Every year, my family makes many, many “bánh tét”. It’s our big Chinese New Year tradition: my grandmother preps everything from the glutinous rice to crushed soy beans, and we all get rolling. The bánh tét are then cooked in boiling water for about 12 hours, so all night. It’s a great moment that brings the family together as we all eat and drink while guarding the massive cooker.
I’ve made a Youtube video to show you the process of cooking bánh tét!
Bánh Tét is made of pork belly and crushed soy beans, tightly rolled in glutinous rice, wrapped in banana leaf. We secure the roll with dried bamboo strips. I loved making bánh tét with my family this year, we were all sat on the kitchen floor, working hard and separating tasks, on top of a twister mat!
Everyone’s bánh tét looks different, mine we on the slimmer side while my uncle’s were bigger. My mom’s are messier (as you can see in the video).
We made 23 this year! Enough for each member of the family to have their own and then to give away to friends and other relatives. They keep in the fridge for up to a month!
When they’re freshly made, the glutinous rice is still really sticky and soft, which is probably my favourite moment to eat it. As it hardens, we slice it and either reheat it in the microwave or pan fry it with a bit of oil. That’s how I’m going to be eating mine for the next few weeks!
What are you Chinese New Year family traditions?