Saturday, 16 February 2013

A family feast for year of the snake

Chinese-Vietnamese familyWe join a Chinese-Vietnamese family celebrating tet (lunar new year) – 2013 is year of the snake, characterised by secret negotiations and clandestine activity. Indeed, Mai Pham's guests may not have been aware that, behind closed doors, she and her helpers were preparing this feast for days.

What did you have to eat?

We had about 16 traditional dishes, many of which were served cold and prepared well in advance. There was cha (Vietnamese sausage), xoi (a glutinous rice dish), cha la lot (pork and beef in leaves and grilled or fried), gio thu (Vietnamese "head cheese" – a terrine of a selection of meats from a pig's head), gio lua (pork roll), steamed sea bass with lemongrass and ginger, nom (Vietnamese salad), banh chung(Vietnamese rice cake made from glutinous rice, mung bean, pork and other ingredients), roast pork belly and ceremonial boiled chicken, which is used for praying to the gods and ancestors for the new year


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