Traditional cuisine of the Thai people in Vietnam

Nga Do
All ethnic groups in the North-western region of Vietnam have their very own cuisines that reflect their unique culture. However, there is a speciality in whose fame has reached many other parts of the country. Without a doubt, any traveler to Northwest must try that Dried Buffalo Meat dish in order to fully enjoy their time in this mysterious land.

The northwestern region of Vietnam is a magical combination of alpine landscapes, ethnic culture, and bracing mountain air.

This region draws travellers not only to its scenery and colourful hill tribe residents, but also to its dishes, the most popular of which is "buffalo meat hung up in kitchen" (otherwise known as smoked buffalo meat). In Vietnamese, it is called thit trau gac bep. The closest Western equivalent would be beef jerky.

This is actually a very demanding dish in terms of cooking. First of all, we have to gather all the essential ingredients: buffalo meat, veggies and spices. To make a top quality dish, we must use fresh meat from the muscles of the buffalo. Besides, we also need to get citronella, ginger, garlic, chilies, sugar, and a local spice called Mac Khen.

First step is to remove the sinews from the meat before cutting it into 7-8cm pieces. Next, we mince the meat with all the spices following a specific ratio. After leaving the meat untouched for about 2-3 hours, we use a small stick to hang the pieces of meat above hot coal so that they can get cooked gradually. It is important that we keep the meat pretty far away from the coal to minimize the possibility that it becomes burned outside but uncooked inside. After around 1 hour, the meat will get a brownish color and spread out a tempting fragrance. That is exactly when we know the dish is done. 

We can either eat the meat right away or save it for later. However, always remember to reheat the meat a little bit before you eat it. By doing that simple step, you would be able to enjoy the sweet buffalo meat as well as the impressive flavor of the spices only found in Northwest.

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