Chinese New Year Recipes

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Chuc Mung Nam Moi! (Year of the Dragon) Recipe

Chúc Mừng Năm Mới (Happy New Year!)! For Vietnamese and many Asian people, tomorrow will be Tết, the beginning of the Year of the Dragon.

If you'd like to celebrate, here are a few Asian dishes I cooked and shared on the website throughout the year. The weather isn't that great in the Bay Area, so I probably won't step outside (i still haven't lost the baby weight so I don't think I would fit in an ao dai -traditional Vietnamese dress). I hope this year brings you a lot of joyful moments, good health and of course great food!


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Muop Tau Hu Xao Recipe (Vietnamese Loofah and Tofu Stir-fry) Recipe

Mướp tàu hũ xào (loofah squash and tofu stir-fry) is a standard in Vietnamese vegetarian cuisine. Mướp (Vietnamese Loofah) is stir-fried along with tofu in black bean sauce and chili garlic sauce. The dish is seasoned with soy sauce and fried garlic. I also added straw mushrooms as a foil to the loofah. It's a very quick and easy dish I often make when I'm in a rush and I want a tasty, healthy meal.

Vietnamese loofah is a very common vegetable in Vietnam that is also used a lot in making canh ("soup" in Vietnamese) because of its natural sweetness and tender texture. You won't be disappointed by this, and if you like it, it’s easy to put together non-vegetarian versions.

 


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Vietnamese Stuffed Grape Leaves (Tau Hu Cuon La Nho) Recipe

This recipe is the result of one of my many experiments. The plants in our garden are starting to sprout beautifully. We have a small grape vine, so I used the leaves as wrappers for some Vietnamese vegetarian appetizers called tàu hũ cuốn lá nho (grape leaf wrapped tofu).

If you want to make the dish truly authentic, you should use betel leaves, but I find this version served on occasion. Betel leaves have a peppery, slightly bitter taste and I think the grape leaves taste a lot milder. The choice of the filling is really up to you. I filled them with bean thread noodles, fried jicama, shiitake mushrooms, fried tofu and fresh soy bean paste (packed with protein).

Either way, they make the perfect snack or appetizers. They're healthy, tasty and packed with good nutrition.


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Happy New Lunar Year! (Year of the Cat) Recipe

Chúc Mừng Năm Mới (Happy New Year!)! For Vietnamese, today is the first day of the Year of the Cat (Mèo), which is the "rabbit" in the Chinese zodiac.

If you're wondering what the plant is, it's cherry blossom flowers. It's decorated with red envelopes that contain "lucky money", called lì xì. The first morning of the New Year is a celebration (Tết) where adults congratulate children on becoming a year older by giving them these lì xì. We also decorated the house with a lot of red color, which is a sign of happiness. We cooked quite a few vegetarian Vietnamese dishes to observe the tradition of eating vegetarian food (ăn chay) on the last day of the previous year and first day of New Year.

Finally, if you want to get in on the festivities, I’ve collected a list of some of my favorite dishes for Tết for you to try. Enjoy!

 

 


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Canh Bap Cuon (Stuffed Cabbage Soup Recipe) Recipe

Canh bắp cải cuốn, which literally translates to stuffed cabbage wrap soup is my way of using the leftover potsticker filling I recently made. I stuffed the leftover mixture into whole cabbage leaves that were previously softened by par-boiling. I served them phở-style, meaning that I brought them to the table in bowls and then covered them with celery and carrot broth just before everyone dug in.

Creating little cabbage “gifts” is a great way to vary the vegetarian meals we've been having this week for Tết (Vietnamese Lunar New Year, on February 3rd). I tied the cabbage with green onions strings. The entire thing is edible and looks very playful.


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