Tet Recipes

Carrot Bean Curd Rolls Recipe

Carrot Bean Curd Rolls

04.30.15 by Jackie

My husband Lulu hasn't been traveling at all for work these days, so I'm back to my old habits.  I often attempt a similar meal to his, even though he's a vegetarian. That way we can "share the meal" and we can give each other feedback about the food. Last night, I made turkey rolls that I wrapped in carrots. My vegetarian substitute is dried bean curd. So what is dried bean curd, you may ask? Contrary to what you might think, it's not made directly from tofu; it's a more pressed version of soybeans and  is usually smoked; it contains 40% less liquid than standard firm tofu. It's packed with protein, super healthy, yet still flavorful and it's a great meat substitute.

I prepared the filling of the rolls with the dried bean curd, fresh wood ear mushrooms, onions that we grow in our garden and Japanese sweet potatoes for natural sweetness. Remember, you eat with your eyes first! So I enhanced its look by wrapping the rolls in carrot to give them a fancy flair. You'll be surprised; it's not that complicated to make a dish look a bit more appealing. I'll be sharing the meat version tomorrow. Stay tuned!

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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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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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Xoi Vo Recipe (Coconut Sticky Rice with Mung Beans) Recipe

Xoi Vo Recipe (Coconut Sticky Rice with Mung Beans)

01.31.14 by Jackie

First of all, chúc mừng năm mới (Happy New Year of the Horse!). A new, fabulous year is beginning, and to celebrate, I started the day very early this morning wrapping and rolling a lot of vegetarian eggrolls to ring in the New Year! I also prepared xôi vò, which is a popular Vietnamese snack consisting of coconut milk sticky rice and mung beans. Cậu Hoà (my uncle) is going to be stopping by today and I plan on serving this to him with green tea. It's his favorite.

Xôi vò is a very simple, easy snack to prepare. Simply soak mung beans (hulled and split yellow beans) and sticky rice separately ahead of time, then cook and steam the pandan-scented rice, coconut milk and a sprinkle of sugar. That's it. If you're Asian, you know how lightly sweetened Asian desserts are. If you're like my husband, "lightly sweet" is an understatement and you probably won't call this a dessert. Again, I guess it's a cultural thing. If you’re tasting xôi vò for the first time, consider it a nutritious, fragrant snack with a light hint of sweetness that pairs wonderfully with tea. 

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