My dad may be known as the cook around the house, but when it comes to vegan dishes, no one beats my mom. Every year for Tet, she would recreate her special vegan noodle dish, the same one that she used to sit at a local food cart in Vietnam and would eat with her sister. The concept is simple but using many key ingredients. Rice noodles cooked in a sweet broth that has been brewing from daikon roots and onions overnight. Throw in a variety of tofus, dried tofu, tofu skin, fried tofu, mushroom caps, fresh bean sprouts and basil leaves, and roasted peanuts to create complex textures in your mouth. The result is sweet and oh so amazing. This dish is usually the first to run out in our family.
And of course you can’t have Tet without its official food staple, banh Tet, which literally translates to “Tet snack.” Banh Tet is basically a roll of very glutenous rice, pork fat, and mung beans wrapped in banana leaves. The sweeter version of a banh Tet has black beans mixed into the rice and the pork is substituted with sweet and soft bananas in the center. You can also fry slices of the snack for a crispier texture. I like to enjoy my banh Tet with pickled scallions and ginger.