Celebrating Tet Holiday in Nagasaki - Waku Waku

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Celebrating Tet Holiday in Nagasaki

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Celebrating Tet Holiday in Nagasaki

When it is still winter in Japan, everyone in Vietnam is already preparing for spring. Though away from home, me and my friends still tried our best prepare the traditional Tet dishes. This is my Tet shopping and cooking story in Nagasaki.

Truc Le

Truc Le

Published on 27 Jan, 12:00

Every year in Vietnam when the Tet holiday comes, everyone will be so excited with all the spring shopping, cleaning, and preparing food and confectionaries. In Japan, it is just a day like any other, everyone still go to school and work as usual.

Though away from home, me and my friends still tried to make the traditional Vietnamese Tet dishes. The dishes' taste might not be the same as the dishes my mom make, but they still brought us great joy.

This is the story of us preparing the traditional food for Tet away from home in Nagasaki.

Boiled chicken

Boiled chicken is a must-have on any new year table. On other days, I would just get chicken breasts or thighs, but for Tet holiday, a whole chicken is a must. So I went to the A-price supermarket in Sumiyoshi for that.

A-price in Sumiyoshi, Nagasaki - where you can get whole chickens for a great price
A-price in Sumiyoshi, Nagasaki - where you can get whole chickens for a great price

A frozen whole chicken imported from Brazil, weighing around 1 - 1,2kg, costs only around 700¥. The pot I have is quite small so I had to cut the 2 thighs, neck, chop the chicken in half to boil separately since I couldn't boil the whole chicken in one go.

It was quite disappointing that there were no head, organs and legs but the meat was very tough and firm. It was like eating free-range chicken since the meat wasn't crumbly like broiler's. We used the chicken stock for some porridge as well, it was amazing :D

Banh chung (Sticky rice cake)

There can't be Tet without banh chung (Vietnamese traditional sticky rice cake). We ordered it at the KiKi-MaiMai store, which specializes in Vietnamese cuisines and can easily be found near the Kankodori area.

Every Tet, the store will make banh chung and sell gio lua (Vietnamese pork roll), gio thu (Vietnamese head cheese) and many other Tet food. One rice cake is around 1200¥ and is nicely packed. The store also sells dried food and confectionaries so you can buy them for Tet if you want.

In my experience, you should following the store's Facebook page and order right when banh chung is available, since it will quickly get sold out :D

Banh chung (sticky rice cake) at KiKi-MaiMai, just 1200¥ for one cake
Banh chung (sticky rice cake) at KiKi-MaiMai, just 1200¥ for one cake

Cha gio (Spring roll)

I also bought rice paper at A-price Sumiyoshi, one pack costed around 300¥. The paper size is quite big, so I can cut them into small pieces after rolling. After using up the whole pack, I was able to make enough spring rolls for 3 people.

The rolls' filling was quite random. We mixed minced chicken meat, wood-ear mushrooms, eggs, bean sprouts and minced carrots. Making and frying spring rolls while chatting with friends really brought the Tet spirit :D

Home-made spring rolls. They might not look too great but are very delicious :D
Home-made spring rolls. They might not look too great but are very delicious :D

Egg & pork belly stew

In Southern Vietnam, there is always stew with pork belly and duck eggs on the Tet menu. We couldn't find duck eggs at the nearby supermarket, so we went ahead and made the stew with chicken eggs =)) We bought the pork belly at AEON Chitosepia, which is just a 2-minute walk from A-price Sumiyoshi, making our Tet shopping super convenient.

The market at AEON Chitosepia has a meat sales every Tuesday. The pork belly is only 97¥ per 100g but is very high-quality, suitable for a Tet pork stew.

AEON Chitosepia is only a 2-minute walk from A-price Sumiyoshi
AEON Chitosepia is only a 2-minute walk from A-price Sumiyoshi
Pork belly & chicken eggs stew, Tet in Nagasaki version
Pork belly & chicken eggs stew, Tet in Nagasaki version

Our Tet table didn't have the characteristics solely from only one region of Vietnam. For me, there must be boiled chicken with lemon, salt and pepper. For my friend, Tet brings memory of her mom's spring rolls. For the next-door younger sister, egg & pork stew is definitely a must-have.

So together, we made the Tet dishes that we miss the most. Though there were no apricot blossoms or confectionaries, but preparing, cooking with my friends, I really felt the Tet spirit. We made our own Vietnamese Tet in Nagasaki.

How about your away-from-home Tet? Please share your experience with me ^^

2
Truc Le

Truc Le

I love travelling and eating. I am excited to learn new things and challenge myself to new tasks.

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