinous rice. Rice is purpled with “khau cam” leaves of the tree – a plant only can be found in the mountains. The chef boils leaves for more than 1 hour, then he has purple water. When the leaf water cools, pour the washed rice and soak it for about 8-10 hours. When the rice turns purple, pick it out and then steam it once. After that, keep it cool then continue to cook a second time until the sticky rice is softened, each seed turns bright purple. Sticky rice has a characteristic sweet taste that is difficult to find somehow. The feature of this sticky rice dish is soft without stickiness. Sticky rice can be used separately, served with grilled pork or sesame and salt.

Sauted veal

The hot, fragnant and soft fried veal and the special sauce is a must-tried dish when coming to Moc Chau. People often use young veal to make this speacial dish. The meat is cut into small pieces, with all 3 parts of skin, fat, lean meat, seasoned and then sauted with boiling oil. The process of sauting is very important, the chef need to align the heat of the oil and the time to get the best taste. Just drop the meat in when the oil is boiling and hot enough, stir quickly then take it out immediately because if it takes too long, the veal will be chewy, and if not hot enough, the meat will get raw.

Bitter bamboo shoots

This is a dish that often appears in meals when visitors come to the Northwestern provinces. This forest specialties are skillfully processed by chef into many different dishes such as boiled bitter bamboo shoots, grilled bitter bamboo shoots, and fried bitter bamboo shoots with garlic … In which, the most simple dish is boiled bitter bamboo shoots used with “cham cheo”. The main ingredients of the sauce include chili, salt, cocoon, garlic … There are also herbs, lemongrass, ginger … depending on the purpose of use. The simple combination of crispy bamboo shoots, the more you chew it, the sweeter you feel, with the sour, pungent, and fragrant taste of the crunch when eating is an impressive feature for visitors.

Local Pork rolled in forest leaves

Unlike many rolls in the lowlands, ethnic people in the Northwest often use forest leaves to roll meat. The local Pig, weighing about 10 – 13 kg is roasted under a fire with a crisp cuticle. Pigs before roasting will be coated with cardamom juice to keep the moisture and sweetness of the meat. The combination of herbs, spicy and sour forest pepper leaves, used with “cham cheo” is an unforgettable taste for visitors who have come here. “Northwest cuisine is very delicious. I like the dishes lined with green banana leaves, simple, rustic and nature-friendly dishes,” said Phuong Thao, a Hanoi tourist.




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