Pouring Rice Paper

Category: Travel Portraits


Photo and caption by Maxwell Bates

In a vermicelli factory in Southern Vietnam along the Mekong River Delta, rice is processed into a rich, milky liquid that is poured and spread over hot plates, where it quickly hardens into a thin, large disk. Those disks are dried on bamboo racks, then passed through what looks like a big paper shredder, coming out as rice noodles. Labor is cheap, and the focus is speed: as rice is being spread on one hot plate, the hardened sheet is removed from the other; each sheet is made in about 5 seconds.

Location: Can Tho, Vietnam (Mekong River Delta)


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