Ethnic group keeps the fires stoked for rice flakes in northern Vietnam

By Ngoc Thanh   October 1, 2017 | 01:52 pm GMT+7
Time stands still for the La Chi people who follow a traditional process inherited from their forefathers.

For the La Chi people, an ethnic group in the northeastern province of Ha Giang, when the first cold waves of autumn kick in, it’s time to pick young sticky rice and transform it into rice flakes, a traditional snack in the north of Vietnam.


They usually harvest sticky rice early in the morning to ensure the best quality flakes. The grains should not be too young because othewise it's difficult to remove their husk. La Chi people earn their living on cattle farms and terraced rice fields, so it is almost second nature for them know what grains best suit their purposes.


Making rice flakes in the autumn is a long-standing tradition among northerners, and even Hanoian continue the art. What's special about the La Chi's rice flakes is that they are made manually using primitve equipment.


La Chi people crush the paddy flowers to removed the grains. Then they use a flat bamboo basket as a filter to remove the tailings.


The rest of the paddy flowers are used as a brushes to clean the woks.


A La Chi girl cleans a giant wok.


Roasting the rice is the most important step and decides the quality of the rice flakes.


The next step is to grind the roasted grains in a stone mold.


Then the ground grains are screened again to remove all the husks. Now they have become rice flakes. La Chi people usually wrap the flakes in banana leaves.

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