Pho hong, a must-try dish in Bac Ha

I’ve known about pho hong (pink pho) in the northwestern province of Lao Cai’s Bac Ha Town for a long time but only recently got a chance to try it.

I entered a pho shop named Ly Thi on Na Co Street of Bac Ha Town packed with customers too busy enjoying their pho to notice a stranger like me coming in.

Pho hong, a must-try dish in Bac Ha
An aromatic bowl of Bac Ha's pho hong (pink noodles). — Photo sapalaocai.com

I asked the shop owner for a bowl of pho and five minutes later, a server brought me a hot bowl of pho which was so attractive due to its colours, with pink noodles, red chilli, green fresh onion, yellow chicken skin and white chicken meat. 

Despite the cold outside, I felt much warmer after my first spoonfuls of the sweet broth, with the fragrant and soft chicken and noodles.

The shop seller said the chickens live free-range on hilly land so the meat is softer while the speciality pink rice, locally known as Ma Tra rice, used to make the noodles is planted on high mountains so it has a special fragrance.

Pho hong, a must-try dish in Bac Ha
Pho hong chua (sour) in Bac Ha is also a favourite dish of local people. — Photo sapalaocai.com

“We produce these materials by ourselves to ensure our pho quality, which was handed down from my grandmother to me," Thi said, adding that each day she uses 60-70kg of rice to produce the noodles.

She told me that apart from pho hong, they sell pho chua (sour) and pho tron (mixed).

Pho hong, a must-try dish in Bac Ha
Pho hong is made of special rice variety grown in high mountain. — Photo webtretho.com

Pho chua includes hot noodles, char siu pork, fresh herbs, đậu xị (fermented soybean), roasted peanuts and sour water.

Asked about how to make sour water, Thi said she mixes mustard greens with sugar and ferments for it for three days to get the sour water.

 
Pho hong, a must-try dish in Bac Ha
Mong ethnic people are enjoying their bowl of pho hong, pho chua and pho tron. — Photo sapalaocai.com 

Making đậu xị is also complicated. First one has to roast the soybeans and stew them until they become soft and ferment the mixture on the kitchen’s smoking shelf for several days then mix it with ingredients collected from the forest such as menghundor seeds, black cardamom, ginger, fried chilli, and chilli juice.

Many people prefer pho tron without using sour water but with char siu and grilled pork which is cooked from Bac Ha wild black pigs, said Thi.

She said the pigs are raised wild in the forest, so their meat is much more lean and less fatty than others.

I was lucky to enjoy all these pho specialities during my three-day trip to Bac Ha.

Thi said thanks to tourism development, the dishes have become specialities and enjoyed by local and foreign tourists.

Last week I returned to my home in the capital. I pedalled to a luxury pho shop downtown. To my surprise, I didn’t enjoy it. Had I lost my appetite? No. I realised that I missed the aromatic flavour of Bac Ha pink pho in simpler shops.

I told myself that I would plan another trip to Bac Ha soon to enjoy more phở hồng.  VNS

Nguyen Thanh Ha

Stunning beauty of Bac Ha as seen from above

Stunning beauty of Bac Ha as seen from above

Bac Ha is a northeastern district in Lao Cai province. The wonderful natural beauty and extraordinary culture turn Bac Ha district into an attractive destination for tourists.

Vietnam’s 10 traditional cakes with odd names

Vietnam’s 10 traditional cakes with odd names

Vietnam is a country known for its diverse cuisines. 

 
 

Other News

.
Beach tours to be top choice for Tet
Beach tours to be top choice for Tet
TRAVELicon  24/01/2021 

Beach tours have become the top choice for the coming Lunar New Year or Tet.

Delicious dining at a snail’s pace
Delicious dining at a snail’s pace
TRAVELicon  24/01/2021 

Overlooking Ngoc Khanh Lake in Hanoi’s Ba Dinh District, Oc Thi No restaurant has a pleasant view that helps diners feel relaxed as they enjoy a variety of dishes of freshwater snails.

Discovering Tham Phay mysterious cave in Bac Kan
Discovering Tham Phay mysterious cave in Bac Kan
TRAVELicon  24/01/2021 

Located in the vast forest of Ba Be District, Bac Kan Province, Tham Phay Cave in Na Slai Village, Hoang Tri Commune beckons adventurous travellers to conquer its pristine and mysterious beauty.

Craft villages in Hanoi gear up for Lunar New Year festival
Craft villages in Hanoi gear up for Lunar New Year festival
TRAVELicon  23/01/2021 

Local people in craft villages throughout the capital have moved to ramp up production of various products in an effort to meet increasing demand from consumers ahead of the Lunar New Year festival, known locally as Tet.

