Year of the Dragon

Last night we celebrated the first night of Tet, the Vietnamese New Year.  We had a really fantastic lemongrass roasted chicken (ga nuong xa) from Pleasures of the Vietnamese Table by Mai Pham.  We also has the traditional banh chung (sticky rice surrounding meat, wrapped in banana leaves and steamed):

Last year we sliced it and just ate it plain.  It was, um, an acquired taste, I think.  Or perhaps not so much taste as texture.  It is very sticky and gelatinous.  I remember G. and L. loving it very much.  This year, I read that you can also fry slices of it in oil, so we tried that instead.  It was significantly more palatable to Western palates and we'll probably fix it this way from now on.

Since it is now the year of the dragon, we also had a dragon cake:

And we made dragon puppets:

There are supposed to be streamers hanging down from the bottom, but P. opted not to add those.

Chuc mung nam moi! (Happy new year!)


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