Sunday, January 22

Dragon Dinner

It's almost the Chinese/ Vietnamese/ Lunar New Year!

That's tomorrow. :D

Tonight was my big (for a cooking noob) special dinner and we had four guests join us at the household. Everyone seemed to find what they liked and we have plenty of ingredients left over after people took some home. It wasn't too hard to put together time-wise because we wanted everything toasty warm/ fresh and we've been keeping up fairly well with keeping the house tidy what with the holidays and all.

The menu was as follows for spring rolls: rice vermicelli (noodles), basil (I couldn't find Thai basil, but organic), cilantro, mint and spearmint (both organic), sliced Chinese sausage, fried eggs, boiled pork shoulder, shrimp, shredded carrots, lettuce, and sliced cucumbers. There was a Hoisin dipping sauce and soy sauce. Eventually we pulled out some sweet dried shredded pork to try.

I also demonstrated (after making few a head of time) some fried prawn-flavored chips. They start off looking like little plastic chips and fluff up within seconds. I'll try to upload the video I took soon. I also had egg roll cookies, candies that have little flowers on the wrapper (I have no idea what they are called XD), and moon cake crackers (also unsure about the name) for deserts along with some fresh fruit that was brought. Oh! I made limeade too. That's just funny into and upon itself but that's a different story.

At one point I had my shrimp chips and some dried shredded squid out too but decided we had enough food. Kitty loooved the bag of squid. I have footage of him poking at it but never getting through and his dad teasing him about it. So silly. It's funny how I don't often like seafood let alone eat it but I have all of these snacks that I grew up with loving. Who knows?

The instructions that I found online said to quickly dip the rice paper into warm water and quickly place the meat(s) of choice, noodles, herbs, and then vegetables ending with lettuce leaving room on the sides. Start making your roll by fold in the sides and then rolling from the lettuce on the bottom upward. The fast you move, the less sticky your paper gets and the less likely it will tear. Another way to avoid it breaking apart is to not overload them.

Well... many of us decided to change the laws of physics and tradition and made giant burrito size-wonton shaped spring "rolls". It worked and sometime required a fork and knife. We had fun trying a bit of everything and deciding which combo was our personal favorite.

One of my little battery-powered lanterns hanging in the corner by the dinner table. So adorable.

Oh! I finally got around to ironing one of the traditional dresses and taking pictures of them. They are called áo dài.

 Traditional style.
Chinese-influenced style

Worn with long pants (often white) that are so draping and flowing they look like part of a dress. I can only fit into the latter and may try to wear it to school tomorrow as I make my rounds in the classrooms to add more tangible aspect to the cultural lessons many of them are having this week. Wish me luck!


  1. You ate spring rolls filled with vegetables and herbs??! I'm definitely not to that point yet lol

    Steffi and I are gonna do our New Year celebration today. It won't be the same without you <3

    1. I wasn't as good as I have been in the past about it. I only ate one with lettuce, carrots, some cilantro, basil, and mint. Adding the veggies and sauce makes it a whole different beast! Gonna keep trying to like it.

      I can't wait to hear about it! We're celebrating it all together in spirit! <3


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