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“Crispy” buffalo skin dish, pickled without lemon, and vinegar in Son La

Through meticulous preliminary processing, the thick and foul buffalo skin is transformed by Thai people in Son La into a dish with a strange taste, helping to relieve boredom and attract tourists from all over the world. enjoy.

In Son La, in addition to famous specialties such as pa ping top (grilled fish), apple cat, kitchen meat, and buffalo skin mannequin, … the locals also pass on a rustic dish that most tourists visit. Must enjoy it once. It’s pickled buffalo skin.

For Thai people in Son La, pickled buffalo skin is an indispensable dish on Tet holiday and is often saved and treated to guests who come to visit.

Now, pickled buffalo skin is more known to diners from all over the world, so it appears quite a lot in downstream, becoming a favorite drink of men.

“Crispy” buffalo skin dish, pickled without lemon, and vinegar in Son La
Pickled buffalo skin is a side dish, suitable for the way to enjoy hybrid rai, so it is often popular in restaurants in the Northwest region (Photo: Dinh Thao).

Ms. Luong Thi Mai (in Chieng Le ward, Son La city) said that to make delicious pickled buffalo skin, it is necessary to choose ingredients carefully. The skin must be filtered from a young buffalo, medium, not too old. If the buffalo is old, the skin will be too hard, when the salt is done, it will not taste good, lack of crispy spongy.

The process of processing buffalo skin into a dish is also quite a feat. First, people bring buffalo skin over the fire to scorch all the thick, hard outer hair and then shave it, revealing the yellow-brown skin.

To make crispy, delicious and fragrant salted buffalo skin, the preliminary processing is the most important. Because buffalo skin is very thick and tough, if you do not know how to process it, it will be hard (Photo: GHR).

Next, the skin is boiled in boiling water for 1-2 hours (depending on the old or young buffalo skin, thick or thin skin) to clean dirt, remove hair and create softness.

“Each place, each family will have their own secret to prepare buffalo skin so that it is delicious, crispy and moderately soft. I usually clean the buffalo skin by boiling water, and putting a little kitchen ash in it. Dip it in. buffalo skin in hot water, wait for a while, then pick it up, shave off the hair.

Then, roast buffalo skin on a charcoal stove until it is scorched, dark yellow, and then washed with white water again before boiling. When boiled buffalo skin is soft enough, take it out and let it cool, avoid boiling for a long time, causing the skin to become soft,” said Mai.

According to Ms. Mai, the process of thinly slicing buffalo skin is also a determining factor in the quality of the dish. Thai people often use thick wooden cutting boards, and sharp knives to cut a buffalo skin into diagonal, thin and even handpieces.

After the buffalo skin is sliced, it is marinated with spices to make it fragrant, waiting for it to be absorbed before bringing in sour salt (Photo: Duc Muoi).

Finally, the salt and sour stitch. The special thing is that in Son La, Thai people do not use vinegar or lemon to create acidity for the dish. Instead, they use sour bamboo shoots so that the buffalo skin is quickly absorbed, soft, fragrant and still retains its crunchy texture.

Mai said that during and after the bamboo shoots are picked, they are dried sour bamboo shoots. Indigenous people will save sour bamboo shoots for salting buffalo skin. So, outside of this time, it is not easy to make and enjoy the pickled buffalo skin.

To pickle buffalo skin, people put the thinly sliced ​​skin into jars, jars or glass and crockery pots and then add minced garlic, chili, and chopped galangal on top. 

Another way is to mix the ingredients with the buffalo skin, wait a while for the skin to absorb the spices, then bring the salt.

Pickled buffalo skin can be eaten immediately, dipped with a dipping sauce made from doi seeds and mac Khen or mixed with finely chopped coriander with a little bit of pounded roasted rice for aroma (Photo: Pickled buffalo skin).

Sour bamboo shoots are prepared to fit the amount of buffalo skin that needs salt by boiling, letting it get warm and then pouring it in, submerging the buffalo skin. After about 2-3 days of salting, the skin is stretched white, blooms evenly, looks very attractive and can be enjoyed. 

This dish has a characteristic aroma, fleshy skin, crunchy texture, mild sour taste and no longer foul, suitable for diners to sit and drink. On New Year’s Day, salted and sour buffalo skin also becomes a drink to fight against the boredom of the locals. 

During Tet, in Thai families in Son La, it is indispensable for a jar of pickled buffalo skin. It is likened to the melon dish of the lowland people, everyone likes to eat it.

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