Moss is not only something that grows on the rocks around Son La but also a unique dish of this region. Usually, people take the mosses from the underwater rocks in Ma River and turn them into tasty grilled or fried dishes. No matter what kind of dish you eat, you would still notice the typical fragrance and sweetness of the mosses in Son La.
When January comes marking the end of the rainy season, Ma River transforms into a gently streams full of transparent water. It is also the time the mosses, a speciality of Thai people, start to appear all over the places.
The mosses there resemble Tao Bien; they look as if they are made of silk. Scattered on the underwater rocks, the lively green mosses dance with the waves of the river. To have the best mosses, people have to find places when the water is pure and deep. The collected mosses are then cleaned, grinded and mixed with fish sauce, salt, garlic, chilly, and fresh herbs. When cooking, we add Mac Khen (a local sauce) to the mixture before wrapping it with banana leaves. Wrapped mosses are then grilled above hot coal until an irresistible smell appears.
When it is done, the dish is only ready to be served when it is accompanied by White Wine. Made of rice and grilled mosses, the wine complete the dish, intensify its sweet flavor!