If you ask me about what make me impressive most in the foggy land of Sapa. It’s not the scenery landscapes, the colorful culture… because it’s all very well-known in the nationwide but the amazing art of cuisine already with Thang Co, dried water buffalo meat, salt pork… and this time with the most rustic and simple delicacy, the sticky rice cake – Pau Plau cake.
Firstly, the wide diversity of cooking style as well as the intelligent way of profit the resources of the nature impress me so much. But the very first highlight is the way the residents turn the most ordinary ingredients into the most amazing delicacies. It’s absolutely no joke to say that every single dish of this land can be considered as a specialty, a representative of a famous culinary art of the northwestern region of Vietnam. And you guess what? You can see through all these special things through the typical mochi of Sapa, the Pau Plau sticky cake.
Sapa already rose in popularity with the stunning view of the vast cascading fields in the middle of the peaceful ambiance of the nature. That’s the place to admire the beauty of the nature but also to product the main food of the whole town, rice and sticky rice. Thank for the ideal weather and temperature, the quality and quantity of these kind of agriculture products are always perfect for people to make many delicious starch specialties, and of course sticky rice.
This simple dish is actually not easy to make at all but lot of skills and patiences are demanded from the very first step of select ingredients to the very last step of finish the chewy round cake. To the best flavor, the glutinous rice must have the best quality, sticky and fragrant while the mung bean is buttery and tasty. Before cooking, both sticky rice and mung bean are soaked in warm water in about two hour to make them softer.
Do xoi is what Vietnamese people call the action of cooking sticky rice and the perfect flavor of cooked stick rice must tender but not overcooked. Then the rice will be pounded into paste in a rice mortar made of wood and molded into a small, round shape with a little bit of mung bean in the middle which is one by one arranged on Dong leaves, Phrynium placentarium leaves (the one northern people use to wrap the famous Banh chung).
Fortunately, by making a tour in Sapa tourist can directly watch how to prepare the ingredients or even participate in the interesting process of making this cake. People can eat Pau Plau cake right when it still hot. It’s no doubt such a very satisfying feelings in the cool temperature in Sapa and especially after witching the amazing step by step of making this delicious cake.
Furthermore, Pau Plau cakes can be reserve in about a week or even two to three months just but covering them with a thin layer of corn flour. Depend on the taste or each person, people can steam it or fried or grilled them on the hot charcoal… all bring a delicious and fragrance of fresh glutinous rice and mung bean…
Once you come to Sapa, you will be impressed not only by the stunning view, the lovely ambiance but also the beautiful way of living in harmony with the nature, and of course, the colorful cuisine. Then if you are eager to learn about the regional culinary art, don’t forget to taste the Pau Plau sticky rice cake, the unique delicacy of only Sapa town.
See: Good wines must try in Sapa