Traditional dishes for Tet

Enjoying traditional dishes is what makes the Lunar New Year, or Tet, special. On this special occasion, people in the countryside gather together to make specialties such as banh chung and banh tet (glutinous rice cakes), mam (fermented fish or shrimp), dua (pickled vegetables) and mut (jam). Yet for city people, it is a difficult task to make those Tet specialties due to their busy work and small urban homes for preparing food, and due to a lack of ingredients and materials.

Enjoying traditional dishes is what makes the Lunar New Year, or Tet, special. On this special occasion, people in the countryside gather together to make specialties such as banh chung and banh tet (glutinous rice cakes), mam (fermented fish or shrimp), dua (pickled vegetables) and mut (jam). Yet for city people, it is a difficult task to make those Tet specialties due to their busy work and small urban homes for preparing food, and due to a lack of ingredients and materials.

Traditional dishes for Tet

A banh tet producer makes words in the filling of the cake, a creative way to make the cake meaningful

Therefore, people in provinces around HCMC produce Tet specialties to supply the city market.

Ba Hung, the owner of a facility specializing in producing lap xuong (Chinese sausage) in Binh Dong Commune, Go Cong Dong District, Tien Giang Province, said more than two weeks ago, he received big orders for lap xuong, mostly from HCMC.

Hung said lap xuong from Go Cong Dong has been famous for its great flavor and around 20 facilities are gathering together in the area to produce this traditional Tet food.

On normal days, his facility processes 15 to 20 kilograms of pork a day but in recent days, the volume of pork has climbed five times. Apart from consumers who buy lap xuong for family and friends, groceries in the city purchase the product for resale, thus boosting demand, he added.

At Go Cong Dong facilities, the price ranges from VND180,000 to VND200,000 (US$8.43-9.37) per kilo for fresh lap xuong and from VND300,000 to VND350,000 for the dry type.

Similarly, staff at a facility making banh tet of a woman known as Hai Beo in Ward 4, Duc Hoa Town, Long An Province have been busy in recent days as they are racing against time to prepare ingredients such as fragrant glutinous rice and mung beans to make the cake as well as banana leaves to roll the cake and wood for boiling it. Banh tet is made primarily from sticky rice, which is rolled in banana leaves into a thick, log-like cylindrical shape, with mung bean and pork fillings.

Hai Beo said she has got orders to make 800 cakes for HCMC customers and will make delivery in the next two weeks.

Banh tet of Hai Beo facility costs VND75,000-100,000 per kilogram depending on sizes. “We can make some profit from such prices but they are affordable because they are lower than banh tet at supermarkets during Tet,” she said.

Along with 20 other banh tet cooking places in the area, Hai Beo has become a banh tet brand name in Duc Hoa Town.

Not just lap xuong and banh tet, other traditional foods such as pickled vegetables and fermented shrimp and fish or salt mixed with chili are also processed on the outskirts to supply city citizens at Tet./.

(Source: Saigon Times) ( By VNF )

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