Pan-Fried Banh Tet Recipe  Recipe

Pan-Fried Banh Tet Recipe

02.18.15 by Jackie

Hoa Tâm, a family friend, came to visit a few days ago and she gave us a very useful tip on how to avoid bánh tét food waste after the Lunar New Year celebrations. What is bánh tét you ask? It's a Vietnamese savory rice cake (at times sweetened with bananas). It's made primarily from glutinous rice, which is rolled in a banana leaf into a thick, log-like cylindrical shape, with a mung bean or mung bean and meat center, then boiled. It's a must-have traditional food during Tết, the Vietnamese Lunar New Year in Southern Vietnam. We've been given a lot of the logs this season; it's a way to demonstrate the importance of rice in the Vietnamese culture. I told Hoa Tâm my fear that we'd have a lot of leftovers and didn't want to waste all the food. She then give uswonderful trick; if you have a lot of these rice cakes as e do, look no further!

Simply slice them and pan-fry them. Once crispy, drizzle with nước mắm chay (if you're a vegetarian) or fish sauce. It's as simple as that. Thanks, dear Chi Hoa Tâm!


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Shrimp Risotto Recipe Recipe

Shrimp Risotto Recipe

02.17.15 by Jackie

Shrimp is a food that people who celebrate the Asian New Year's Day commonly eat during the festivities. I'm planning on making dumplings and spring rolls with shrimp this week and I bought extra so I could prepare other dishes as well. This weekend, I prepared shrimp risotto for little Aria.

I think the shrimp added a bit of pizzaz to the risotto. All I did was caramelize garlic shrimp as a first step and continued cooking the rice in the same pan. Just writing about it makes my mouth water! It may look fancy but the dish is fairly easy to make and has a wonderful flavor. So if you come across fresh shrimp at your local grocery store, be sure to give this recipe a try!


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Chocolate-Frosted Cupcakes Recipe

Chocolate-Frosted Cupcakes

02.13.15 by Jackie

This year, with little Aria attending preschool, the ideas about love have drastically changed and are far from the stuff of romantic comedies. I was talking about it with a girlfriend who has toddlers too. She was telling me that after having a 3-year-old and 4 month old, her husband agreed to get a toaster oven and she would get a vacuum for their Valentine's Day gifts. And now our preparations for Valentine's Day consist of DIY kids' arts and crafts and a lot of baking for Aria's friends. I prepared chocolate-frosted sweet treats this morning.

These are just the right size for little fingers to enjoy, but you can of course make them bigger if they're for your own Valentine's celebration. The chocolate isn't cloyingly sweet, which means you can enjoy more than one!


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Smoked Salmon Artichoke Tart Recipe

Smoked Salmon Artichoke Tart

02.11.15 by Jackie

Savory tarts are a great option for a light meal. Yesterday I prepared one of little Aria's favorites. The open-faced tart was filled with smoked salmon, marinated artichokes, pearl onions, ricotta cheese and dill. 

Paired with mixed greens, we enjoyed a wonderful, refined meal that could possibly be suitable for a Valentine's Day meal if you feel like serving food a bit out of the ordinary and want something extra tasty.


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Tet Recipe Ideas Recipe

Tet Recipe Ideas

02.10.15 by Jackie

With the Vietnamese New Year festivities starting tomorrow, I'd like to share some of my favorite Asian dishes with you. As I've mentioned many times, there is a tradition of abstaining from meat from the day before the new year through the day after. With as many  vegetarians as I have in my home, I always find myself coming up with new variations on Vietnamese dishes. 

The first ceremony is starting tomorrow. It's called "đưa ông Táo". It means farewelling the Kitchen God to the heaven. I'm preparing an elaborate display to pay respect to the gods and to our ancestors, and only vegetarian food will suffice. 

I also listed a lot of festive dishes that I love. Maman used to prepare so many marvelous seafood dishes for Tết (on the 19th of February this year).  I hope you'll find a lot of inspiration in this post. 

 


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