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High-floor yarn making in Hoi An

QUANG NAM – Every day, two households in Cam Chau ward produce about 400 kg of Cao Lau fiber, which is the main ingredient for the famous dish in Hoi An ancient town.

At 1am, Mr. Ta Ngoc Hong, 41 years old, in Truong Le street block, Cam Chau ward, with his wife and two workers woke up to start a day making Cao Lau yarn. The production furnace is 100 m2 wide, bright and bright red.

Mr. Hong is the fourth generation in his family to make Cao Lau yarn. He himself did not know the origin of this profession, was born and saw his grandparents and parents do it and passed it on to him. After finishing high school, he followed the profession until now. Previously, this work was still done with a mill, kneading dough by hand. Now, he buys a blender, a flour mill, so it’s fast and less strenuous.

High-floor yarn making in Hoi An
High-rise fiber steamer. Photo: Son Thuy

In order to make delicious, authentic Cao Lau yarn, three main ingredients are needed, which are hard rice; clear water without alum and ash water. “The kitchen ash is mixed with water, to settle the clear water into the powder. This is the most important step, determining the quality of the high-grade fiber,” said Mr. Hong. Ash water has the effect of reducing sourness to help Cao Lau fiber not go stale for a few days, the cake is light yellow like turmeric.

Every day, Mr. Hong takes the rice to wash it, soak it in clear water, then grind it into a liquid powder and put it in a barrel. After the powder settled, he poured it into an aluminum bowl on a wood stove and stirred it for almost an hour. When the dough was nearly thick, he poured in the ash water, stirred it, and put it in the steamer for an hour, then took it out and put it in the blender. He then thinned the dough, cut it into strands, and put it in the steamer for almost an hour.

Cao Lau yarn sells for 30,000 VND/kg. Photo: Son Thuy($1=24,000 VND)

For more than 20 years in the profession, Mr. Hong said that it takes three hours from grinding flour to yarn to be sold. “My family produces manually, the yarn is soft and doesn’t break, so it is more popular than other places where it’s made by machine. That’s why I decided to keep the traditional way,” said Mr. Hong.

Every day, Mr. Hong’s facility works until 7 am to get 200 kg of Cao Lau yarn, selling 30,000 VND/kg. This job only takes a year off on the 1st of Tet. The job of waking up early at night, giving an income of 300,000-500,000 VND/day.

Mr. Hong’s uncle, Mr. Ta Ngoc Em also preserves the traditional high-floor yarn production. Every day, Mr. Em’s oven sells about 200 kg, which is regularly ordered by restaurant and hotel owners in Hoi An.

“In addition to producing fresh Cao Lau fiber, I take advantage of favorable weather, and also process ram and dry Cao Lau,” said the 64-year-old kiln owner, saying that dried Cao Lau is a typical gift of Hoi An for local customers. distant.

A bowl of Cao Lau sells for 30,000 VND in Hoi An. Photo: Son Thuy

Cao Lau in Hoi An is served with shrimp, pork, raw vegetables and little broth. To increase the attractive part, the owner added a little pork skin or dried Cao Lau sliced ​​into deep fried squares. This is considered a specialty dish of the heritage city.

Photo: Internet (

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