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cao lau (cao lầu)

Vietnamese. Name of a culinary specialty from Hoi An. This local signature dish consists of yellowish noodles made from rice flour that has been stone ground and mixed with ash and water, thin yet large slices of pork meat, and some local greens, as well as small crunchy rice crackers and sometimes served with half a lime and a sliced red chili. It differs from other Vietnamese noodle dishes because it has almost no soup, apart from a little broth at the bottom of the bowl, which needs to mixed with the entire content, in order to make it more palatable. The thick noodles are somewhat reminiscent of the Japanese noodles used in yakisoba (fig.).