HA GIANG – Men Men, Thang Co, Thang Dan, buckwheat cakes… are the dishes that should be tried when coming to Ha Giang in the most beautiful season of the year.
Ha Giang is in the peak tourist season when buckwheat flowers bloom everywhere, many festivals, and cool weather… Come to Ha Giang on this occasion, and don’t forget to try the dishes below.
Named after a typical flower in Ha Giang, buckwheat cake makes many people curious. The cake is made from buckwheat flower seeds with high nutritional value. Buckwheat seeds are pureed, then kneaded into a dough and molded into flat, round cakes, more than a hand in diameter. After molding, the cake will be steamed and baked on a charcoal stove. Mildly sweet, buckwheat buns are best eaten when hot.
Au Tau Porridge
Au Tau was originally a toxic drug, but it was used by the H’Mong as a raw material for making cold porridge. Ever since, this folk dish has become a familiar taste for diners when coming to Ha Giang. In addition to au tau, the ingredients in this porridge also include upland rice and pig’s feet.
After preliminary processing, tubers are soaked in rice water for one night and simmered. Plain rice is soaked and pounded and then cooked. Cooked pork leg. When eating, all mix together in a bowl, add green onions, perilla. Porridge has the bitter taste of au tau, the greasy taste of pork rolls forming a unique flavor. According to folk experience, Au Tau porridge helps to sleep well, so it is often sold in the evening.
Trang Kim is a place in Quan Ba district. On the way from Ha Giang city to the rocky plateau. Visitors will have the opportunity to stop and enjoy this different pho. The most unique feature of Pho Trang Kim is that Pho is completely handmade, after it is cooked, it will be dried on bamboo slats on the roof of the kitchen. Therefore, the size of the rice noodles in Trang Kim is not the same as that of other ordinary pho, but it is delicious.
Among Ha Giang’s snacks, it is impossible not to mention Thang Dan. Sold a lot in Dong Van old town or markets, wonton is just a “play food” but has a special attraction. A bowl of wontons consists of boiled round glutinous rice balls and sugar water cooked with ginger, when eaten with black sesame or crushed roasted peanuts.
Hot rice flour rolls
Hot spring rolls are a popular dish of Ha Giang. Banh Cuon is made from rice flour, cooked rice, rolled with wood ear, meat or egg. Ha Giang hot spring rolls are eaten with broth and spring rolls. The broth is bone broth, and the taste is relatively light, when eaten, it is seasoned with spices depending on taste.
Thang co is a traditional dish of Ha Giang, which is popular during Tet holidays. Dishes are also sold at markets. Thang Co has a characteristic smell of thrones, always attractive to courageous, experienced diners, on the contrary, it is relatively difficult to eat for those who are not familiar. Nowadays, many restaurants have prepared thang co with a different flavor from the traditional version to suit the taste of tourists.
Men mén is a traditional dish associated with the lives of indigenous people. The rocky plateau of Ha Giang cannot cultivate rice, so corn rice (or Men Men) is the main food of the H’Mong here.
At first, Men Men were just a daily dish of the people, gradually being sold more and more in markets to introduce this culinary culture to diners. To have Men Men, corn is dried and processed through many stages such as pounding, removing residue, and steaming. Men Men have the aroma of corn, when eaten, you can add broth to eat together.
Five coloured sticky rice
Ha Giang’s sticky rice usually includes white, red, blue, purple, and yellow, 5 colors representing the five elements: metal, wood, water, fire, and earth. Sticky rice is cooked from glutinous rice that has been soaked to create color. Sticky rice is made from completely natural ingredients such as leaves and tubers, not using additives. Coming to the markets, visitors easily come across colorful, hot and cheap sticky rice pots.
photo: Xuan Phuong