Ingredients of dishes cooked by ethnic minority groups in Thua Thien Hue province
Update6/4/2021 2:18:27 PM
Living in mountainous areas, Thua Thien Hue ethnic minority groups often make use of materials ground in mountainous fields or found in nature. This reflects their adaptation to natural habitat and self-sufficient lifestyle.
Black sticky rice - a specialty of A Luoi district
Black sticky rice - a specialty of A Luoi district

Ethnic minority groups tend to enjoy dishes made from plants such as local types of rice (Radu, Cuda, Pinhe, Cupva, Arao Cuhom, Atria), sticky rice (trang), black sticky rice (A tut, Kachhăh, A muk, a bum), etc. In recent years, locals started to grow wet rice. Due to its terrain and extreme weather condition, the amount of rice grown is only enough for locals to eat in 5 to 6 months. Therefore, they have to use other kinds of tubers and fruits as food, for example cassava tubers, corn and sweet potato. While cassava tubers are grown in mountainous fields, corn and sweet potato are planted in mudflats along rivers and streams.  During the hard time called "thang giap hat" (between-crop period when young rice is being grown and almost no rice harvested in previous season is left) locals often look for wild edible tubers such as "cu mai" and "cu nau" in the wood. It can be said that forest brings locals a lot of benefits as diverse plants only can meet their daily demand. All parts of plants such as root, tuber, stems, leaves, flower and fruit can be used as food. They not only help locals relieve their hunger but also create specialties.

Lingzhi mushroom in A Luoi district

People from ethnic minority groups in Thua Thien Hue mostly find their food in the forest, river, stream, etc. They are types of fruits such as star fruit, banana, jackfruit, winter melon, papaya, bamboo, mushroom and vegetable. For their families' daily meals, men also hunt for bird and mouse in the wood. Their favorite animals are wild creatures (bird, mouse, deer, monkey, small Indian civet), fishes, amphibians (frog), cattle (pig, goat, buffalo) and poultry (chicken), etc. However, they are not used on daily basis, but festive occasions only.

Chili and salt are their irreplaceable spices. Chili helps locals get rid of fishy taste as well as protects them from the cold. Besides, people also made kinds of "mam" (fermented food) in bamboo tubes. A Luoi locals even used a kinds of yellow ant called A Sao during cooking.

The main food that ethnic minority groups often used are rice, cassava, corn, vegetable, fish, shrimp, meat, snail, etc.
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