Cuisine also plays an important role in celebrating the Lunar New Year in Vietnam. There are some typical dishes that local people, from the North to the South, specially prepared for this time of the year.
“Chung” cake is a Vietnamese savory, but sometimes, it can be sweetened cake. The main ingredients of “Chung” cake are glutinous rice, pork, and mung beans. In general, pork will be marinated with fish sauce and pepper, then will be covered by mung beans for the first layer. The second cover layer will be glutinous rice. All the ingredients finally will be covered by “Dong” leaves (scientific name is Phrynium placentarium, which is widely planted in northern Vietnam). Lastly, the cake will be boil for eight to ten hours.
Normally, the “Chung” cake has a shape in a square. However, depends on regions, it also can have some different sharps such as a thick, log-like cylindrical shape (that is called “Banh Tet”, or triangle-long shape.
2. Spring rolls
Spring rolls (deep-fried spring rolls) is also one of the most typical dishes during Lunar New Year in Vietnam. The main ingredients of spring rolls are chopped vegetables, bean sprouts, meat, eggs, etc…
The traditional spring rolls are made with pork mince, while in the modern style, prawns, beef mince, fish, or even cheese could be added. After mixing, all the ingredients will be wrapped and rolled in a paper rice sheet to make rolls. Later, the rolls will be deep-fried in hot oil. The perfect spring roll is crispy outside, hot and tender inside. Normally, deep-fried spring rolls can be served with the dipping sauce, rice vermicelli, and fresh regional herbs.
As people consume various kinds of meat and oily food during Lunar New Year, the added pickle hence could balance the taste and help the digestion.
The ingredients might vary by region, but the most popular pickle is made of spring onion.
4. Braised pork and eggs
Braised pork and eggs are a common dish in Vietnam in general. In southern Vietnam, it is also one of typical dishes for celebrating New Year. Normally, pork belly is used, however, other parts of pork meat are still good to make this dish.