Fabulous street food breakfast in Ha Giang
Hidden in the back streets of Ha Giang are the most delicious banh cuon and other delights
Locals line up every morning outside this modest and smoky but renowned bahn cuon eatery.
Inside, the women who has cooked the delicate rice pancakes daily for years stokes her wooden fire and ladles the pancake mixture onto the steamer.
The walls are sooty from the daily smoke, but the plates and utensils are clean, and the room is full of good humored morning noise from people enjoying their breakfast.
On the steamer, she adds chopped wood-ear mushrooms and sometimes other ingredients, wraps the pancake and then lifts it onto a serving plate.
It is cut into small sections, sprinkled with fried shallots and served at the table with a dipping sauce and some greens — mint, coriander, whatever is fresh. You add the greens to the sauce, as much as you want, adding a subtle, fresh flavor.
From the first mouthful, this is a completely delicious breakfast!
A few streets away, a small cafe serves pho chua, a variation on the famous Vietnamese pho and a specialty of the Northern regions.
Chopped vegetables, pickles and greens sit on a bed of rice noodles with a special peanut flavored sauce. Half a boiled egg and more peanuts, plus Northern spices, are added on top. To eat, you fold the noodles and vegetables together, mixing the peanuts and spices through.
A great, fresh, flavorful, delicious start to any day!
Just around the corner is another small cafe with perhaps the best sinh to mang cau in North Vietnam. At least we think so!
This is a custard apple smoothie — custard apple, yogurt, ice, sometimes a little condensed milk, all blended together.
The result is thick, smooth, creamy, a little sweet and sour, with the unique fruity taste of the custard apple. Sip it slowly through a straw.
On a warm day, it’s hard to beat sitting in the shady veranda of the cafe enjoying a cold sinh to mang cau.