Au Tau Porridge – a unique taste in the rocky highlands of Ha Giang

by Lam Pham

Au Tau porridge is known as the most famous specialty of the Mong people you must definitely try it when coming to Ha Giang. If anyone has ever traveled to Ha Giang, they must not forget this dish. Let’s explore with Karst Plateau what makes the characteristics and popularity of this dish.

1. Introduction to Au Tau Porridge

The au tau root is the main character that creates the highlight of the dish

The name of the dish is named after the main ingredient – the Au Tau.  Au Tau is a familiar plant of local people, also known as larva,thu o, etc, and grown a lot in the highlands of Ha Giang, a cold climate. Fresh au tau tubers are very poisonous and dangerous, but through the skillful processing hands of the H’mong people in Ha Giang has become a delicious dish.

Not only that, after being properly processed, it becomes a valuable medicinal herb, has therapeutic effects such as sympathy, and tendon dilation, dispels fatigue, and helps sleep well. For a long time in folklore, there have been remedies for Au Tau with alcohol that have the effect of treating leprosy, and numbness of the legs, hands, bones, and joints. The plant is usually planted from the twelfth lunar month and harvested from July to October of the calendar.

2. The right time to eat Au Tau porridge

Because au tau root contains ingredients that help sleep better and deeper, au tau porridge is often eaten at night

Au Tau porridge is often eaten at night because there are ingredients in the tubers that help sleep better and deeper. Therefore, rows of Au Tau porridge are also often served in the evening. A cold evening in the highlands, eating a bowl of hot Au Tau porridge that warmed the whole body. The bitter taste that drifted into his throat dissipated, the smoke mingling with the delicious aroma. Perhaps, nothing is more suited to the cold night air in the highlands than a bowl of hot porridge lined to warm the belly before bed.

3. What’s so special about Au Tau porridge?

3.1 Culinary features of Ha Giang Hmong people

Au Tau porridge have become a feature of the Ha Giang rock plateau

Dishes from au tau tubers, especially Au Tau porridge, have become a feature of the Ha Giang rock plateau. This porridge has a dark brown color after cooking, reminiscent of the Southern heart porridge bowl. Its characteristic fleshy, fatty, and aromatic porridge taste is the result of a combination of spices and various ingredients. 

3.2 Characteristic taste

Unique culinary features of the Mong people in Ha Giang

Since au tau tubers have medicinal properties, one of the characteristic features of Au tau porridge is bitterness, similar to the bitterness of the tamarind. However, this bitter taste blends with the supple piece of au tau and combines with the sweetness of simmered bone juice and the rich aroma of eggs, forming a sweet, unique, and attractive flavor.

4. A few notes when eating Au Tau porridge, Ha Giang

There is no denying the popularity of Au Tau porridge, but to eat this “poison porridge”, Karst Plateau will note a few things for you:

– You should eat Au Tau porridge at famous restaurants because they have a lot of experience in processing au tau tubers and making them free of toxins. Absolutely do not buy it yourself and cook it.

– Au Tau porridge is a somewhat picky dish because it has a bitter and pungent taste, you should taste it a little to see if it can be eaten.

– Au Tau porridge is not recommended for pregnant women, so to ensure safety, you should pay attention to this issue.

– After eating porridge, you must not eat pears because these 2 things have similar ingredients. After a night, you can eat normally again.

5. Famous shops selling Au Tau porridge in Ha Giang

5.1 Thuy Linh Restaurant

Thuy Linh Restaurant

Address: No. 44 Nguyen Viet Xuan, Tran Phu Ward, Ha Giang Town

Opening hours: 6:30 a.m. – 11:00 p.m

Reference price: 25.000 VND – 50.000 VND

The shop has a clean and airy space and has an unmistakable standard porridge taste. It is famous for its distilled chili peppers served with porridge to create their own flavor.

5.2 Huong Restaurant

Huong Restaurant

Address: National Highway 2, Ha Giang town, Ha Giang province

Opening hours: 7 a.m – 22 p.m

Reference price: 30.000 VND – 50.000 VND

This is a restaurant located in the city center, it has its own thorough processing method at each stage to ensure the best food when it reaches customers.

5.3 Hoa The Restaurant

Hoa The Restaurant

Address: National Highway 4, Meo Vac Town, Ha Giang

Opening hours: 6 a.m – 10 p.m

Reference price: 25.000 VND – 40.000 VND

This restaurant has a thoughtful and impressive service style. Your style of service makes you feel like a god. In addition to porridge, the restaurant also has a variety of pho and noodle dishes for you to choose from.

5.4 Moc Mien porridge shop

Moc Mien porridge shop

Address: National Highway 4C, Dong Van town, Dong Van District, Ha Giang
Opening hours: 6:30 a.m – 12 p.m

They are very delicate in processing pipe roots, simmering and stewing very carefully along with pork legs to create a delicious broth. The restaurant’s bowl of porridge when placed on the table to serve customers is a full bowl with a circle of pork crisps, an egg yolk, a bit of minced meat, and some perilla green onions served with a bit of spicy bamboo shoots of the restaurant will surely make you remember forever. The special feature of Moc Mien Porridge Shop is the spacious, clean space, especially the staff here is quick and guaranteed to satisfy diners.

5.5 Ha Loan Au Tau Porridge Restaurant

Ha Loan Au Tau Porridge Restaurant

Address: 79 Tran Hung Dao, Yen Minh District, Ha Giang
Opening hours: 6 p.m – 2 a.m

Eating a bowl of porridge at the Ha Loan Au Tau Porridge Shop will surely make you remember Ha Giang. The chefs carefully select and skillfully prepare the rice and accompanying ingredients, satisfying diners. The taste of the restaurant is very personal, with a little bitterness. The spring legs are skillfully simmered and served hot when brought to the table for diners.

Au Tau Porridge Ha Giang is a famous dish of the Northeast that you must try when you have the opportunity to visit here. When it comes to Ha Giang cuisine, most people recommend this unique porridge, and you probably understand why. In addition to porridge, Ha Giang has many other specialty dishes waiting for you to discover. Karst Plateau hopes that this information will help you have interesting and memorable experiences in this beautiful land.

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