Ha Giang Cuisine

Five-color Sticky Rice


Five-color Sticky Rice is an important dish of almost all ethnic minorities in the mountainous regions of Northern Vietnam.  The name of the dish comes from the fact that it has 5 colors.However, the actual name of the dish varies by region.  For example, the Muong ethnic group calls it Multi-color Sticky Rice, the Tay ethnic group calls it Five-color Sticky Rice, and some other ethnic groups call it Dam Den Sticky Rice, etc.  On the festival days or other special occasions women gather the leaves which produce the different colors to make this special and interesting cuisine.

Simply put, the color of the rice is created with natural leaves and not a chemical substance.  The five colors of the dish represent the five elements of life in the Vietnamese’s’ belief: yellow is for the earth, green for the plant, red for fire, white for metal, and lastly black for water. People believe that the existence of these five elements create the well-being of the heaven, the earth, and the human.  Thus, in order to achieve the desired color, the exact leaves must be found.  These leaves are then boiled before being put in a huge bowl with rice to create different colors. read more->>

Thang Den cake


Thang Den cake, which is another one of the many delicious dishes in Ha Giang, is often eaten in the winter.  Therefore, when the cold wind begins to blow, people also begin the preparation of this delicious cultural treat. At first glance, it looks like Troi Tau cake in Hanoi, or Cong Phu cake in Lang Son.  However, Thang Den cake is different from these two cakes in the way in which it is made and in its flavors.  Once visitors enjoy it, they will feel warm inside and never forget it.

It is made from the aromatic sticky rice which grows on the terrace.  The sticky rice is rinsed several times before being soaked overnight. Then the following morning it is ground into batter.  Afterwards of which it is put into a cloth bag, and hung up until it drys.  The cake makers take the powder out of the bag and roll the powder to make small balls which are about the same size as a the tip of the thumb.  Next, they put the balls into a pot and boil them until they float.  Then they take them out of the pot, and put them into a bowl with sugar syrup.  Spreading sesame seeds, shredded coconut, and peanuts around evenly to make the bowl of Thang Den cakes appear more attractive and taste more delicious. read more->>

Ha Giang Smoked Sausage and Meat


Lean and fat pork are main ingredients of chinese sausage. These ingredients are cooked with pepper, honey, sugar and white wine to create a memorable flavor for every foodies from the first taste. To make a hand-to-mouth sausage, you need to focus on the time of soaking meat and the heating level of fire.

The materials using to dry the meat and sausage are not easy to find. They must be flower coal, sugar-cane dregs, rice husk, fresh cinnamon leaves. If you use coal, the coal must be made of cinnamon tree-trunk and even better it must be fresh. According to the experts, because of higher gain, many people use beehive coal which is harmful for our health. Many kinds of wood contain toxic that is not safe to use to smoke; it might cause stomachache in some cases. Therefore, to keep us in safe, the cook must use flower coal or the coal made of cinnamon tree-trunks to smoke meat.

Traditional grilled “Bỗng” Fish -Thon Tha Speciality 

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For further information, click this link https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t6yyAAzk7S4

“Happy water”- A taste of village life in the north

Dinner often is not served with name-brand beer or wine, but with Sán Lùng to warm our insides in the cold night air.  This famous wine originated in nearby Lao Cai Province and is made from paddy sprouts that are steamed, cooled, and mixed with yeast.  It starts exuding a sweet smell five or six days after it is put into a jar to be fermented.

Thang Co Dish


The horse meat, called thang co, is a traditional dish of the Mong ethnic group in the mountainous north-western region. Thang co has been known for years as a speciality of the Mong culture. The technique of making it is quite simple. After the animal is killed and washed, its internal parts are removed, which are later cut up. These parts are put in a big pan and fried in their own grease. Minutes later, water is added to the pan and the meat is simmered for hours.
To spice up the dish, salt and some spicy fruits including thao qua and dia dien can be added, giving to the dish an attractive aroma. Wine is always recommended for men when they eat thang co and women often eat it with com nam (rice balls) or men men (ground maize). During the group meal of thang co, participants exchange stories about crops, hunting, villages and daughters-in-law. For young bachelors and bachelorettes, it can be a good opportunity to make new friends and even find a future husband or wife.

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  1. Pingback: Ha Giang « Ha Giang Sustainable Tourism

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