Noodle Making In The Mekong Delta

One of the joys of the Mekong Delta is visiting small cottage industries that dot the region. Known as “The Rice Bowl” of Vietnam, people of the delta inevitably find themselves with a lot of time on their hands between the harvest seasons.

While the rice fields need minimal tending between planting and harvesting, people still need to stay close to home. The intricate network of waterways also means easy transportation routes to deliver goods — everything from handicrafts to candies to food to bricks is made in the delta.

Today, we’re visiting a rice noodle factory, making use of the abundance of rice grown in the region.

To make the noodles, the first step is to soak the grains of rice in water.

In the past, stone hand grinders were used (and still are in some places).

VCT - Hu Tieu Factory - James Pham-2

The rice flour is sometimes mixed with tapioca starch to make chewier noodles.

VCT - Hu Tieu Factory - James Pham-3

Water is added to make a loose batter which is steamed into thin sheets. Nothing is wasted, as rice husks provide the fuel for the fire.

VCT - Hu Tieu Factory - James Pham-21

A thick cloth is pulled tightly over a pot of boiling water, much like an embroidery hoop, and a paint roller serves as a handy way to oil the cloth.

VCT - Hu Tieu Factory - James Pham-8

The batter is then spread evenly over the surface of the cloth and then covered to steam.

VCT - Hu Tieu Factory - James Pham-10

The villagers have an ingenious way to remove the delicate “pancakes”. Woven bamboo “bats” provide just the right texture to grip the sticky sheets.

VCT - Hu Tieu Factory - James Pham-9

They’re then laid out on bamboo racks to dry in the sun.

VCT - Hu Tieu Factory - James Pham-14

If you’ve ever seen rice paper before, now you know where that light woven pattern on them comes from!

VCT - Hu Tieu Factory - James Pham-18

Once the sheets are almost dry, they’re machine-cut into noodles.

VCT - Hu Tieu Factory - James Pham-19

And arranged in bunches ready for packaging.

VCT - Hu Tieu Factory - James Pham-20

Another interesting cottage industry is brick making, utilizing the river clay.

VCT - Bicycle Countryside - James Pham-3

Again, mountains of chaff are used to power the kilns…

VCT - Bicycle Countryside - James Pham-7

… where the bricks are baked.

VCT - Bicycle Countryside - James Pham-9

They’re allowed to settle, shaded from direct sun to prevent cracking…

VCT - Bicycle Countryside - James Pham-4

… reaching the reddish color that we’re used to.

VCT - Bicycle Countryside - James Pham-10

Imperfections show that these are made by hand, like so many other household items in Asia that have long been mechanized in other countries.

VCT - Bicycle Countryside - James Pham-11

How incredible to witness certain crafts being made very much like they have been for hundreds of years in the Mekong Delta, where life is simple and good.

The Victoria Can Tho Resort organizes trips into the delta on bicycles and on its very own boat, the Mekong Princess, which takes guests on day excursions to the see how life is lived on the river, visiting the Cai Rang floating market and on gastronomic and scenic cruises.

Share this:

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


Latest Posts

Facebook Page

Yêu cầu đặt phòng

Hiện tại khách sạn đã hết phòng trống trong khoảng thời gian bạn lựa chọn. Xin vui lòng chọn lại ngày hoặc để lại thông tin theo mẫu dưới đây để được tư vấn.

Send inquiry

Please submit your request. We will get back to you within 24 working hours.