3 MUST-HAVE DISHES IN TẾT HOLIDAY MEAL OF SAIGONESE
1. Bánh tét
While the northern has bánh chưng in Tết holiday, the southern has bánh tét. Bánh tétsymbolizes the wealth from this generation to another and is indispensable. There are variouskinds of bánh tét: bánh tét mặn (with pork and green bean stuffing), bánh tét ngọt (with banana and green bean), bánh tét chay (without stuffing)…
Bánh tét is usually made 2 weeks before the Tết holiday. It is both used to worship the ancestor and used as a gift to give to other people. Bánh tét is served with thịt kho (braised pork), pickles (dưa cải, củ kiệu) to make a unique and balanced taste.
2. Thịt kho (braised pork)
This is one of the must-have dishes in Saigonese Tết holiday meal. The ingredients used in this tasteful dish are pork side, eggs, coconut milk, fish sauce, sugar… This dish is best served with rice and pickles.
3. Canh khổ qua (bitter gourd soup)
As belief of eating this dish can leave all the difficulties, sadness, misfortune behind to enter a new fresh and more happy year (khổ = difficulties, qua = overcome), Saigonese specially prepares this dish.
Canh khổ qua is made by stuffing chopped pork or/and black fungus and cooked with bone broth. You can taste the sweetness from pork and bone broth as well as the slightly bitter of khổ qua.
The dish has a bitter taste but is good for health.