In preparation for Tết, my friends and I gathered this past weekend to make bánh chưng. Spearheaded by Chef Diep Tran of Good Girl Dinette, this annual tradition never fails to make me extraordinarily happy. There’s always great conversation and food, of course, but what really inspires me is preserving and celebrating Vietnamese foodways.
This year’s event was particularly special because June was able to attend and participate. I hope she loves and looks forward to making and eating bánh chưng every Lunar New Year as much as her mama does.
Diep kept things streamlined this year with only one filling: fish sauce-marinated pork belly with sautéed shallots and mung beans. Classic.
After lining our molds with fresh banana leaves, we laid down some organic glutinous rice from Koda Farms that had been soaked overnight. Next came shallots and mung beans. Lastly, a slab of pork belly and a final flourish of glutinous rice.
We wrapped the parcels as neatly as possible, tying each one with string. Then into the FoodSaver bags with a heap of ice they went!
The first two years we made bánh chưng, we went the traditional route and steamed and boiled them for hours and hours. Our third and fourth years, we used a sous vide machine which cut the cooking time in half. This year, we employed an InstaPot, and perfect bánh chưng emerged after only 30 minutes! It was something kind of magical.
Erin and Diep’s looks of pure delight upon discovering that our beloved New Year’s treat could be made in only half an hour was pretty unforgettable.
Freshly pressure-cooked bánh chưng. What would Grandma think of this?
Chúc Mừng Năm Mới, everyone! Wishing you and your family a happy, healthy, prosperous, and innovative Year of the Rooster!
More Vietnamese recipes:
- BÁNH BỘT LỌC – CLEAR SHRIMP AND PORK DUMPLINGS
- BÁNH CUỐN – VIETNAMESE RICE CREPES WITH GROUND PORK AND MUSHROOMS
- BÁNH GIÒ – MINCED PORK AND RICE DUMPLINGS
- BÁNH MÌ TÔM CHIÊN – SHRIMP TOASTS
- BẮP XÀO TÔM BƠ – VIETNAMESE SAUTEED CORN WITH DRIED SHRIMP, SCALLIONS, AND BUTTER
- BÒ BÍA – VIETNAMESE JICAMA, CARROT, CHINESE SAUSAGE, EGG, AND DRIED SHRIMP ROLLS
- BÒ KHO – VIETNAMESE BEEF STEW
- BÒ LÚC LẮC – VIETNAMESE SHAKING BEEF
- BÚN RIÊU CUA – VIETNAMESE CRAB AND TOMATO SOUP
- CÀ DÊ NƯỚNG – ROASTED EGGPLANT WITH SOY SAUCE AND CHILIES
- CÀ RI GÀ – VIETNAMESE CHICKEN CURRY
- CANH CHUA CHAY – VEGETARIAN SOUR SOUP
- CHẢ GIÒ – VIETNAMESE EGG ROLLS
- CHÁO CÁ – VIETNAMESE FISH PORRIDGE
- CHÁO CHẢ – PORRIDGE WITH BRAISED PORK SAUSAGE
- CƠM CHIÊN – VIETNAMESE FRIED RICE
- ĐẬU HŨ KHO – BRAISED TOFU WITH MUSHROOMS AND TOMATOES
- ĐẬU HỦ XẢ ỚT – FRIED TOFU WITH CHILIES AND LEMONGRASS
- GỎI CUỐN – VIETNAMESE PORK AND SHRIMP ROLLS WITH HOISIN DIPPING SAUCE
- HỦ TIẾU MÌ – VIETNAMESE PORK NOODLE SOUP
- MÌ CÀ RI GÀ – CHICKEN CURRY WITH FRESH EGG NOODLES
- MOM’S LOLLIPOP FRIED CHICKEN
- NUI LÒNG – GRANDPA’S SPAGHETTI WITH OFFAL
- NƯỚC CHẤM – VIETNAMESE FISH SAUCE VINAIGRETTE
- NƯỚC CHẤM CHAY – VEGETARIAN VIETNAMESE DIPPING SAUCE
- PASTA WITH EGGS AND PORK FLOSS
- PHỞ BÒ – VIETNAMESE BEEF NOODLE SOUP
- PHỞ CHAY – VEGETARIAN PHỞ
- SƯỜN NƯỚNG – VIETNAMESE GRILLED PORK RIBS
- TẾT 2013: NOT YOUR GRANDMA’S BÁNH CHƯNG
- THỊT BÒ XÀO HÀNH TÂY – VIETNAMESE STIR-FRIED BEEF WITH ONIONS
- THỊT KHO – CARAMELIZED BRAISED PORK AND EGGS
- THỊT NƯỚNG – VIETNAMESE GRILLED PORK
- VIETNAMESE CHICKEN CURRY POT PIE