Dishes made from Bauhinia flowers in Vietnam’s northwestern region

VietNamNet Bridge – The Bauhinia flowers of Vietnam’s northwestern region are in blossom in March and April. Thai women use it as an ingredient in a number of dishes.

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Elderly Thai people in Son La Province say Bauhinia dishes are especially good for the scorching summer because they are refreshing. Bauhinia flowers are mixed with bitter bamboo shoots, brassica vegetables, meat, garlic, chilly, and herbs to create different dishes. Lu Thi Huyen Mai of Ang Hamlet said: “Bauhinia petals are beautiful and pure so I thought of using them to cook some dishes typical to our Thai ethnicity such as Bauhinia flowers stir-fried with bamboo shoots and salads with bamboo shoots or brassica vegetables. This kind of flower can also be served with fish or used to make soups.”

One of the favorite dishes of the Thai is soup of Bauhinia flower and bamboo shoots with broth made from buffalo bones. The flowers are picked early in the morning, cleaned, and left to dry, the bamboo shoots are chopped into threads, and sticky rice grains are ground into flour. The buffalo bones are steamed in water to produce a broth, then seasoning is added as well as bamboo shoots, and rice flour. When the soup is cooked, Bauhinia flowers and green onions are added to produce aroma. Quang Thi Chau of Giang Lac Hamlet said: “After picking the Bauhinia flowers, the Thai women clean the petals and pistils. They are the last ingredients to be added to the soup. The soup has the bitterness of bamboo shoots, the sweetness of the broth, the stickiness of glutinous rice flour, and the acridness of Bauhinia flowers, altogether creating a distinctive taste.”

During the Bauhinia flower season, Thai people pick, clean, and dry them for future use. Bui Thi Hanh, a Hanoi tourist, said dishes made from Bauhinia flowers are very unique: “Thai women are dexterous and I’m particularly impressed with the Bauhinia flower salads for their sweet and refreshing taste. The mixture of herbs and flowers is distinctive.”

    
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