Lai Chau province is not only famous for its wild, majestic and beautiful natural landscapes, imbued with the highlands of Northwest Vietnam. But this place also makes diners memorable with its delicious and attractive specialties. Let’s take a look at the Lai Chau specialties with Origin Vietnam that you can’t miss when you have the opportunity to go there!
1. Lai Chau purple sticky rice
If you want a dish that is both delicious and easy to find, then purple sticky rice is the only option! Purple sticky rice is one of the Lai Chau specialties that visitors should enjoy first. The sticky rice uses ingredients from large-grain upland sticky rice. The purple color of the sticky rice is dyed from the Khau plug plant. When cooked, the sticky rice has an extremely fragrant flavor, a bright purple color, the sticky rice grains are evenly cooked, and is extremely chewy without being sticky.
2. Lam Nho
Lam Nho deserves to be a Lai Chau specialty due to the extremely special way of making it! In lam soi, ‘lam’ means grilled and ‘nhoi’ means soft. The main ingredient for this dish will be beef or buffalo, the meat is grilled over charcoal until cooked. Then slice thinly and mix with garlic, chili, ginger, mac Khen, squash,…
Then put everything in a bamboo tube and bake until cooked. That’s not all, then take a stick and poke it until smooth, then grill the bamboo tube again until it’s really soft. After completion, you will see that the parts are almost stuck together, and when eaten, it has a very interesting sweet taste.
3. Lai Chau dried buffalo meat
Dried buffalo meat is definitely something diners should try when coming here. Lai Chau dried buffalo meat uses carefully selected premium meat. The meat is marinated with spices for 2 hours, then grilled over charcoal until cooked. Dried buffalo meat has a very attractive scent, has a rich flavor and is so delicious when eaten with corn wine.
4. Bitter leaf soup
Have you heard of bitter leaf blood soup? Bitter leaves will be picked from the forests and streams to make soup. The pig lungs are purchased and washed thoroughly, the pig lungs and blood are chopped, then mixed with MSG, chili, and pepper for 10 minutes.
Find more bitter herbs and put all the ingredients in a deep pot of water and wait until cooked evenly. Bitter leaf blood pudding is a Lai Chau specialty dish that is quite difficult to eat, but once you get used to it, you will feel the sweet, aromatic taste of this soup.
5. Lettuce salad
Garlic salad is not only a Lai Chau specialty but also a familiar dish of local people here. Malabar spinach is a popular vegetable. When harvested, it will be dried for a bit, then mixed with many ingredients such as chili, ginger, onions, roasted peanuts, garlic, herbs, etc. When making a mannequin, it will have an extremely rich flavor when eaten. In addition, we can also process spinach into many other dishes.
6. Fried cicadas
Fried cicadas sound both interesting and scary to enjoy, right? This is a Thai dish in Lai Chau that tourists should try. After being caught, the cicadas will have their wings removed, their intestines removed and a peanut stuffed into their stomach, continued to be marinated with spices and then fried crispy.
When it comes out of the oven, diners will not be able to resist the golden cicadas with their fragrant flavor, greasy from the inside out when bitten into.
7. Goby buries ashes
Goby buried in ash with fish is usually caught from the stream. The fish here has delicious and chewy meat, then it is processed cleanly. Then marinate with additional spices such as chili, pepper, ginger, mac khen, basil leaves, lemongrass,… for about 15-30 minutes, then wrap it in dong leaves, then bury it in hot water for about 30 minutes and Flip it over once, keep flipping about 5-6 times until it’s cooked. When cooked, the fish has a light aroma and has an extremely delicious taste.
8. Ban flower and bamboo shoots salad
The next Lai Chau specialty is Hoa Ban bamboo shoots. The chef will use bamboo shoots or bitter bamboo shoots for this dish. The bamboo shoots will be chopped finely and soaked in salt water, then boiled twice and drained (as for bamboo shoots, just boil and strip).
With Ban flowers, you will take fresh flowers with thick petals, then choose a thick stream fish, grill the gills and get the meat. Then prepare a mixture of lemon juice, garlic, chili, basil. And finally gently mix all the ingredients together to create Hoa Ban bamboo shoot salad.
9. Under-armpit pig (badger)
Highland pigs always have very delicious meat due to free-range farming in the wild, and Lai Chau pork is the same. Pigs here are bought in pairs, male and female, and they will be released into the forest near the house and feed themselves.
Due to natural farming, the meat is very delicious, low in fat, and the skin is crispy. Can be customized into many dishes such as: Boiled, stir-fried, grilled, smoked,… depending on the user’s preferences.
10. Pig intestines stuffed with sticky rice
Pig intestines stuffed with sticky rice is also known as “tung cai leng”. It’s prepared by mixing raw blood with sticky rice, crushed cardamom, and then stuffing it into the pig intestine. Then boil until cooked, take out and eat immediately or leave to eat gradually over the days of Tet. Pork intestines stuffed with sticky rice are rich in blood, fragrant with cardamom, and have the chewiness of pork intestines.
11. Pork mixed with sour leaves
Pork mixed with sour leaves is an extremely attractive dish in Lai Chau with a simple way to make it. Sour leaves are available all year round in the forest. Bring them home, pound them, add chili, doi seeds, and mix well with boiled pork. Eat deliciously without getting bored. Pork mixed with sour leaves is a delicious dish of the White Thai people in Lai Chau.
12. H’Mong Day cake
One of Lai Chau’s specialties that cannot be ignored is Banh Day of the H’Mong people. The banh day here has no filling, is large and is glued with lard. The cake has the aroma of upland sticky rice, chicken eggs, and lard, all blending extremely attractively.
13. Ant eggs
Ant eggs are a specialty in Lai Chau region, they are marinated in dong and banana leaves and then grilled on a charcoal stove. Or you can prepare it with upland sticky rice, make a salad with sour leaves, cook a sweet soup… both strange and delicious.
14. Lai Chau standard dried bamboo shoots
Lai Chau dried bamboo shoots are one of the specialties that people love to buy as gifts because of its unique delicious flavor. Dried bamboo shoots are made from bamboo shoots, have a sweet, dense and fleshy taste without being bitter or astringent,…
15. Sung Phai corn wine
Sung Phai corn wine must be said to be one of the flavorful specialties of the H’Mong people in Lai Chau. This wine is refined from 100% sticky corn, millet seeds and leaf yeast. The water used to make wine is spring water in Gun Must, this is one of the special things that create the unique flavor of the wine.
It’s not like Lai Chau only has the above delicious dishes! But there are still many other specialties such as: upland sticky rice, Pa Pinh top (grilled stream fish), star anise, doi seeds, wild walnuts, chitworm wine, grilled stone moss,… and more!
People often say, “A hundred words of hearing is not as good as one taste”, so what are you waiting for? Come to Lai Chau to explore the Vietnamese culinary culture for yourself. Please contact Origin Vietnam immediately to plan to explore this majestic land and have the opportunity to enjoy specialties that are not available anywhere else.