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Cao Lau - A delicious cuisine in Hoi An


The cuisine in Hoi An is extremely popular. If you do not calculate to tourism, shopping... the food is very characteristic here. And saying to the food in Hoi An ancient town, no one can ignore Cao Lau dish. On some little-cold days in New Year, if you walk around this town, it is really not difficult to see the quaint eateries. The waitresses always wear the tunic and the "Cao Lau" name is in front of the menu.

Cao Lau was mentioned long time ago as contributing to the typical dish of the culinary soul which remains from archaic definition of the Hoi An ancient town.

Cao Lau food in Hoi An

So what is the reality of Cao Lau? It is a kind of noodle that had to be seen as a special dish of Hoi An Town in the past. Cao Lau has the yellow noodles, is used with shrimp, pork and vegetables. Like some other noodles, Cao Lau is eaten with very little water. There are the special things of this dish, that is the yellow nursery noodles; It happens due to mixing the noodles with the ashes of Cu Lao Cham (a type of wood in Southern Vietnam).

The origin of the Cao Lau name

According to a longtime ethnic Chinese in Hoi An, Cao Lau has appeared in this ancient city since the 17th century. At this time, the Hoi An port had just been circulated; Nguyen Lord allowed the foreign boat to enter to trade and exchange the goods. Although the Japanese was in Hoi An to trade earlier, but people who have new Chinese origin, stay longest on this ancient land.

Cao Lau is not Bun (another dish is made from rice), also do not like Pho. This dish is considered to be as a mixing food, which only appeared in a number of tourist attractions such as Hoi An, Da Nang and Hue. Cao Lau usually is expressed for sale in the restaurant which has two floors. And on the second floor, people hang lanterns are the blue and red. People do not only sit down to eat Cao Lau, but they also enjoy the scent of the charming - exquisite cuisine on this ancient land. They have the opportunity to enjoy the very ancient travel space in a street corner here.

The Cao Lau name used to be a question mark for the tourists to get the experience about the Hoi An ancient city. Cao Lau neither originates from China, nor from Japan. It can be said that this dish is the sum of many nationalities. There is only the name is probably derived from the China. The rich people in the past who went to restaurants in Hoi An, often sat on the second floor; and they call the waiter as "bring it upstairs". Then, the food was familiar and abbreviated as Cao Lau (meaning like High Upstairs).

Travel to Hoi An and enjoy the culinary soul of the ancient town

Although, there are a few similarities with the Cantonese noodles, Cao Lau is a dish which is much more complex processing. To make the yellow and delicious noodles, the chef use the ash which is collected from Cu Lao Cham to associate with the rice to create the features as brittle, flexible and dry. The water is put into the rice milling is taken from Ba Le Well, which is very well-known with the cool taste and no alum. To add to the dish, it is common for a little pigskin or dry-square Cao Lau, which is fried.

Hoi An and Cao Lau food


The Cao Lau fibers have characteristic yellow color. Cao Lau is added some things like the Xa Xiu meat and greaves. To create Xa Xiu people take the thigh’s meat of the pig; then, they make it has absorption with five spicy flavors. And the greaves are also strange; in the past, it is made by the fried pork skin; nowadays, it is replaced by the Cao Lau fiber’s flour. Besides, to make the Cao Lau dish which has the flavor a bit like the Cantonese noodles, the chief adds more the auxiliary food as the crushed roasted peanuts; these auxiliary foods are placed on the Cao Lau fibers. And the sauce is poured on Xa Xiu. If some ones like to eat a little salty than usual, they can add a little fish sauce.

Stepping out of the Hoi An land, Cao Lau has changed a bit. People feel in the atmosphere is reduced the ancient feature. Only in Hoi An, Cao Lau has the full flavor and color of a central dish which is very delicate and ancient. Some ones say that the Ba Le the well-water is combines with the ashes of Cu Lao Cham and Tra Que vegetables to create this unique cuisine.

Today, with the famous was formed, Cao Lau in Hoi An was taken to the strange lands like France, UK, Australia and some places, which are nearer as Saigon, Quang Ngai and Da Nang. However, the food at this another place seems to see the lack of the certain taste and sense. Perhaps, because apart from the original environment, which has been known so new Cao Lau is decreased taste like that... Once, you have arrived at the lands in Hoi An, you will feel the small and ancient space here. And if you enjoy a bowl of hot aromatic Cao Lau, you will feel a part of the flavor of a land has the ancient origin, but it is very essence.

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