For everyone that celebrated, hope you all had a great Lunar New Year’s day! The common themes around New Year’s revolve around happiness, luck, prosperity, good health, longevity, etc. There’s a lot of symbolism incorporated in the celebration, and much of it can be found in the choice of foods. Here’s a peek at some of the dishes we had during our New Year dinner, starting with the large platters on the dinner table.
Noodles dishes are a must, as they represent longevity.
Then there was Sweet and Sour Bean Curd, on left, and Mixed vegetables and Shrimp, on right. Dried bean curd represents wealth and happiness. Mixed vegetables symbolizes family harmony and the shrimp/prawn brings extra happiness.
Here’s a Vegetarian Dish with mushrooms, cabbage, algae, seaweed and bean thread noodles.
In the kitchen, there was a huge pot of Vegetarian Egg Drop Soup
Next to the soup, was a large pot of Che, a Vietnamese dessert soup with glutinous rice balls in a gingery syrup. The large ones are filled with grounded yellow mung beans and the smaller ones are purely rice balls. It’s served in a small bowl topped with coconut cream and it’s very delicious!
Banh Chung and Banh Day are traditional foods enjoyed during Vietnamese New Year, or Tet. They are sticky rice cakes filled with mung bean and pork. Banh Chung is rectangular and Banh Day is circular. They are usually found wrapped in banana leaves. Here they are lightly pan-fried, but they can also be grilled too.
On the stove, my aunt was cooking up some Turnip Cake, made with shredded radish and rice flour. It is initially made into a large cake, but cut into small pieces to serve.
The turnip cake pieces are pan fried with a couple extra ingredients, like eggs and scallions.
The turnip cake turned out nice and crispy on the outside, soft in the center, and very flavorful.
Happy Year of the Dragon!