Purple sticky rice – northwestern specialty


Whoever went to the Northwest and enjoyed the cuisine of the Thai people here certainly can not forget the beautiful color and fragrant flavor of purple fragrant sticky rice.

Basic information

On the way to Thai’s village, travelers have to go through Highway 279 and upstream Da river. The car seems to rocket on the road full of rugged rocks, which is very thrilling. Sometimes the vehicle is congested in mud poodles making everyone heart howling.

Often until 9 o’clock, visitors approach the “gathering” point in Dien Bien Phu. Everyone is tired and almost starving. Locals reheat the prepared cool-downed dishes to serve hungry guests. They nimbly munch on chunks of purple sticky rice quickly dipped into sesame salt bowl.

The cooked sticky rice seeds are soft, sweet, fragrant and its taste is sui generis that it will be deeply etched in our mind after our very first bite. The more you chew, the sweeter taste you will feel. There were other local dishes on the table as well but still, purple sticky rice is the most eye-catching and attractive one.

How to make this dish

No one knows from when this eat became an inarguable specialty of northwestern Vietnam. Glutinous rice is the grains grown on terraced fields with identical messages. The type of glutinous rice is bigget than the one in lowland. To make a sticky rice, people use a quite strange leaves in the uplands – khau cam.

Khau cam leaves are picked up in the forest and then boiled in the pot of water to make purple. Let the solution cool down and soak rice in for several hours so that the purple color fully absorbs in the grains. Gently pour these dyed grains in the steamer and let the heat do the work.

Purple-sticky-rice-4Light or dark color depends on how dense the solution is according to each person’s  experience. Cooked rice is sleek, eye-catching and evaporates the alluring smell that nobody can resist.

Thai, Day people usually eat steamed sticky rice with sesame salt. Locals are the big fans of this convenient because they can easily bring them along to eat when working in high fields. When there are visitors to the house or party, folks serve sauteed pork rib with sticky rice.

Amazing dishes of Sapa’s unique cuisine

Its meaning in Thai community

At the festival, sticky rice is considered as a crucial part of the North West’s traditional xoi ngu sac – 5-colour sticky rice of bright red, crimson, yellow, brown and purple. But today, the more popular one is purple-white-yellow sticky rice.

Trekking on the beautiful poetic NorthWest Routes, travelers fish out a wrap of purple sticky rice and salty sauteed meat and there you go, a tiny party is in front of your very eyes. Enjoy it!

Therefore, with the highland people, this is indispensable food in the daily meals or festivals.

Distinctive dishes of Sapa



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