The 10 typical Sapa dishes to try
- on Mar 12, 2020       By: BN
Mam da, Cuon sui, Thang co... These are the dishes whose name arouses the curiosity of all passengers in Sapa. Other flavours and smells are also to be tested to offer unforgettable culinary surprises during your stay in this misty market town.
Mam da or Sapa cabbage
Many people think that the Mam da dish only exists in legendary tales. However, this vegetable is eaten in restaurants in Sapa, very popular with gourmets and sought after by Hanoi peoples despite its high cost.
It is a kind of local cabbage known for its odour and flavour, which largely outweighs ordinary cabbage. Its recipe is so simple and quick. Once in boiling water, it is soaked in sesame or Nuoc mam sauce with a cooked egg to taste.
Not easily accessible, Mam da cabbage grows in the high mountains of Sapa, which is harvested between November and April. At the table, it invites you to an appetizing dish accompanying the grilled buffalo meat and especially around the San Lung alcohol, an ancestral drink of the Red Dao.
Cuon sui or pho salad
Composed of rice vermicelli, dried onion, beef, pepper and peanuts, this popular dish of Sapa is served with aromatic herbs and a special sauce made from various spices. Everything should be mixed well to taste it for breakfast. This version of spicy pho salad invites you to savour all seasons, in complicity with the freshness of Sapa.
Thang co soup
It is while eating in Bac Ha, Muong Khuong and Sapaethnic markets that we discover the real Thang co, a dish typical of the Hmong culinary tradition. The ingredients of a steaming pan of Thang co consist of horse viscera cooked in the charcoal oven. For the marinade, they prepare all kinds of local spices including the tsao-ko amomum, cinnamon and star anise.
Not really beautiful to see, the atypical smell of this soup is also not easy to adapt as many tourists confide, even the Vietnamese. Anyway, a trip to Sapa is not complete without tasting a bowl of Thang co which is perfectly complemented by the vegetable Cai meo and the spicy sauce of Muong Khuong.
Sapa's climate is good for farmed salmon which are known for unsuspected quality. Salmon hotpot combining young bamboo, Giang leaves or aganonerion polymorphum, banana... is a tasty dish that will delight all guests. Other recipes based on this speciality will have something to awaken your taste buds like raw salmon salad, grilled meat and curry.
Thit gung, which literally means ginger meat, is the cuisine of the Nung Din, a subgroup of the Nung ethnic group living mainly in the Muong Khuong district of Sapa.
Its making aims to mix rib, bone and pork head which are all finely chopped and marinated in salt, corn alcohol and an abundance of well chopped and dried ginger. This mixture is then covered in a jar with water which is consumed as needed. Steamed or simmered, Sapa ginger meat is tasted delicious with rice.
Like other wild animals and cows, this type of Sapa pig is distinguished by very good quality, a delicacy in restaurants in Sapa. From a kind of ten kilograms, they prepare different variants that make you salivate quickly, such as steamed, grilled, fried and roasted for example. This food among the most common dishes of Sapa is often seasoned with chilli and Hat doi, Mac khen, local spices to give the unforgettable taste.
The attraction of Sapa's cuisine is reminiscent of its grills. In the cold dominating the mountainous village, there’s nothing like waiting for the pork kebabs flavoured around the fire. Dwarf pig, beef stuffed with cabbage, salmon pate, Com lam or sticky rice cooked in bamboo tubes and grilled egg are so many delicious dishes that travellers will never fail to feast upon their arrival in Sapa.
This dark green curly leaf vegetable is slightly bitter but its typical flavour is well appreciated by amateurs. In the company of meats, it regularly appears on the menu of Sapa families. To enhance its taste, it is cut by hand and not by scissors before frying with ginger. It is also one of the ingredients for the preparation of the hotpot.
The name of the dish comes from the specific colour of the bird which is known for a crunchy bone structure and in particular an irresistible flavour. Its most enticing version is undoubtedly the black chicken with grilled honey. The key to the dish is the marinade with honey and local spices which gives a delicious fragrance. It is used with pepper and lemon salt, without the absence of mints.
This typical dish of traditional Black Thai cuisine is used for food supplies on rainy days or long journeys in the forest. Pork tenderloins and hams are marinated in spices and leaves collected in the forest before being hung up for smoking. They will lower the meat between 8 months and a year. Its particular smell and its exceptional and spicy flavour will offer you a memorable taste break.