Sapa is well known for its dishes of “lon cap nach”, which symbolizes
the image of local people tucking their pigs under their arms as they bring them to the market for sale.
Sapa’s specialties such as white and green cauliflower, red beetroot, and chayote squash thrive in Sapa’s temperate climate. Tens of thousands of Sapa’s chayotes are distributed nationwide each year.
However, the more tourists who try the boiled chayote squash say that it is most delicious when eaten fresh in Sapa.
Boiled chayote squash is a popular local dish in Sapa. Traditionally it is served with roasted and crushed sesame and salt used to lightly dip the pieces into. To fully enjoy the flavor of the chayote, it must be cooked to just the right temperature and served while it is hot.
While many of Sapa’s vegetables are sold throughout the country, the
more delicate and most tasty varieties are only available in the markets of Sapa. One example of this is “ngong”, the local word for the budded stems of old and stunted vegetables. There are many kinds of ngong, such as the stems of garlic, cabbage, kohlrabi, and chayote. Ngong is best served fried
with garlic or various kinds of meat.
Sapa is also well known for its dishes of “lon cap nach”, which symbolizes the image of local people tucking their pigs under their arms as they bring them to the market for sale. The soft and sweet layer of lean pig-meat is served in 2cm thick pieces with a crispy skin on top, and attached below is a very small and
chewable piece of bone, unless of course you’ve gotten a piece of s h i n b o n e .
Locals of Sapa claim there is nothing as delighting to the palate as chewing on the soft pig bone of “lon cap nach” and sipping a glass of Sapa’s original apple wine.
Sapa residents are also very fond of their fish. One type called spring
fish, because they are residents of the areas mountainous springs, is about the size of a finger. Spring fish are served fried, making the head, tail, and fins crispy, while the fibers of its plump body remain nice and chewy.
Also available to serve fresh with the local vegetables are two types of freshwater fish, salmon and sturgeon, which have been successfully bred
in Sapa. A steaming hot pot of salmon served with an assortment of fresh
vegetables and a cup of hot jasmine tea is a great way to warm up in the
cold weather of Sapa.
Beyond the availability of fresh fish and vegetables, Sapa also boasts a
number of local dishes that include locally produced smoked sausages and fresh field mushrooms. While Sapa is known more for its glorious landscape and cooler climate, many tourists will soon discover after a visit there, that Sapa offers just as much in the way of culinary delights as it does in its natural settings.