Sapa cuisine is a soulful and all hearty reflection of Vietnamese ethnical culture diversity. Thus, one should regard the cuisine in many different perspectives, for after all, it is the oldest in all of Vietnam. When you talk Sapa, we talk fire and the specialization in soups, stews, and grilled foods.
Guarded carefully within the combination of tropical or temperate produce, which seems rather deceptively random, signature dishes of this land offers a variety of tastes, ranging from meats, crustaceans and fish to delicious fresh, light, vegetarian specialities intermingling with all sorts of vegetables, herbs, spices and sauces.
A highlight in salad, is the light seasoning, the the delicate flavours of papaya, green mango or banana flower. But for this mixture of subtle flavours in its infinite variety, Sapa cuisine would not be so original anymore.
The other characteristic of Sapa cuisine is the systematic use of vegetables, where they remain crisp and thus, could retain all their fresh and light flavours. The most common way of cooking here would be to chop them up, mixing with just a little garlic or ground ginger, then briefly sauteeing on a brisk fire. As for the leafy vegetables, there is always a process of simmering in water before adding a little oil instead of boiling, just so they stay nice and green the way that they are.
Then, as to put a finishing touch to the party, dishes are best served with several varieties of refined and discreet flavours of rice, rice vermicelli or rice cakes, and wheat or rice noodles. Conveniently, there are just so many options to choose from – brown rice, crushed rice, sticky rice, green rice, red rice, black rice, long-grain or round-grain rice, and many more to be named.
This mountainous side of Vietnam is colourful and spicy in its own way and the food speaks volume about the people and culture here. As you visit Sapa, do not hold back from scooping yourself a healthy amount of these god-sent natural beauties.