Vietnamese celebrate Tet around the globe with traditional foods

Vietnamese are celebrating the Lunar New Year around the globe and preparing the indispensable Banh chung in such countries as the U.S., Belgium and Japan.

 

The Vietnamese community in Belgium gathered together in the city of Leuven, 20km away from Brussels. The hostess, Nga Pham (in pink shirt) has been known for her Vietnamese traditional food cooking savvy.

Vietnamese in Belgium celebrate the New Year in the city of Leuven near Brussels.

La dong, the green leaves used for wrapping the New Year special rice cake of banh chung have had to be pre-ordered in a Vietnamese store in Brussels, said one member. Priced at 14 Euros, they are usually gone out of stock quick this time of the year.

La dong, the green leaves used for wrapping the Lunar New Year special rice cake banh chung  cost about 14 Euros ($17) in Brussels.

Mung beans, another essential ingredient of the cake, are cooked until soft. Nga had to resort to Thai sticky rice for the banh chungs skin, as the Vietnamese high quality one couldnt be found in the nearby Asian market.

Vietnamese prepare mung bean, another essential ingredient of the cake.

The group tried to stick to the traditional recipe as much as possible by transporting the giang strings all the way from Vietnam to tight their cakes.

The giang strings for the cake were all specially shipped to Belgium from Vietnam.

From thousands of miles away, the Vietnamese Americans in California are also busy preparing for Tet. With the populations of over 100,000 Vietnamese descendants, San Jose is the city with the most Vietnamese Americans in the United States.Stores in Asians malls are piled with banh chung, banh tet- the cylindrical version of the new year rice cake, and dried fruits (mut).

The more than 100,000 Vietnamese that live in San Jose, California are also busily preparing for Tet.

Yellow mai, or Apricot flowers, the symbol of Vietnamese Lunar New Year celebration are protected from the cold under the plastic cover. They are sold at $70 in the city.

Yellow mai, or Apricot flowers, the symbol of Vietnamese Lunar New Year celebration are protected from the cold in the U.S. using plastic coverings.

Hai Huynhs family is also celebrating Tet in the snow in Utah.

Hai Huynh’s family celebrate Tet in the snow in Utah.

As the couple has just welcomed their first son, Dong Quan last year, they are excited to teach him about the home countrys New Year by decorating the house with peach and apricot flowers, and preparing traditional Tet food, including pickled onions, caramelized pork and of course the special rice cakes.

As the couple has just welcomed their first son Dong Quan last year.

I definitely will bring my family back to Vietnam to celebrate the next Lunar New Year, Hai said.

Hai says he has plans to return to Vietnam to celebrate TET next year.

 

In the meantime, Vietnamese workers in Tokyo, Japan are celebrating their spring festival by putting up a small traditional food cooking competition.The three teams, grouped by their home regions in Vietnam  the North, the South and the Central, prepared their version of Tet feast to win the top prize of Y10,000.

Vietnamese in Tokyo are celebrating the spring festival by putting on a  traditional cooking competition. The top prize is Y10,000 ($93).

The Southern team presented stuffed bitter melon soup, caramelized pork and eggs, and steamed rice noodle stir-frying with mushroom

Pictured are stuffed bitter melon soup, caramelized pork and eggs, and a steamed rice noodle stir-fry with mushrooms.

The Northeners brought out traditional steamed chicken, baby jackfruit sticky rice, freeze cooked pork, and fried spring rolls.

Above are traditional steamed chicken, baby jackfruit sticky rice, freeze cooked pork, and fried spring rolls.

The Central prepared pha lau, or braisedorgan meat, salted squid and beef tongue ragout.

Another team prepared pha lau, or braised organ meat, salted squid and beef tongue ragout.

Overseas Vietnamese celebrate Lunar New Year thousands miles from home - 13

 

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