Hmong cuisine

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Hmong cuisine is the cuisine of the Hmong people, found mostly in Southeast Asia, China and the Hmong American community in the United States. It is unique, but has Lao, Thai, Vietnamese and Chinese influences. Hmong cuisine varies somewhat by region.[citation needed] As the Hmong language was not widely written until the 1950s, Hmong cuisine has been, until recently, a purely oral tradition.[1]


Hmong Goat head soup served at the Bac Ha Sunday market in Vietnam

The Hmong staple food is white rice, which is usually eaten with a variety of vegetables, hot pepper (often in the form of a sauce) and boiled or fried meat if it is available. Sticky (glutinous) rice - either white, or purple - is commonly served at gatherings and on other special occasions. Hmong cuisine is characterized by the use of a wide variety of spices and herbs, including hot pepper (usually Thai), lemongrass, cilantro, garlic, green onions, mint, galangal and ginger.[2] Fish sauce, oyster sauce, soy sauce, sriracha sauce and hoisin sauce are also used prevalently.


Hmong people typically eat three meals a day and do not usually snack in between meals. Each meal includes white rice and usually vegetables and a smaller portion of meat. The meat and vegetables are usually stir fried, steamed or boiled. Hot pepper (kua txob) is usually served as a side at most meals. The types of food prepared for different mealtimes do not vary widely, although more preparation is typically put into breakfast and dinner. Meals are eaten in a communal manner with food being placed in the center.[3] For large cultural gatherings the men eat first, followed by the women and children.[4] This is only true to those who still hold on to traditional Hmong customs.