Cuisine, Destinations

Three noteworthy experiences to give a go at Bac Ha Market, Sapa


It is more than just easy to get a well-written guideline before your Sapa tours are coming close. Some of them instruct you to pick the best places to visit, some tell you to visit Sapa in specific time in a year, while the others advise you to bear in mind some rules to be remembered before visiting an ethnic family. Today, helloVietnam is bringing you to one of Sapa icons, Bắc Hà Market, by listing three-must do activities.


Bắc Hà Market

Tasting this one-of-a-kind H’mong corn-made delicacy – Mèn Mén

Right at your very first steps to Bắc Hà Market, you may catch sight of various vendors selling this unique dish, Mèn Mén, an authentic food whose main ingredient is white corn. The dish was brought to life by the H’mong, one of the two biggest ethnic minorities settling down in Sapa.


Mèn Mén

White corn is firstly ground, added with a little pinch of fresh water, then well heated on a burning pan. Right afterwards, you can get to consume Mèn Mén directly.

According to some of the ethnic natives living on the site, in order to serve a qualified Mèn Mén dish, white corns first need to be hung for a dry-out session above a private store placed inside a family after each harvest. After a good period of time, such corns are hence brought to the next stage in the making of Mèn Mén, by seeding each of the corns for grinding. Such distinctive food as Mèn Mén makes Bắc Hà Market be one of the most exciting things to do in Sapa.


Making Mèn Mén

Another thing to be noted is the smashing session that is solely processed by H’mong traditional stone mill. Mèn Mén is the best to use with steamed sticky rice or either fused in the broth of Phở to trigger the savor.

Being introduced with five-color sticky rice – Pride of the Tày

Such gaudy appearance of the Tày’s five-color sticky rice has brought a huge phenomenal and fame to the hilly city Sapa. Owning one of the Sapa group tours and getting to be introduced to this vivid dish, you may figure out five splendid colors of red, green, purple, white and yellow, which all represent for the harmony of five basic elements creating the universe. Rather than just a basic religious belief itself, the Tày citizens regard such beautiful and candid outlook is supposed to be bringing good luck and prosperity to the community.


The vivid outlook

The basic component used for the production of this authentic food is not simply a regular species of sticky rice itself, yet a high-end type is known as Nếp Cái Hoa Vàng, a significant species of glutinous rice whose ripen flowers turn into a bright saffron-color. The Tày ladies then start to soak those grains of rice in water from six to eight hours, which are all then long cooked on a charcoal fire to create a proper tenderness and fragrance.


Wrapped in banana leaf

As figured out at the first impression, the give lively look of the dish will surely deliver a combination of aromatic flavors when consumed. Red comes from the essence of spiny bitter gourds, green is released from ginger, saffron gives out the stunning yellow, the sweetness is brought from Magneta plant while the white compartment is created by those grains of sticky rice.

Thắng Cố is your last witness for you Bắc Hà trip

You may have heard about Thắng Cố to be recalled a lot before any of your tours in Sapa comes. However, amongst such diversity of restaurants selling Thắng Cố, spotting out a good one can be an obstacle. No worries, Bắc Hà Market is where you need to head straight to when failing to find a trusted dining site for Thắng Cố.


Cooking Thắng Cố

As known before, the main ingredients are horse meat and horse intestines. These are first thoroughly washed, boiled and diced. However, what triggers such special taste of Thắng Cố comes from the authentic set of mountainous herbal flavors, which are expected to be blended with the meat and intestines, then getting to be long stewed in a large pan. Finally, water is added along with horse blood, all of which would be cooked for the prolonged time with the ready-made elements.


Horse meat is the main element

To consume Thắng Cố in a proper way, you are supposed to get a small portion into a little bowl while the rest of the food is still left on the pan. Do not forget to add in a small pinch of Bắc Hà chilli and taste the authentic corn wine on the frozen days. That is how you are served Thắng Cố – a real local.

Bắc Hà Market is genuinely a memorable trip when in Sapa. By trying out all these three, your experiences of the best Sapa tours would be easily completed.

Learn more:

Top 5 famous restaurants in Sapa, Vietnam

Sapa Trekking: 5 preparations you must know

Top 5 experiences for your Sapa adventure tours

Author Since: Jan 23, 2019

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