Must-try Tet Dishes in Lunar New Year
Vietnamese Tet, or Lunar New Year, is an important part of Vietnamese history. It is a time for family members to get together, catch up, and eat healthy food. A meaningful Tet celebration will be incomplete without feasts featuring traditional dishes. Here are some of the must-try Tet dishes that Vietnamese people eat to celebrate the holiday.
Sticky Rice Cake: Banh Chung, Banh Tet: Vietnamese Tet Food
While Banh Chung is common in the North, Banh Tet frequently appears on the table of South Vietnamese families. They’re both made of high-quality ingredients that can be found in the Vietnamese countryside and rural areas: sticky rice, minced mung bean, and fatty pork. These are the fillings, and they can be modified to suit the cook’s palate or local preferences. Dong leaves (Phrynium placentarium) and bamboo cords are used to wrap the cakes. Depending on the size and thickness of the cakes, it will take 8 – 12 hours of boiling to thoroughly cook the cakes.
Although Banh Chung and Banh Tet seem to share lots of common characteristics, you can tell them apart from first sight: Banh Chung is square, while Banh Tet is cylindrical.
Sticky Rice Cake is not only a meal to enjoy at important celebrations, but it also provides opportunities for people to interact with one another. Making and cooking Banh Chung and Banh Tet requires a significant amount of time and commitment, so every member of the family must participate. The children are normally in charge of washing the leaves or doing basic errands, while the women do the most delicate aspect of the job – wrapping the cakes. It takes a long time and effort to get a slice of Sticky Rice Cake on the table. As a result, Banh Chung and Banh Tet are both lessons of food appreciation passed down by Vietnamese ancestors to their descendants.
Thit Kho Trung: Braised Pork with Eggs: Vietnamese Tet Food
As one of the must-try Tet meals, one of the “missions” of Thit Kho Trung is to keep the family full during days of Tet when all markets, supermarkets, and restaurants are closed for the holiday. Grandmas and mothers typically make a large pot of Thit Kho Trung to last for several days. It would be heated up before each meal, and the flavor would be almost as good as when it was freshly baked.
The ingredients for this dish are simple. Chicken eggs, duck eggs, or quail eggs are both appropriate. The belly portion of the pig is a must. Not only is it delicious, but the fat will provide more muscle, which is much needed by farmers who have been working tirelessly in the fields. Agriculture no longer plays a dominant role in the country’s economy as it once did, but this traditional dish continues to hold a special position in the hearts of the Vietnamese people. Coconut juice is an important component in creating the distinct taste of Thit Kho Trung. As a result, the dish has a naturally smooth sweetness.
Boiled Chicken: Vietnamese Tet Food
Boiled chicken represents prosperity and happiness. Starting the new year with a boiled chicken given to the ancient Gods on an altar is thought to bring good fortune for the rest of the year.
Cha Gio: Fried Spring Rolls: Vietnamese Tet Food
Cha Gio is a common dish among Vietnamese children. You can’t resist consuming the crispy fried rice paper and the delectable fillings made from various ingredients. It goes well with fresh Vietnamese vegetables and a mixture of fish sauces. As a result, this fried dish has been nutritious and also perfect for those who are not fond of greasy dishes.
Vietnamese Jam is simply candied fruit and vegetable slices. During the Tet holiday, almost all Vietnamese families will place a small box containing a variety of jams on the table in their living room. It is used to serve visitors who come to their homes, which is popular at this time of year. Jams that are commonly used include coconut, pomelo skin, carrot, kumquat, and ginger. They are appealing to both children and adults because they are lively and fun to eat.
In addition to the jam, dried seeds are present in the welcome box. They are excellent choices of food to eat during Tet when people gather to chat or play cards. The most common are watermelon seeds, sunflower seeds, and pumpkin seeds. Almond, cashew, and pistachio nuts can also be found in some families that choose to try something fresh and tasty during this special holiday.