To get a taste of Dai food, Fragrant Bamboo rice is foreplay for outsiders. With a good knowledge of plants in tropical rainforest, Dai people in Xishuangbanna prefers to choose Xiangnuozhu (香糯竹, Cephalostachyum pergracile, literally translated as Fragrant Bamboo) , a local species that only habit in Yunnan, as a vessel for cooking rice, which distinct from other types of bamboo rice. It’s called Fragrant Bamboo mainly due to the layer of fragrant file in the long stem, imparting a unique flavor.
As the old Chinese saying goes: ingredients to food are like bones to the body.
So does the Fragrant Bamboo to rice. It means the best season to get a bite of that is from November to the next March, as the bamboo contains the strongest scent.
The process to make Fragrant Bamboo Rice is pretty simple, and you could have so many type of flavor by mixing various ingredients, which is fully depends on your personal taste.
1) Cut the bamboo in segments, make sure each segments have joint at both ends. Dig a round hole at one joint (hand drill or hammer, please don’t hit on your hands like I did on mine ) and then pour some water inside the bamboo segment to clean the drill bits.
2) Put the pre-soak glutinous rice (around 8 hrs) with ingredients you like ( just refrain yourself putting green leaves even if you are a vegetarian , ‘cause the color would be looks like so weird to make you puke ). Remember, don’t stuff the segment full, leave some spaces.
3) Plug the openings with Banana leaf (a multifunction elements in Dai’s Cooking).
4) Smoldered the bamboo on a charcoal fire (would be perfect on a small beech with friends dancing like some African tribes performs ritual, LOL) till the segment induce fragrance.5) Crack it open on a big banana leaf and eat like an India dude with hand.