In every grilled food store, you can easily meet a dozen of bamboo tube arranged on the furnace grill. You probably don’t know what it is but the fragrance attractive of sticky rice still make your mouth salivating. You can miss any specialties but not this one.
This must-try food attract people not only by its amazing flavor but also the exotic cooking style which can be considered as a precious heritage of the ancestors. People cut many tube of young bamboo (but older than bamboo shoot) and clean it with stream water. For the best flavor, people must soak the local sticky rice planted largely on terraced fields in water about 2 hour. Then stuff the bamboo tube with this rice, then add water and a little bit salt to enhance the taste. Finally, cover it with banana leaf and grill.
It look easy but a lot of skill demanded to cook a perfect Com lam. People have to control well the heat in the oven and consecutively turn the tube until the rice cook. To get the rice is also a question about technique how to remain the very fin layer inside the burned bamboo cover which cover beautifully the fragrance sticky rice.
This dish is really an amazing creation of local cuisine. They use the very rustic ingredients to make the most delicious taste. It’s such a way they treasure the flavor of nature and show living in harmony of the nature. A bite of Com lam with a little salt and fried sesame will make you speechless because you can’t quit eating.
In Sapa, people eat Com lam with a lot of delicious grilled dishes that you can easily see them also lying right on the grill. The fact that it smell so good will make your mouth watering nonstop. There are many skewer of meat, dozen sweet potatoes toasted, a lot of grilled eggs and even some kind of local vegetables.
A taste of the tenderness of hand-carried piglet meat (lon cap nach) mixed with the unique flavor of local vegetables skewed alternatively with the meat or only a skewer of delicious grilled chicken is also enough to your gourmet inside you will be wake up. To many real fan of BBQ, this is such a feast of flavor.
Furthermore, sitting next to the warm charcoal oven full of tasty food in such a chilly temperature of Sapa is nothing more than a relaxation that make you forget about the busy life. Tourist can chat with the shop owner about their beautiful custom as well as the ancient culture by drinking a kind of local homemade wine and tasting food and listening to the sound of life around you…