How are the dishes on Tet holiday in the three regions different?

If the Northern New Year has banh chung and frozen meat, the Central region will have rolls for Tet while the South cannot lack braised meat and bitter melon soup.

In the book “Discovering traditional Vietnamese cuisine” published by Young Publishing House in 2010, Prof. Ngo Duc Thinh – Former director of the Vietnam Cultural Research Institute wrote: “Tet has a tray, first of all, to worship the family. Therefore, the dishes are carefully prepared. When processed, they must be clean and pure to be delicious. Vietnamese people have the habit of offering offerings from the 30th Tet to the golden day, usually the 2nd and 3rd of the Lunar New Year.”

How are the dishes on Tet holiday in the three regions different?
Year-end offerings of a family in the North.

Talking about regional dishes, Professor Ngo Duc Thinh wrote, each region has “typically local cultural nuances”, so the culinary culture and the use of spices are also very different. If using chili, Hanoians use chili powder to relieve fishiness and neutralize the coldness of fish and shrimp. Hue people use many kinds of chili, green chili for fresh aroma, roasted chili for aroma, chili powder mixed to get color, fresh chili, sweet and spicy, bright red for decoration. Southerners eat sweets with chili, chili dishes must also add sugar, they drink with young cotton balls dipped in salt and chili, sugarcane dipped in salt and pepper… Tet dishes are also unique for that reason.

Talking about Northern dishes, Professor Ngo Duc Thinh commented that the characteristics are diverse, delicate and sophisticated, especially in Hanoi, the Tet tray has the depth of a land of capitals.

In the North, Tet trays often follow a traditional principle: 4 bowls, 4 plates (excluding the plate of sticky rice, dipping sauce, and pickled onions) represent the four pillars, the four seasons, and the four directions. In a large pot, 6 bowls of 6 plates or 8 bowls of 8 plates represent prosperity and fortune. Today, Northerners still keep their traditional dishes. 4 basic bowls include: Drop ball soup, stewed pork leg with dried bamboo shoots, sprouted mushrooms and vermicelli. 4 plates include: Chicken, fried spring rolls, banh chung, spring rolls.

How are the dishes on Tet holiday in the three regions different?
Tet in the North cannot be complete without Chung cake, boiled chicken, and frozen meat.

Many families have added new dishes such as fried chicken, Western dishes but basically still cannot lack traditional dishes.

In addition, many families also cook frozen meat and mannequin dishes to make the meal more delicious. When eating, the dishes presented on the plate are usually served first, and the dishes presented in the bowl are used later. After the meal, desserts include lotus jam, kumquat jam, ginger jam… The dish is usually rich, served while still hot, with additional spices such as pepper, chili, ginger… because of the weather on Tet holiday. The north is cold.

Located next to the North, the Central New Year flavor has many similarities with “neighbors” such as banh chung, bamboo shoot soup. There are also typical dishes such as spring rolls, melon dishes, and tre.

The Central region is naturally arid, so people are also hard-working, thrifty, and cuisine is for that reason as simple and thrifty as human personality. Boiled chicken, boiled pork, banh tet, stir-fried dishes are the dishes that are often present in the Tet feast of the Central people. Besides, the rolls are also favored by the people here with many variations such as ram rolls, spring rolls, wet rolls with grilled meat, rice paper rolls with pork…

How are the dishes on Tet holiday in the three regions different?
The Central region uses banh tet instead of banh chung, served with pickles.

Along with the “playful” dishes, the Tet feast here also has many daily dishes served with white rice, sour soup such as: rimmed shrimp, Chinese braised meat, hon, fried chicken, milled meat, spring rolls, tré, etc. marinated meat…

The South has many rich products, preferential nature, and often has trade and interference with many East-West cultural flows, so the food is also diverse. From main dishes to side dishes.

What are the conditions, the Southern people are so polite, there are not many dishes that are required to appear in the Tet tray. Banh Tet is a tradition of the South. Unlike banh chung in the North, banh tet is wrapped in a round, long package with a variety of fillings such as green beans mixed with black beans, bananas, coconuts, salted eggs.

Families here often cook bitter melon soup in the New Year’s tray with the wish to overcome the sufferings of the old year and welcome the new year with peace and happiness. Another dish that appears a lot in the Tet tray is braised meat, depending on the house, it can be stocked with boiled eggs, salted eggs, coconut rice… Besides the dishes that bring rice, Southerners present many more cold dishes in their meals. Tet trays such as: lotus root salad, vinegared pig ears, dried shrimp – palanquin, stuffed pork rolls, fried rice, spring rolls, fresh sausages…

How are the dishes on Tet holiday in the three regions different?
The Southern Tet rice tray has Tet cake filled with bananas and beans, bitter melon soup, braised duck meat…

For a better meal in hot weather, Southerners cook a variety of soups with a full range of ingredients such as: sour soup of snakehead fish, sour soup of Linh fish with cotton, sour soup of eel cooked with bananas, and sour soup. goby fish cooked with leaves…

Southerners eat sweeter than northerners, so desserts in the South are also diverse with fruit jams such as coconut jam, tamarind jam, custard apple jam, tapioca jam, less sweet cakes, and sweet candies. and banana candy… In addition, rice wine is also a dessert that only the South uses often.