You can enjoy cuisines in Ha Giang in the markets to fully feel its unique flavour and atmosphere.
Triangle cake (buckwheat cake)
From mid-October, Ha Giang stone plateau is filled with pink purple colour of triangle circuit (buckwheat) flower. The local people here can process the flower into healthy rustic dishes with high nutritional value: buckwheat cake.
These tiny buckwheat seeds are crushed into fine powder and then people mix the powder with water until dough is good enough for making cake. After that, the dough is put into the mould to have small cakes then steamed on fire. You can enjoy the cake at the local markets or bring it back home as a gift for your loved ones with a price of 15,000 VND/each (0.6 USD).
Thang Co is famous among tourists when visiting Ha Giang as an important dish to try as it’s featured as the highland’s culture. Authentic Thang Co should be made from viscera of horse and cow and it should be always hot in the meal. Salt or seasoning can be used to fit each person’s taste. The aroma of cardamom, lemon grass, chilli, pepper mixed with the fat of the meat warms up the space among the freezing air of mountain. You can eat the dish at the fairs in Dong Van, Meo Vac, Lung Cu … for about 1$ a bowl.
Egg roll cake
Rice paper cake is mixed with egg then wrapped up by the cake itself. It is served with a hot bowl of sauce and some white Vietnamese sausage slices. You can enjoy this dish on Ly Tu Trong street (Ha Giang) or Dong Van Market, the old town of Dong Van at about 1 USD/set.
Au Tau Porridge
Au Tau Porridge is made from Au Tau tubers – a local plant with powerful poison growing on rocky hills in the northern. It is immersed in special rice water through the night, then stewed during at least 4 hours until becoming soft and smooth powder. Sticky rice and normal rice is well cooked with pork broth and the tubers powder. The bowl of porridge is the combination of fragrant sticky rice, sweet taste of pork leg, greasy taste of eggs, sour taste of bamboo and finally slightly bitter taste of Au Tau tubers. A bowl of Au Tau porridge cots from 1 USD, sold in Ha Giang Square, Dong Van market …
Special pork of ethnic people
The original name in Vietnamese “lợn cắp nách” is to refer to a special kind of pig that is so small that people can nip the pig in their armpit to bring it out. The pigs are normally grown in mountainous areas like Lao Cai, Ha Giang, Son La… by ethnic minorities people.
If travelling to Ha Giang’s fairs, visitors will see many people holding or driving their pigs to markets where the small pigs are put in the basket. The pork meat is processed into many dishes, such as grilled and boiled pork, not to mention the most delicious dish: steamed viscera and ribs. The dishes are popular in Ha Giang so you can enjoy it in the restaurants along the way.
Five-coloured sticky rice
The famous five-coloured sticky rice in Ha Giang often includes: white, red, blue, purple, yellow colours which represent the Wu Xing (five elements): metal, wood, water, fire and earth. Except for the white, remaining colours are made by soaking rice with water and leaves or roots of forest trees rather than chemical pigments. Visiting the fair in Ha Giang, tourists hardly can ignore the beautiful eye-catching pot of sticky rice. It’s just only 5000 VND/set (0.3 USD).