Making steamed rice with wooden pot is one of Vietnamese peoples’ customs. Depending on the group and where they live that this item has different names. To Muong people it’s called “Cuốp “, Thai people name it “Coóng Khẩu”. Whatever the names, rice pot is indispensable to every Vietnamese household, it inspires Handhome to look into how this ordinary yet also special item affects our cooking, eating habits and culture.
The pot is commonly used by ethnic groups in mountainous areas. Most known of all is the wooden pot of Thai people. Being influenced by traditional cooking habit, most of their food are steamed, including rice, vegetable, fruits. Food that is cooked by this method is usually more eye catching and tasty.
Selecting woods and making moulds are the most important processes when creating a pot. The wood must be healthy to users, not too small or big. The mould must be handle with care and avoid breaking. The top is about 15-20cm and bottom is 9-10cm wide. The main tools are knife, axe, chisel, saw. The makers have to be patient with the process. If not the pot won’t guarantee the flavor of the food.
There was a time when wooden pot was replaced by the ones made of inox or other materials because of their price and convenience. However the rice kept in wooden pots maintains their original flavor, looks better and can be stored longer than in other pots. It’s because the accumulation of steam in wooden pots are slower, hence the rice would be cooked at a steady pace. Wood surface can absorb water to protect the rice, the conical body of the pot helps the heat spread evenly and save more effort.