Top 8 dishes to try in Mai Chau

Top 8 dishes to try in Mai Chau

TMG – In addition to the gorgeous, tranquil scenery, travelers to Mai Chau are in for a treat when it comes to flavorful local cuisine. Don’t miss these 8 dishes that exemplify the amazing flavors of Mai Chau!

1. Mai Chau-style grilled pork

The first dish to try when visiting Mai Chau is grilled pork. Asian black pigs are raised free-range, so their meat is typically very juicy and sweet, with thick skin that crisps up as it’s grilled. After being seasoned with a range of local spices such as salt, lemongrass, ginger, galangal and a local variety of pepper known as “mac khen”, the meat is grilled over a charcoal fire until golden brown. On chilly days in Mai Chau, a plate of delicious, aromatic grilled pork is the perfect choice.

2. Grilled freshwater fish

Grilled freshwater fish is a perennial favorite at traditional Thai festivals. After choosing the best quality fish freshly caught from the streams around Mai Chau, the chef will skillfully clean the fish and use spices such as peppery mac khen, forest herbs, lotus seeds, basil leaves, lemongrass, chili and seasoning powder to marinate the fish. After that, the fish is skewered on bamboo sticks and grilled over charcoal until it turns golden and releases a mouthwatering aroma. Finally, the chef will sprinkle on a little more salt and wrap the fish in banana leaves. Biting into this rustic but extremely tasty grilled freshwater fish, you’ll taste the meaty fresh infused with the flavors of bamboo and banana leaves.

3. Grilled free-range chicken

One of the famous specialties of the Northwest is the free-range chicken that roams the forested hills. Similar to grilled pork, grilled free-range mountain chicken is also seasoned with “mac khen” or forest pepper only found in Vietnam’s northwest. The natural sweetness of the chicken together with the numbing spiciness of the forest pepper and other local spices makes this a palate-pleaser for even the most demanding guests.


4. Bamboo rice

Bamboo rice is another well-known staple of highland cuisine. What makes this dish special is the labor-intensive preparation. To make a delicious bamboo tube of sticky rice, the chef first takes glutinous rice grown in Mai Chau, rinses it thoroughly, then stuffs it in a bamboo tube that’s been tightly sealed and then grilled over a charcoal brazier. After about an hour, you’ll have a fragrant bamboo tube stuffed with glutinous rice from Mai Chau.

5. Sticky rice

Sticky rice is probably Mai Chau’s most eye-catching dish. The ethnic Thai people skillfully use natural materials to create vibrant dyes like gac fruit or beetroot for deep reds and oranges and pandan leaves for pale greens. If you squeeze a handful of sticky rice, you’ll find that the grains are tender yet firm and glossy without sticking to your hands. You can enjoy sticky rice served with grilled free-range chicken, crispy pork or grilled freshwater fish. Even Mai Chau sticky rice eaten simply with sesame salt makes for a tasty snack.


6. Mai Ha wine

If you visit Mai Chau, you should definitely try Mai Ha wine, a traditional local spirit. It’s said that a glass of Mai Ha wine is a combination of the best elements of heaven and earth. This locally-made liqueur is quite strong, so take small sips to enjoy the warmth of the wine which leaves a bit of a numbing sensation on the tongue.

7.Mountain snails

Another delicacy of Mai Chau is its mountain snails. Found seasonally by streams in mountains and forests, Mai Chau mountain snails have a firm, meaty texture and are high in nutrients. Although there are many different ways of preparing the snails including boiling, stir-frying with herbs, steaming with lemongrass and stir-frying with lemongrass and chili, the most popular way to have these snails is steamed with lemongrass. The natural sweetness of the snail meat with the lemony flavor of the lemongrass is a winning combination.

Tip: These 7 dishes are all served at Bo Luong Restaurant at Mai Chau Lodge.

8. Salted, pickled meat

Pickled meat is a specialty that showcases the innovative way that the local people have developed as a way of preserving meat. The meat is first thinly sliced and marinated with salt, galangal, glutinous rice wine and herbs. The meat is then aged in a container lined with banana leaves for about 1-2 weeks to ferment and become infused with the spices. This unique preparation results in a tasty dish that has become a much-loved specialty of Mai Chau.


When visiting beautiful Mai Chau, make sure to stop by Bo Luong Restaurant at Mai Chau Lodge, a member of Thien Minh Group (TMG). With views out over Mo Luong lake, a lovely swimming pool and green fields of rice, Bo Luong Restaurant offers a simple yet cozy space to savor the delicious specialties of this peaceful valley.

For more information about Bo Luong Restaurant and Mai Chau Lodge, please contact:

Hotline: 1800 599 955

Email: [email protected]


Established in 1994, TMG has grown from a company with just three employees to an enterprise with more than 2,500 employees worldwide. Thien Minh is now Asia’s leading package travel provider, founded on the mission of always putting our clients front and center. With four areas of operation – Destination Management, Hospitality, Online, and Aviation – TMG is the ideal host for distinctive journeys featuring truly memorable travel experiences.