6 typical Ha Giang dishes to try when buckwheat is in bloom
- on Jan 11, 2020       By: BN
If you have the chance to travel to the Ha Giang region during the buckwheat flowering period, we suggest you try 6 particularly authentic specialities. You can enjoy them at the country markets or simply in a small street restaurant. Whatever place is chosen, you can rest assured knowing that the discovery will seduce your taste buds as much as your pupils.
Banh tam giac mach - Buckwheat cake
In mid-October, Ha Giang limestone plateau puts on its splendid pink and purple coat made of buckwheat flowers. It is this same flower, which thanks to the skill of the locals, makes it possible to create an extremely healthy and particularly nutritious cake. For its preparation, the cooks collect the seeds from the plant and mash them with water, until the whole is fully bound. The dough is then put in a small mould to be finally steamed. The result is cakes that are eaten hot during the meal. These iconic cakes of Ha Giang cuisine can easily be found in any market in the region for only 15,000 VND. This is a very good gift idea to offer as a souvenir!
Thang co - Horse offal, beef, or even goat soup
This particularly authentic dish is typical of the ethnic groups living in the mountains of the region. If at first glance the basic ingredients can appeal to Western palates, it would be a shame not to try this. Served in the form of hot broth and rich in fat, this speciality gives off multiple flavours thanks to the addition of tsaoko, lemongrass, chilli and pepper. The "Thang co" can be tasted during your visits to the Dong Van, Meo Vac or Lung Cu markets, for only 20,000 VND per bowl.
Banh cuon trung - Small pancake with egg
This very typical dish of the Ha Giang region is eaten around the fire. It consists of a small egg pancake with a meat pie that you dip in a hot sauce. It’s a very authentic experience to be sitting right next to the cook while he prepares the "Banh cuon trung" in a jiffy. You can taste this dish in many restaurants on Ly Tu Trong Street in Ha Giang city, the Dong Van market or in the old Dong Van district. A portion costs only 25,000 VND.
Au Tau porridge
Au Tau belongs to the family of toxic tubers. It grows in the rocks of the Northern mountains. But don't worry, all the cooks in the Ha Giang region know how to cook it to perfection so that it becomes edible. The root Au Tau is first soaked in rice water overnight, then boiled to make a paste. It is then added to a soup which mixes sticky rice, classic rice and ham. You can add a poached egg and bamboo shoots, which brings sweet and sour touches to the bitterness of Au Tau. It is an unusual and authentic speciality that must be tasted! Au Tau porridge is served daily near Ha Giang square or Dong Van market and costs only VND 20,000.
Lon cap nach - Dwarf pig
During market days in the countryside of Ha Giang, it is very common to come across people who transport little pigs to sell them. These dwarf pigs are called in Vietnamese "lon cap nach" (pigs that are brought under the arm), and their meat is very popular. It can also be found in multiple dishes such as seared skewers, boiled meat, sausage or steamed pork ribs. All these dishes can be tasted in many restaurants and kiosks on the roads of Ha Giang.
Xôi ngu sac - Steamed five colour sticky rice
This speciality typically consists of five colours: white, red, green, yellow and purple. They represent the basic elements of the cosmos (earth, water, fire, wood and steel). The colours are obtained through leaves or tubers that come straight from the forests, so the dish is completely natural. It is impossible to go to Ha Giang market without stopping in front of the sticky rice pots which are as beautiful to look at as they are to taste. It costs more than 5,000 VND.