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Interesting things on the Southern Tet tray

Tet dishes cannot lack grilled fish and a plate of raw vegetables, while the piece of braised egg meat can weigh up to 300 grams and be tied with a string.

Composer Nham Hung (72 years old, historical researcher of the Southwest region) introduces the typical dishes of the Western New Year, appearing in the tray of offerings to grandparents. According to the author, the rice tray on the Tet holiday has cultural interference between 4 ethnic groups: Kinh, Cham, Hoa, and Khmer in the Southwest region. In addition to the “nail” dish, which is braised meat with eggs, there are also grilled snakehead fish, fish by people slapping and ditching to prepare food for the New Year. “After they harvest the rice, they catch fish and keep the fish in the pan, save it for 3 days of Tet. Eating braised meat a lot is easy to get bored, eat more grilled fish, roll rice paper with raw vegetables for variety and balance,” he said. speak.

Composer Nham Hung added that right from the time of the reclamation, his grandparents ate raw vegetables. According to the concept, raw vegetables in the West are not only delicious food but also medicine to prevent and treat diseases. Diverse raw vegetables such as lettuce, lettuce, basil, cilantro, bitter vegetables, sand species, coriander leaves … served with other dishes to help stimulate digestion. “Not only eating grilled snakehead fish, when eating Banh Xeo, there are also dozens of vegetables and a hot pot of fish sauce also has over 20 types of vegetables to eat,” he introduced.

Interesting things on the Southern Tet tray
Grilled snakehead fish rolled with rice paper, raw vegetables in the Western New Year. Illustration: Instagram taonguyen0126

The researcher also talked more about the changes of egg braised meat in the West today, a “mastermind” dish that cannot be absent from the rice tray on the Tet holiday, showing a strong regional culture with braised meat. with coconut water.

“The braised meat on New Year’s Day is different from the usual day because the dish is well-prepared. In terms of shape, the meat must be square and tied with a rope, possibly weighing 200-300 grams. This is related to the temperament of the Southern people. Eat slowly, eat in large pieces, eat it first,” he said. The piece of braised meat is really new and delicious, the meat is tied with sedge (a type of grass) to keep it square, the beautiful piece of meat when offered to grandparents is still monolithic. When using braised meat, the eater just cuts the vine, uses chopsticks to roll the meat, picks up more melons and melons to eat with. “The deliciousness of the braised meat lies there. The combination dish has protein, fat, sour and sweet taste,” he shared.

In recent years, this dish has changed. In the past, people stocked meat with duck eggs, but now they stock them with a lot of quail and chicken eggs. The taste of meat and aroma is no longer the same as before because the breeding conditions change, pigs eat animal feed, do not let loose or eat bran as before, the meat is less delicious and the aroma is also reduced.

Braised meat with eggs on the Western New Year day today, in addition to bacon, people also take the pork belly to store, having soft and flexible tendons. Photo: Huynh Nhi

Composer Nham Hung recalls: “In the old days, the pot of braised meat with eggs was fragrant, kept for 10 days without spoiling even though there was no refrigerator to preserve it, the longer the meat was kept the better it was, the better it was, the better it was, the more tender it was. Now the meat is kept for 3 days. If you want to eat water for a long time, you have to put it in the fridge to store it. Gradually, to make the pot of braised meat less boring, people add tofu or snakehead fish to make the dish diverse, rich and balanced.”

In the ancient tray of the Southern New Year, it is indispensable for braised meat, bitter melon soup, boiled chicken, skin rolls, melons, pickled onions, palanquins, grilled snakehead fish, a plate of raw vegetables… to the dishes that appear later. like spring rolls, spring rolls, or even Banh Chung. Looking at the current Tet tray, author Nham Hung finds this to be a good thing because the country’s culture is crossed between regions, but Southern cuisine still retains its identity.

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