Update: 08:52 | 07/03/2022
‘Xoi bay mau’ (seven-coloured) sticky rice of Lao Cai Province was recently chosen as one of the top 100 best culinary dishes of Vietnam by Vietkings.
The Vietnam Record Association (Vietkings) said the dish carries the profound traditional culture of the Nung Din ethic group in Muong Khuong Town – the birthplace of the dish – not only for its culinary value but also the spirituality of the group.
Colourful sticky rice is considered a symbol of the Nung Din ethnic group, in Lao Cai's Muong Khuong Town.
The seven colours include purple, red, blue, yellow, green, brown and white. The dish is dyed with special leaves collected from the forests or in gardens.
Glutinous rice used to cook the dish should be picked from the mountain because it has a natural fragrance and is softer compared with others.
The process of dying the dish is rather complicated. After collecting the red, camellia and purple magenta leaves in the forest, they are boiled for 20 minutes and used to soak the glutinous rice for 6-8 hours before being steamed.
Locals also use turmeric roots and ginger leaves to make the yellow and green colours.
The dish is often cooked for funerals or wedding anniversaries and particularly during Tet (Lunar New Year) holiday.
Nung Din ethnic people believe that the seven-colour sticky rice will bring them good luck and good health all year round.