Handmade rice paper wraps a cultural phenomenon of Phu Yen province hinh anh 1(Source: phuyentourism.gov.vn)

In the long list of homemade foods from the land of Phu Yen, it is impossible to ignore the locally produced and handmade rice paper - a familiar accoutrement that has been associated with the lives of local people for generations.

Phu Yen rice paper is made from local rice flour. The rice paper is inexpensive but is often used in many dishes, an indispensable gift for many people.

To make rice paper, the prep cooks must be skillful and detailed. The most important thing is to choose the right type of rice, and then mix rice flour with the right proportion of water in order to get the thickness exact for wrapping.

After choosing the right rice, workers soak it in water for 3-4 hours, and then grind rice into flour, which is imbued with water. They have to spread the flour to separate the sour water from the slurry and also help the flour to be more adhesive.

The process of creating rice paper by hand is complex. According to a humble creator who specializes in the job, "it is not so difficult, but you must rotate evenly so that the dough spreads evenly, otherwise the rice paper will be the wrong thickness ". The process plays an important role in deciding the quality and taste as well as shape of the product.

For Phu Yen rice paper, flour can be mixed with coconut milk, onions, and other secret ingredients to create a characteristic aroma.

A few minutes after the rice paper is cooked, workers bring it out to expose it to sunlight. After drying, the rice paper is stacked, wrapped carefully and can be eaten at any time. If properly preserved, it can be kept for a whole year.

Traditional rice paper cooks have to get up from 3-4 am to prepare rice paper slurry and spread it so that is ready to be dried under the sunlight. The hotter the sun, the faster the product dries and becomes more flexible and delicious. That's why the rice paper, which is made with familiar ingredients and dried in the sun, has a distinct flavor connected to the village it is made in.

There are usually two basic types of rice paper, which are dried rice paper and grilled/baked rice paper. For dried rice paper, people often use it to roll with fresh vegetables, meat, fish, and seafood. In each region, the dish has its own characteristics, with the flavor depending on the taste of local people as well as fresh ingredients available or what is in season.

Meanwhile, grilled rice paper is often seen as a snack or ingredient to eat with salad.

If you have the opportunity to come to Phu Yen, you will see that each region has many ovens to make rice paper. Almost every party or daily meal has rice paper, sometimes serving as an appetizer or sometimes as main dish. Phu Yen has many famous rice paper villages such as Hoa Da village, Dong Binh village. The production of rice paper has been associated with locals here for many generations.

With the meticulousness in choosing ingredients to the mastery of the rice paper maker, refined over many generations, the Phu Yen rice paper brand is famous in the culinary culture of the Central people. Phu Yen rice paper is smooth, fragrant, and less sticky when being dipped in water. Flour made in Phu Yen does not need to be mixed with cassava flour like some other localities.

Rice paper is the pride of the people of Phu Yen. Now, to be more user-friendly, makers produce rice paper of various sizes while ingredients and quality of the product improve in consistency each year.

Rice paper wraps its way into most family meals and is a homemade and rustic specialty of the land of Phu Yen.

However, at present, the industry has grown out from the earthen oven, fire stove. Handmade rice paper is facing great competition from rice paper production lines with modern machines and high productivity.

The Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism for Phu Yen has recognized rice paper making as a national intangible cultural heritage in January 2022, and this is also one of the measures to preserve and develop the traditional craft./.