Discovering the Deliciousness of Com Tu Le: A Specialty of Northwestern Vietnam

A must-try specialty of Van Chan District in the northern province of Yen Bai in autumn is cốm (young sticky rice) that are made of Tu Le glutinous rice grown in the valley.


Tú Lệ glutinous rice is sieved to remove the husks.

This particular variety of rice has large, round seeds, and when cooked, it has a special soft and fragrant taste. When processed into cốm, it has a sweet and pleasant taste and a green color.

Two Thái ethnic women are pictured with the specialty of their hometown — Tú Lệ glutinous rice.

According to locals, the deliciousness of the rice is attributed to the cool climate in the region throughout the year. Additionally, the rich humus and minerals in the soil, as well as the transparent water from the stream flowing from the top of Khau Phạ Pass, are natural factors that contribute to the original flavor of Tú Lệ glutinous rice.

One stage in making cốm is pounding the rice in a stone mortar to soften the grains, which requires skill and experience.

Thị Sáng, a villager from Nà Lóng Village, explained that the process of making cốm is complicated. During the Tú Lệ rice season, the villagers begin harvesting the rice at 5am. Only the newly ripe rice is carefully selected to make delicious nuggets.

Tú Lệ glutinous rice is dried in a large pan over a gentle fire to make cốm.

Currently, all villagers in Tú Lệ Commune are involved in producing cốm. Each local family can make around 20kg per day. Each kilo of Tú Lệ cốm can be sold for VNĐ100,000 (US$4.4), which has become their main source of income. VNS

Source: VNS