My daughter was invited to her friends house to share their Vietnamese New Year's dinner on Thursday night. I was lucky enough to be able to take some photos of the food and talk to the family about the food and the preparation. It all looked so delicious, and I did get to have a nibble on a couple of things!! The Dad of the family was the chef for the evening, and he was very nice to explain all the food to me.
The top photo is Nuoc Cham or Fish Sauce, made of garlic, chili, sugar, fish sauce, water and vinegar and lime. It looks so pretty in the bowl!
He also made Pate Chaud, which is made from French Pastry and chicken. I had one of those - totally yummy! The Vietnamese have adopted lots of food from the French who colonized Vietnam for about 100 years. There was an amazing Vietnamese bakery where I lived in Sydney, and they made the most fantastic French Bread I've ever had!
There was plain rice and sticky rice, which my daughter loved, and grilled beef with lemon grass, which unfortunately I didn't get a photo of.
The most important dish of all which the cook told me was the main traditional dish and was served every New Year without fail was a caramelized pork dish. It's basically pork braised in a fish sauce, and he used a cut of pork from the top of the thigh. This is one recipe for it, but there are a lot of variations out there.