Mother’s sticky rice

"Remember dear, roasted rice sometimes have black seeds, so before making sticky rice, you have to pick them up carefully. When soaking, you only pour cold water over the surface of the rice to keep the flavor of the nuggets intact. When a stick of black incense burns out, pour out the rice, drain the water, and then put it in the sticky rice pot. From the time the water boils, you remember to let the firewood simmer to keep the flavor of the sticky rice. When a small incense stick burns out, it is ok."
Roasted rice.

Under the flickering light of the fire, my mother told me that so while making sticky rice. My mother's face glowed in the firelight. The aroma of the roasted rice gradually spreaded in the kitchen, to the yard and alley. I just inhaled the passionate flavor of sticky rice, while helping my mother pour the sticky rice into the tray. A moment later, the packs of sticky roasted rice in green leaves were put knittedly in the luggage, emitting a fragrant aroma. I would take home to share with my friends. To the people of the city, these packs of sticky rice are the precious gift from the countryside.

My mother told: That year, when the rice crop was about to be harvested, natural disasters struck with terrible storms that battered all the rice fields. After many days of hard work, the villagers plucked each unripe rice, brought it home, boiled it, unloaded it, and dried it, in order to save some young rice to eat through the day. Unexpectedly, those "accident" rice grains, when cooked, turned into succulent sticky rice seeds that had a cool and delicious taste that no one had ever tasted. So during the following days, our people were less worried, excited to go to the rice fields to work hard to pick up, pluck each flower and bring it home for preliminary processing, while saving some of the losses caused by God and enjoying delicious dish. Since then, only my hometown has this dish.

The story of the origin of roasted sticky rice through my mother's voice keeps echoing in me, dancing with every movement of my mother's hand, which is skillfully wrapping handfuls of sticky rice in green leaves. Once, I brought roasted rice to the city, called my friends over to my house, excitedly showing off my gift of specialties from the highlands of my hometown. However, the product  made was not as delicious as the mother made! I asked my mother, she just laughed: "I don't have any secret in making roasted sticky rice. You see what the water you soak the rice in, what is the pot where the sticky rice you cook in ...". I just lightened up that my hometown's roasted glutinous rice seeds are only chosen to be soaked in pure water flowing down from the mountain? It was also not as sticky as the original when it was cooked in the aluminum pot on the city gas stove? That specialty dish made on the land that gave birth to it is delicious to the very end.

On that day, I watched my mother take care of each roasted rice seed as if she sent all her heart in it to her children. Like the Tay people in my hometown in the past, gently strain each broken rice flower to make sweet and juicy sticky rice. From my mother's hand, in each fragrant sticky rice as if it was distilled from the quintessence of that highland, I felt like I could see drops of sweat on the face of every beloved villager; like I could see their salty tears before natural disasters; I could see both the feelings of the villagers and the mother filled in it.

My mother has passed away for nearly ten years, but her image is still present in my sisters and me, diligently instructing her daughters in every style of living, delicious food, and simple things.  “In the family, the woman is the kitchen. Hot and cold also come from the kitchen. Knowing how to make the kitchen always red is to keep the family warm. Knowing how to cook well is also the way to make the family happy." The more I think about my mother's words, the more I understand. My mother is just a simple highland Tay woman who understood the meaning of life through the simile "Fire kitchen". Cryingly looking at the plate of roasted sticky rice on the death anniversary, my whole memories rushed back with my mother's image. There was a warm fireplace that was blown up every morning. There were packs of fragrant roasted sticky rice for her children to share with friends. There were instructions on the lifestyle and cultural identity of the Tay girl as a bride in the city... The packs of sticky rice that day cherished the love of the mother for her children with genuine pride in this unique highland culture.

Honoredly offerring my mother the plate of fragrant roasted sticky rice of our hometown. Naturally, the nostalgia for my mother kept raging in me. The kitchen smoke or the nostalgia blurred my eyes when I looked at the picture of my mother smiling brightly.

I miss my mother. Miss my mother's roasted sticky rice.

And I call that sticky rice filled with that love MOTHER rice.

-----------------

* Khau rang (Roasted sticky rice) (in the Tay language) is the special kind of sticky rice in Bac Ha (Lao Cai), created by the Tay people by harvesting glutinous rice when it's almost half-ripe, cooked, and dried in cool place. It is then milled into rice. Today, in Yen Bai, there is also Tu Le roasted sticky rice.

According to LCDT

Related Posts

Crispy - sweet plums in Ta Van, Si Ma Cai

At this time, when coming to Si Ma Cai, tourists will experience and explore plum and pear orchards laden with fruit and especially, tourists can enjoy fresh, crispy, ripe and sweet Ta Van plums - was named “Vietnamese Cherry”.

Coming to Van Ban to enjoy black square glutinous rice cake

Black square glutinous rice cake has long become a familiar dish for the highlanders of Lao Cai, because the cake is filled with the quintessence of local cuisine. With Van Ban's own ingredients, the black square glutinous rice cake of the Tay ethnic group here has also brought a special flavor to diners.

Famous Bac Ha Pho

Bac Ha has long been likened to a miniature of "Da Lat" in the Northwest region. Not only the poetic scenery, simple people, but also the culinary culture of the ethnic communities here are also very special.

Visitors explore Sapa's food and agricultural products market fair

Coming to the Sapa Upper Mother Temple Festival in 2022, visitors can experience and explore the Sapa food and agricultural products market fair.

Mother’s rice cake

For Mrs. Quach Thi Hoan, born in 1961, in Lang Giang hamlet, Thai Nien commune (Bao Thang district), the rice cakes, also known as sticky rice cakes, which she was taught the "secret" by her mother-in-law since becoming her daughter-in-law, which has become her family's favorite dish for decades.

Hemp vegetables of the highlanders

Compared to the ginseng of the highland people, the five-year-old vegetable (the people are familiar call hemp vegetable ) that the ethnic minorities in Sa Pa and Bac Ha still grow as a fence has been known by many people comes by the taste of a medicinal vegetable with good health effects.