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Cao Lau (Pork Rice Noodle)

July 12, 2023 - 1121 views

Hoi An is one of the most favorite destinations in Vietnam. When visiting Hoi An, visitors will be impressed by its unique local street food. Cao Lau is a dish that considered a specialty dish of Hoi An.

When it comes to dishes in Hoi An ancient town, no one can ignore Cao Lau (Pork Rice Noodle). In fact, Cao Lau has long been referred to as the pepper dish of Hoi An cuisine. It is said that Cao Lau is rarely found outside the vicinity of Hoi An.

Overview of Cao Lau

Cao Lau is a dish that considered a specialty dish of Hoi An. Cao Lau has yellow noodles, used with shrimp, pork, and raw vegetables. Just like Quang noodles, Cao Lau is eaten with very little broth. A special feature of this high-rise dish is that the noodles are yellow in color, due to being mixed with Cham ash that is taken from the Cham island.

According to a longtime Chinese in Hoi An, tall buildings have appeared in the old town since the 17th century, when the port of Hoi An was opened. Cao Lau is not a noodle dish, nor is it like a pho dish at all. This dish is considered a mixed dish, only appearing in Hoi An, Da Nang, and Hue. Cao Lau is often sold in restaurants with 2 floors.

In fact, it is true to say that Cao Lau is not originally from China, nor is it from Japan. It can be said that this is a combined food of many countries.

Cao Lau

The unique culture of Cao Lau in Vietnam

Cao Lau is a Vietnamese dish. Specifically, it originated from Hoi An city, in the center of Quang Nam province. This dish usually includes pork and greens and is made to make it different from other Vietnamese noodles, including other dishes from the same area, such as Mi Quang.

Ingredients and cooking process of Cao Lau

The main ingredients of Cao Lau are rice noodles, meat, greens, bean sprouts, and herbs. The meat used is usually pork, which can be chopped or sliced. It is marinated in five-spice powder, sugar, salt, pepper, crushed garlic, and soy sauce, to create a flavor similar to char siu pork. On the other hand, pork bones are also boiled with onions or shallots to make broth. In addition, you can also use more shrimp. Rice noodles are made from rice soaked in lye water. As a result, they have a chewy, springy texture, and a grayish-brown or yellowish color.

Ingredients of Cao Lau

Cao Lau is a blend of diverse cuisine

After being soaked in lye, the rice processed to make noodles must be at least 10 cm long and 0.5 cm wide. It is soaked in water for several hours, washed, and boiled. Then you need to taste it.

Cao Lau is often served with lettuce, bean sprouts, and some fresh herbs such as mint, chives, perilla, lemon basil, Vietnamese coriander, cilantro, and water mint. A variety of other herbs can also be used including mustard greens, chrysanthemum greens, common knotgrass and heartleaf, etc

Some good places to eat Cao Lau

Cao Lau is very popular in Hoi An. Thus, it is easy to find restaurants selling Cao Lau there. If you don't know where to have a good Cao Lau dish, let us give you some information. 

1. Thanh Cao Lau Restaurant 

  • Address: 26 Thai Phien Street, Hoi An city
  • Opening hours: 07:00 am- 07:00 pm 
  • Average price: 1 - 1.5 USD

Thanh Cao Lau restaurant

Thanh Cao Lau restaurant 

2. Ty Ty Restaurant

  • Address: 17/6 Hai Ba Trung Street, Hoi An city
  • Opening hours: 07:00 am - 07:00 pm
  • Average price: 0.5 - 2 USD 

Ty Ty restaurant - Cao Lau in Hoi An

Ty Ty Restaurant 

3. Cao Lau Khong Gian Xanh restaurant 

  • 687 Hai Ba Trung Street, Hoi An city
  • Opening hours: 09:30 am - 09:00 pm 
  • Average price: 1 - 5 USD

Cao Lau Khong Gian Xanh

Cao Lau Khong Gian Xanh 

In conclusion, Cao Lau is one of the most specialty dishes in Hoi An. If you have a chance to visit Hoi An, let's try Cao Lau. You will definitely love it.

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