Rice pipe or bamboo rice in Mai Chau, so delicious
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Hoa Binh has the special gao nuong (a kind of glutinous rice), which is limber and fragrant. It’s the key ingredient to create the attractive flavor. Glutinous rice is soaked in water overnight to soften up. After that, the maker mixes prepared rice with julienne of coconut meat, and then compresses them into fresh bamboo pipes. The pipe is about 30 cm in length. The fresh bamboo pipe retains fragrance and flavor. After putting some coconut milk into the glutinous rice, the maker covers the pipe’s mouth with a piece of sugar cane or banana leaf. Finally, the pipes are grilled for about a hour over charcoal until you can smell the flavor.
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To eat this dish, you must split the burned cover into parts then unwrap them carefully. Therefore, the membrane that embraces the rice is still kept. Com lam is often served with salt and crushed sesame or grilled pork. You should enjoy this dish when it’s still hot to feel its light sweet taste and mild flavor. Before eating, you can warm up the pipe by steaming or microwaving.
It’s easy to buy Com lam in the local market or from the street vendors. The price is about 10,000 VND for a pipe of Com Lam.