''Pa Pỉnh Tộp'' - Traditional Dish of the Thai People

The Thai people have long resided in large valleys locating along rivers and streams where have had famous fertile paddy fields such as Muong Tac, Muong Thanh, Muong Lo, etc. The ecological system of valleys helped establish the traditional living of the Thai ethnic minority, that is cultivating paddy and breeding fishes.

The processing of tasty dishes is not only integral daily demand of the Thai people but also a criterion to assess people, especially new brides and bridegrooms. Delicious cooked glutinous rice eaten with Thai’s special dishes processed from meat, fishes and forest vegetables demonstrates the harmonization between the nature with patience and creativeness of the Thai people. Thai’s dishes are not finical but very tasty. The most traditional dish is Pa Pinh Top (Grilled fishes).

The Thai ethnic group has a famous proverb, that is ''Cáy măn mọk má ha, Báu to pa pỉnh tộp ma sú'', which means a stewed chick is not as valuable as a grilled Pinh Top fish. Since the old times, fishes and other aquatic products have been important food in daily meals of the Thai people. A mother often uses a new pair of chopsticks to pick up a piece of grilled fish and touch slightly the piece to the lips of a child who has just been given a birth, which implies that the child will grow fast. White rice and grilled fish are a symbol of a life with the sufficiency of food and happiness of the Thai people.

In order to process the dish “Pa Pinh Top”, people choose a no-less-than 0.5 kg carp which is fat and fresh. Then, they scrape scales of the fish before dissecting it. Afterwards, the fish is mixed with spices. Finally, the fish is grilled on live coals. A Fish which is used to process Pa Pinh Top dish must be mixed with powdered chilli and salt for 5-10 minutes before being fully filled with minced raw vegetables like ginger, garlic, citronella, onion, etc., and shoots of sa nhan trees in its abdomen. Then, folding the fish and rubbing alpinia powder on the face of the fish before grilling it.

Thai’s dishes have their own flavor thanks to the good mixture of kinds of spices like chilli, garlic, ginger, citronella, mac khen, and raw vegetables.