In Mu Cang Chai, you can enjoy typical dishes of ethnic groups as Hmong, Thai… like: Green rice, Five colors sticky rice, black Chung Cake, Pa Pinh Top grilled fish, grilled chicken with leaves of Mac Mat, dried buffalo meat…These are all traditional dishes of local ethnic minorities.
Tu Le commune, Van Chan district (Yen Bai) has been well-known for a big round and white of special sticky rice. This rice has a special taste aromatic when cook sticky rice, and so sweet and cool when make Com (Green Rice)
To make Com, the local of highland Yen Bai- Thai ethnic people had to work meticulously. Rice growing farmers are the only ones who truly understand when it is time to gather young grains to make Com. Then young rice grains are harvested . Rice is not to beat or crumple up, it must be pluck off , leave rice straw, give through water and roast dry in pan. Roasting pan is made by cast iron, so every grain cereal will not be burned but it is still delicious. They are then poured into the rice mortar and slightly pounded with a wooden pestle until the husk is removed from the young sticky grains.
To enjoy Com, it is advisable to chew it slowly so that one can feel the stickiness of the young rice and at the same time enjoy its sweet, fragrant taste.
Visitors to Mu Cang Chai and Tu Le during making Com season (May or September) will have a chance to see ethnic women – Thai people shifting and winnowing the pounded young rice.
Five colors sticky rice:
This is a common dish for party of the populations in northwest of Vietnam, especially Thais people in Mu Cang Chai of the Yen Bai province. The name of the dish comes from the fact that it has 5 colors. According to different requirements, they can use more or less colors but often there are white, black, purple, yellow colors which are the most used.
The ingenuity of minorities is the use of natural materials to create colors. With white, they simply use sticky rice. Blue and red colors…are made from different plants. And with black, they take leaves of Gun to soak rice before cooking… The five colors of the dish represent the five elements of life in the Vietnamese’s’ belief: yellow is earth, green is plant, red is fire, white is metal, and black is water. People believe that the existence of these five elements create the well-being of the heaven, the earth the human.
Black Chung Cake:
This is a typical dish of Thai ethnic group in Nghia Lo valley in the province of Yen Bai. Normally, the black Banh Chung is made on the occasion of Tet festival like Kinh people, but if you’re lucky, you always see it at the fair in Mu Cang Chai.
The special feature is the shape and color. Thai people make their Chung cake in cylindrical form or by folding the leaves as in the regions of the plain. Sticky rice is soaked with leaves of Nac Nuc to create the typical black color. Its raw materials are carefully selected, including Dong leaves for packaging, wild pig in the Mu Cang Chai forest…
Pa Pinh Top grilled fish:
If visiting to Mu Cang Chai, but not yet enjoy grilled fish, then your journey really incomplete. Pa Pinh Top grilled fish is an indispensable dish in the cuisine of the Thai ethnic people in Vietnam. Depending on the language of this people, this name means “folded and grilled fish.” They often use stream carp for grilling. The cook takes typical spices in the gastronomy of Thai people in Mu Cang Chai to marinate: Seeds of Mac Khen, ginger, garlic, aromatic herbs of different kinds…
The fish is placed directly on the coals or in a grid. The fish has a mild flavor, firm but not dry. Thanks to spices mixed in fish, this dish remains always and especially in the minds of guests.
Grilled chicken with leaves of Mac Mat: For grilled dishes of Thai ethnic people in general in Vietnam or in Mu Cang Chai in particular, the leave of Mac Mat is a really important spice. Grilled chicken with leaves of Mac Mat has sweet and sour taste.
The mixture of chicken blood and liver, lemon, pepper, garlic and Zanthoxylum rhetsa fruit (quả mắc khén) will be used as sauce of grilled chicken. This dish is served with Cham Cheo – A kind of sauce mixed of salt, fragrant herbs of different kinds of ethnic groups in the northwest of Vietnam
If you’re planning to visiting Mu Cang Chai, don’t hesitate to ask us. Zonitrip – Specialize in organizing Mu Cang Chai tour, include Motorbike tour, Trekking Tour, Photography tour, Mu Cang Chai – Sapa – Halong Tour..