Cao Lau Hoi An – a mysterious and appealing dish

Cao Lau – the foremost traditional food of Hoi An, is a unique Vietnamese dish that does not taste like any other. It has sophisticated and mysterious recipe that is even recognized as one of 10 dishes meeting the criteria of “Asian cuisine value” by the Asian Record Organization. Let’s discover some of its mystery around this dish and learn why it has become the pride of Hoi An.

Cao Lau is a noodles dish comprising of the signature cao lau noodles, slices of barbecue pork, pork crackling, bean sprouts, lettuce and herbs. This noodles dish can only be made in Hoi An because to attain its unique taste, some ingredients must be taken there only. Therefore, all other renditions in Vietnam or elsewhere are not authentic. Tours Indochina

Cao Lau – the top speciality of Hoi An

Cao Lau – the top speciality of Hoi An

The secret lies mostly in how the noodle is made. Cao Lau noodles must be carefully made from local fresh rice, than pre-soaked in well water and lye made from wood ash. The water used must be drawn from the nearby well of Ba Le, which is dug by the Cham people. This water is then mixed with ashes from the trees in Cham Island. The mixture of well water and ash gives Cao Lau noodles a yellow tinge and a firm texture which is chewier than typical Vietnamese noodles. After being soaked in water, the noodles must be smoked over the ash-burning furnace to attain a specific smoky flavor. This esoteric recipe is what set Cao Lao different from any other Vietnamese noodles, and is the reason why this dish cannot be replicated outside of Hoi An. Tours in Vietnam

Cao Lau is very different from other noodles, even from its look

Cao Lau is very different from other noodles, even from its look

It is firmer and chewier than most typical noodles

It is firmer and chewier than most typical noodles

Unlike pho and much like any noodles dishes from the Southern Vietnam, Cao Lau noodles are served with very little broth. The broth is seasoned with cilantro, basil, and mint; sometimes chili peppers and a lime are provided on the side. Thinly-sliced pork slices and deep-fried cracklings are sprinkled on top. The dish is served with bean sprouts, lettuce and herbs from the famous Tra Que village.

Cao Lau is garnished with a lot of pork and fresh vegetables.

Cao Lau is garnished with a lot of pork and fresh vegetables.

You will miss many things if you ever travel to Hoi An without trying this dish. The recipe may have many secrets, but the taste is for everyone to discover. So why not give it a try?

Travel lovers.

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