Guidebook Cau Lao: the essential Hoi An dish


Cau Lao: the essential Hoi An dish

“Cao lau is Hoi An in a bowl,” writes Carolyn Caldicott in The Guardian. This noodle dish “brilliantly reflects the influence of waves of traders who came here to seek their fortune.” The fat rice noodles “bear more than a slight resemblance to Japanese soba noodles ... and the aromatic juicy slices of stir-fried pork, marinaded in star anise and cassia bark, add a very definite Chinese twist.” But the handfuls of fresh herbs, lemongrass, bean sprouts, crispy fried rice cracker croutons and crunchy pork crackling “makes it unmistakably Vietnamese.”

“The best bet for finding authentic cao lau in Hoi An is to eat from street vendors,” advises Tripsavvy. “If you do not mind the hassle and hectic environment,” you’ll find authentic cao lau at stalls in the outdoor market on the east end of Bach Dang Street along the river, otherwise “try your luck” by approaching one of the restaurants that also operate a cooking school; “many schools have students prepare authentic cao lau as part of the course.”

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