Breath-taking flower field in So Luon, Moc Chau
Breath-taking flower field in So Luon, Moc Chau
TRAVELicon  23/01/2021 

With the spectacular view of the flower field, people living in So Luon Village, Muong Sang Commune, Moc Chau District, Son La Province have a peaceful and picturesque life.

Hanoi’s tourism lost $3.6 billion in 2020 amid Covid-19 crisis
Hanoi’s tourism lost $3.6 billion in 2020 amid Covid-19 crisis
TRAVELicon  23/01/2021 

Hanoi received 8.65 million travelers in 2020, just 30 percent of the figure in 2019. Losses were estimated at $3.6 billion.

HCM City to pedestrianise Turtle Lake area
HCM City to pedestrianise Turtle Lake area
TRAVELicon  22/01/2021 

The authorities in HCM City's District 3 have planned to pedestrianise the Turtle Lake area which will open from 7 pm to 11 pm during the weekends.

Vietnam’s wonders promoted on Google Arts & Culture
Vietnam’s wonders promoted on Google Arts & Culture
TRAVELicon  22/01/2021 

Google Arts & Culture on January 21 announced the Wonders of Vietnam project on online platform to honour the country’s natural landscapes, tangible and intangible heritages recognised by the UNESCO.

Experts predict positive outlook for Vietnam’s tourism post-COVID
Experts predict positive outlook for Vietnam’s tourism post-COVID
TRAVELicon  22/01/2021 

Given Vietnam’s successful control of the COVID-19 pandemic, experts in tourism and hospitality have predicted a positive outlook for Vietnam’s tourism post-COVID crisis.

Buffalo herd in Binh Thuan Province
Buffalo herd in Binh Thuan Province
TRAVELicon  22/01/2021 

Visitors to the Suoi Da Lake area in Ham Thuan Bac District, Binh Thuan central province will be stunned by the image of hundreds of buffalos raised by the Cham ethnic people here.

Charming Phu Quoc island city
Charming Phu Quoc island city
TRAVELicon  22/01/2021 

Phu Quoc is Vietnam’s largest island and one of the world’s most favourite tourism destinations. 

Hanoi plans to open another pedestrian street
Hanoi plans to open another pedestrian street
TRAVELicon  21/01/2021 

Hanoi’s authorities plan to open another pedestrian street around Thien Quang Lake in Hai Ba Trung District.

Binh Chau hot spring: A perfect place to refresh
Binh Chau hot spring: A perfect place to refresh
TRAVELicon  21/01/2021 

Binh Chau - Phuoc Buu Nature Reserve is a natural treasure along the coastal line of Ba Ria – Vung Tau province. 

Trekkers can enjoy a spectacular sunset on Muoi Mountain
Trekkers can enjoy a spectacular sunset on Muoi Mountain
TRAVELicon  20/01/2021 

Located in Lao Cai Province, Bach Moc Luong Tu is the country’s fourth highest peak and is one of the most popular locations for trekking lovers who are keen to enjoy a spectacular sunset alongside magnificent clouds.

Vietnamese food: Shrimp paste with sugarcane
Vietnamese food: Shrimp paste with sugarcane
TRAVELicon  20/01/2021 

Chạo tôm (grilled shrimp paste wrapped around sugarcane) used to be served to royalty in central Vietnam.

Nha Trang to host food and tourism festival in late January
Nha Trang to host food and tourism festival in late January
TRAVELicon  19/01/2021 

A food and tourism festival will take place in Nha Trang city in the south-central coastal province of Khanh Hoa from January 29 - 31.

Food streets improve vendors' incomes, tidy up neighbourhoods
Food streets improve vendors' incomes, tidy up neighbourhoods
SOCIETYicon  18/01/2021 

Several districts in HCM City have reserved some streets for local vendors to set up their food stalls, and at the same time, ensure food safety and hygiene in the area.

24 hours to capture Y Ty in snow
24 hours to capture Y Ty in snow
TRAVELicon  18/01/2021 

It was just a call from my friends in a photography group. Snow was supposed to be falling on Y Ty and everyone was heading there.

An emerging land of sea and sun
An emerging land of sea and sun
TRAVELicon  17/01/2021 

Ninh Thuan has a reputation as the land of “little rain and too much sun and wind”. Rocky hills and mountains extend down to Vietnam’s south-central coast of bays, white sands, golden sunlight, and turquoise waters.

Danang launches free city tour
Danang launches free city tour
TRAVELicon  17/01/2021 

In an effort to attract tourists to the central coastal city, the Danang Department of Tourism in collaboration with four travel companies is set to organize a free half-day tour of Danang under the program, “Danang – Free Tour – Have Fun”.

 
 
 
Leave your comment on an article

OR QUICK LOGIN