Bamboo-tube rice – a very delicious specialty in the Northwest mountains

For a long time, bamboo-tube rice has become a specialty in the cuisineculture of Thai people in the Northwest. This is a simple dish with the unique flavor of the mountainous areas. If anyone once set foot on the Northwest mountains to admire the majestic mountains and forests, no one does not know bamboo-tube rice, even foreign tourists. If people in plain regions cook rice by rice cookers, the northwestern people cook rice with the bamboo shoots. This is a characteristic that nowhere has.

What is bamboo-tube rice?

Bamboo-tube rice is made from rice (usually sticky rice) and some other ingredients, then put in a bamboo tube and grilled on the fire. This is the famous rice of ethnic groups in the Northwest of Vietnam, the Central Highlands and some ethnic groups in Laos, Thailand, Cambodia, Myanmar and China.

Bamboo-tube rice in the northwest mountains (dukhach.net)

How to make bamboo- tube rice?

To make bamboo-tube rice, you must choose fresh bamboo tube that is not too young or too old. The most suitable bamboo tubes are from October to January. The fresh bamboo is brought back to cut each bamboo section into a tube. The next step is to choose sticky rice. This is a very important step because it determines the plasticity of the rice. If you want to make a delicious bamboo-tube rice, you have to choose the right type of sticky rice which is big, white, and fragrant. This is the special sticky rice of the Northwest mountains, which is grown on terraced rice fields.

After that, you wash the rice thoroughly and soak for 5 to 6 hours, pick rice out to drain, then put the rice in the bamboo tube, pour water into the tube to flood the rice. Do not fill too much rice in the tube because when rice is done, it will expand to close the mouth of the bamboo tube. Then take the banana leaves or phrynium leaves to cover the mouth of the tube and then grill on fire. When grilling, it is necessary to rotate the bamboo tube continuously, not to burn the tube so that the rice is cooked evenly. When there is steam coming out of the mouth and the nice smell of rice, bamboo- tube rice is done.

When the bamboo- tube rice is done, spilt the outer shell of the tube to have the thin layer which is peeled while eating. Bamboo- tube rice can be served with sesame and salt or "cham cheo"- the unique ingredient of Thai. These two kinds of sauce will contribute to the deliciousness of the rice. According to the experience of local people in the Northwest, apart from sesame and salt, bamboo- tube rice will bring the best flavor when served with grilled spring fish or grilled wild boar in banana leaves.

Bamboo-tube rice in Mai Chau

Bamboo- tube rice of the northwest Thai is a very simple dish with the characteristic flavor of the mountains, the harmony between the fragrance of sticky rice and bamboo creating the attractive aftertaste of bamboo-tube rice. Previously, in the living, the Thai people often go to work on the field all day so they usually bring rice in bamboo tubes. According to them, bamboo- tube rice is kept for a long time without damaging and losing the fragrance of rice. Today, in thepopular festival of Thai culture, bamboo- tube rice is selected as a gastronomic cuisine to introduce to visitors.

Bamboo-tube rice today

Nowadays, bamboo-tube rice is famous in all over the country. You can see that many people sell bamboo-tube rice at the mountain market where a lot of tourists visit. To serve the visitors' demands, the bamboo-tube rice specialties in the mountains of northern Vietnam are made by the slightly different way. They can add a little coconut milk with small copra mixed with glutinous rice and then put them in the bamboo tube. Rice will just have the sweetness of the forest and mountain, and the fat of coconut milk, which will be very delicious. In particular, the local people here also mix glutinous rice with colored water made entirely from the ingredients on the mountain for bamboo-tube rice to have the attractive and delicious food.

In addition to visiting the mountains in the north such as Moc Chau, Mai Chau, and Sapa, you can also know a delicious and rare rice dish. It is similar to bamboo-tube rice, but this dish is cooked in fresh coconut. Sticky rice, green bean are mixed with spices and stuffed into coconut and put on fire.

Today, bamboo-tube rice has become a commodity and also a specialty in restaurants and hotels that are well-known and loved by tourists.

Bamboo-tube rice is not only a special dish of Northwest Vietnam in particular but also contributes to the unique Vietnamese cuisine in general. If you want to travelMai Chau Trek tour and enjoy bamboo-tube rice- theMai Chau’s specialty, feel free to contact us via our website. Share it if it is useful to you. Have a nice trip!