The ancient victory of Sapa – what is it that captivates tourists’ hearts?

The ancient victory of Sapa – what is it that captivates tourists’ hearts?


Thắng cố is a distinctive dish of the H’mong ethnic group, originating from China and introduced to the Northwest region of Vietnam. The traditional thắng cố dish was originally cooked with horse meat and later adapted to include buffalo meat, beef, pork, and various creative ingredients from each region. While many ethnic groups are renowned for their thắng cố dish, the areas of Bắc Hà, Mường Khương, Sapa, and Lào Cai are known for serving the most delicious horse meat thắng cố.

What makes Sapa’s thắng cố so enticing?

The Sapa-style thắng cố dish is made from easily obtainable ingredients, which include 12 traditional spices such as cinnamon, ginger, lemongrass, herbs, and the distinctive spices of the highland region. Particularly, the thắng cố plant is considered the spice that adds allure to this dish. The meat and offal of horse, buffalo, or beef are prepared and thoroughly boiled, then marinated with the aforementioned spices and added to a pot of horse bone broth along with blood, offal, and the 12 spices. The ingredients are simmered for 2-3 hours, allowing the meat to absorb the flavors evenly. Enjoying Sapa’s thắng cố with a sprinkle of black pepper, chili, or salt is a must.

Just hearing about it is already captivating, isn’t it? When you visit the local markets in Sapa, you will see large pots of thắng cố, enough to serve dozens of people. The thắng cố bowl, scooped out from the big pans, is filled with fatty and lean meat, along with various types of five-organ toppings.

The offal is meticulously cleaned, so it doesn’t have any unpleasant odor and is crispy and delicious, blending perfectly with the spicy taste of Northwest Vietnam’s signature vegetables like cabbage, mustard greens, and chayote. Particularly, dipping thắng cố in the special sauce made from Mường Khương chili is an exceptional experience. In reality, the original thắng cố dish in Sapa’s culinary tradition may have a more challenging flavor compared to restaurants since it is adapted to cater to the taste preferences of tourists.”


Where is the best place to enjoy thắng cố in Sapa?

Hai Lam Restaurant at 72 Luong Dinh Cua Street. Known for its specialty in serving hotpot dishes, white horse meat dishes. It carries the authentic flavors of the Northwest mountains, along with Sapa wine. Particularly, the thắng cố dish at Hai Lam Restaurant is highly beloved by tourists. Not only does it offer unique flavors, but it also comes at reasonable prices. The restaurant provides a spacious and refreshing atmosphere.

Cau May Restaurant, located at 92 Ngu Chi Son Street, is another renowned destination for delicious thắng cố in Sapa. Thắng cố here is creatively prepared with various distinctive ingredients, catering to the taste preferences of the Kinh ethnic group. Additionally, the restaurant serves other Sapa specialties. Such as ant egg sticky rice, grilled bird hotpot, smoked duck salad, and more.thang-co-sapa-co-gi-ma-niu-chan-du-khach-2

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