Being favored by nature, Sapa is known as the paradise for tourists to relax. People those who come here will be enchanted by its fresh air, cool climate, range after range of mountains, outstanding scenery and especially the amazing culinary scene. If you have a chance to visit Sapa, plan ahead to fullfil your belly with these 10 local dishes following here.

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1. Thang Co (Thắng Cố)

Thang Co is the traditional food of Hmoong people and it has been cooked for hundreds years. Thang Co is a type of soup which is made of horsemeat, horse’s viscera and horse’s bone. You might feel a little bit panic-stricken when hearing about the ingredients but that feeling will be blown away once you taste it. Cooking this dish requires time as well as the cooking skill. The seasonings comprises of 12 spices including from cardamon, ginger, citronella, anise to cinnamon twig.

Thang Co

The locals stew horsemeat with these 12 spices in a big pot within a couple of hours. To elevate the flavor of Thang Co soup, they serve it with fresh vegetable and a special red hot pepper name Muong Khuong.

2. Sapa Cap Nach Pork (Thịt Heo Cặp Nách Sapa)

Cap Nach pork is a specialty of Sapa mountainous region. The ways to make this dish is diverse. The locals usually roast a whole pig directly on charcoal so that the skin covering the pork can be very brittle while the meat inside is fleshy. Others stir-fry thie pork with little or no water and herbs. No matter how does you cook it, make sure the pork is soft with a hint of spicy.

Thit Heo Cap Nach

3. Pau Play Day Cake

Pau play day cake has been in Viet Nam for a long time since the Hung King. Time flies, the cooking manner has been changed but the original taste of Pau Play Day cake still remain.

Pau Play Day Cake

This cake is made of glutinous rice and green peas. The white round shell cake is not easy to make as it looks. Firstly, you have to choose the best glutinous rice. This first step is seen as the most important part of all. Then, the rice need to be dried out carefully. After that, it is soaked in water for nearly 2 hours and steamed till the rice well done. Next, soaked rice is poured into a big wooden rice polisher and grind until well-kneaded, viscid and sticky. Lastly, filling is made from green peas which softly and smoothly isgrinded. When you break into the cake, you could see a beautiful green mixture inside.

4. Salmon Sour Hotpot

Salmon usually lives in the sea? So what's about Salmon in Sapa? Isn't that true, right?

Sapa is located in the high moutain, therfore, the weather is often extremely cool all year round. That's why the water here is pretty cold which is suitable for salmon to exist. It’s explained why salmon sour hot pot is a familiar food to local people. The food has a timeless quality. 

Sour Salmon Hot Pot

The real star of the hot bot is its broth. They also put several vegetable types and freshly caught salmon in.  With salmon, diners become elegant and have delicate flavor. Nestle up to a restaurant on Sapa hillroad and make an order of salmon sour hot pot, your heat beat is just a little bit faster.

5. Bamboo Sticky Rice (Cơm Lam)

With the wet-rice history and agriculture ,Vietnameses have invented more than an obsession with rice. You can taste several kinds of rice along the way.

Bamboo Stiky Rice

Bamboo sticky rice in Sapa is just one of an abnormal versions of rice. Different from others, it is completely cooked inside bamboo sections. Local people spend hours on collecting the bamboo then cleaning and chopping them into smaller ones at about 30 centimeters in length. The locals mix rice with a little bit of salt before they stuff up bamboo with salty rice. Notice that don’t forget the water used to cook this dish. It came from the streams, therefore it is fresh and a little bit sweet. A biggest secret here is that you need to resolve the bamboo sections while grilling.

6. Brook Fish

Grilled Brook Fishes

Apart from salmon, brook fish is also a popular and favorite dish of both local people and tourists. Normally the locals just grill brook fish directly on charcoal. Step by step, the fishy smell will not be anymore. Instead, it’s now crunchy, greasy, and packed full of tastiness.

7. Tao Meo Wine – a Local Whiskey of H’moong

Tao Meo wine is a popular and original wine of H’mong people. It is made from Tao Meo whose tree grows naturally on Hoang Lien Son Mountain. It blooms at the end of spring and autumn so you can buy this fresh kind of fruit from August to October. Its flavor is quite sweet and light coming along with flavor of nature. So for those who are seeking something unique in the mountainous region, Tao Meo can be a good choice. Specially, Tao Meo wine matches perfectly with unbelivebly good brook fish.

Tao Meo Tree

8. Khang Gai Dried Meat

Besides Thang Co, Sapa is also famous for dried meat especially dried buffalo meat. As the name refers, meat is well dried with some special seasoning. Each dried part of meat weighs about 2 kilos and can be stored for years. Khang Gai dried meat has a unique taste that can’t be tried in anywhere of Vietnam. If you are a finger food lover, this food is created for you.

Khang Gai Dried Meat

9. Black Mushroom

Be favored by nature, Sapa has a suitable climate that can delovelop many kinds of temperate plants. One of the most famous plants which is so delicious to eat is black forest mushroom. Although local people is not the food experts, they always know how to take advantage of natural plants to make outstanding dishes. For these mushroom, they stir fry it with pork as well as using it like a main ingredients for hot-pot. On any cool day of a year, a plate of stir-fried black mushroom will bring you to warmheart land.

Stired Black Mushroom with Vegetable

10. Black Chicken

Have you ever seen a little chicken in black? In Sapa, it have!

Black chicken is a kind of small chicken with a dark skin. Sapa people often graze these black chickens naturally so chicken is quite tough and tasty. You can try black chickens processed in many different ways but the best recommendation is the chicken soaked in honey before being grilled directly on charcoal. It can be better if you eat the chicken with a mixture of salt, pepper and lime juice.

Black Chicken Dish

With food, we hope that not bring you to eating and how to make but knowing a little bit about people and stories behind each ones. For these above mentioned dishes, we also hopw that you can take consideration for a memorable food trip.

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