What holiday is Tet? Tet is the day of the year that is most important for Vietnamese people. It is also called Tet Nguyen Dan (Lunar New Year), and it is a time for families to reunite, celebrate, and wish each other a peaceful new year. 

Hue is a place that has preserved the traditional Cultural Vietnamese food for Tet Holiday. The dining table of every Hue family on Tet is the Hue royal dainty table for Tet holiday, with dishes prepared with sophistication, showcasing the culinary skills

of the locals. Some essential dishes include banh tet, which is considered the traditional Vietnamese foods for Tet holiday in Hue. In particular, we cannot forget Hue jam for a Tet Holiday, a variety of delicious and special jams, such as lotus jam, grapefruit jam, which showcase the creativity and ingenuity of Hue people. 

If you are planning to visit Hue during the Vietnamese Lunar New Year and want to enjoy traditional Tet food, we hope this blog will help you learn more about traditional Hue dishes.

1. History in Hue cuisine

Hue cuisine is one of the most famous cuisines in Vietnam. It is known for its rich, delicate flavors, which reflect the cultural heritage of the ancient capital. The history of Hue cuisine can be traced back to the Nguyen Dynasty when Hue was the capital of Vietnam. During this period, Hue cuisine was influenced by many different cuisines, including Chinese cuisine, Thai cuisine, and Japanese cuisine.

Traditional Hue cuisine is divided into two main categories: royal cuisine and folk cuisine. Today, Hue cuisine is a beautiful cultural feature of the ancient capital. It has helped to create a unique identity for Hue, attracting tourists from all over the world.

Hue Cuisines In Tet Holiday
Hue Cuisines In Tet Holiday

2. Top 10 traditional Tet dishes in Hue

2.1 Banh tet (round glutinous rice cake)

Every Tet holiday, a pair of banh tet (round glutinous rice cake) is a must-have on the altar of the gods in Hue is traditional Vietnamese food for Tet holiday. Banh tet is a symbol of filial piety and a reminder of the parents’ love on the first day of the new year.

Hue banh tet has been around for many years, but it still retains its traditional Hue flavor. It is made with meticulous care and selection. The banana leaves used to wrap the cakes must be fresh, steamed with hot water, and dried before wrapping. The rice used must be the fragrant, long-grain rice grown in Hue, which gives the cakes their chewy texture. The pork and mung bean filling must be seasoned carefully, not too salty or too sweet. The cakes must be boiled for 15 to 20 hours to cook through, and as a result, the sticky rice takes on a pale green color and a slightly leafy taste. The soft, sticky rice, the rich flavor of the pork, and the sweet and savory mung bean filling combine to create a sublime and indescribable taste. You have to try it for yourself to experience it. Banh tet is considered a traditional Cake because it is not only made in Hue, but also in the south and north of Vietnam.

Hue Cuisines In Tet Holiday
Hue Cuisines In Tet Holiday

2.2 Banh chung (square glutinous rice cake)

Hue Chung cake is a popular dish in Hue cuisine and holds a special place among Vietnamese holiday foods. This miniature version of the traditional Vietnamese food for Tet holiday, the square glutinous rice cake, packs a powerful punch of flavor and symbolism. Made with meticulous care. wrapped tightly in banana leaves and cooked for several hours. 

Unlike its larger northern counterpart, Hue Chung cake is wrapped in three layers of banana leaves, imparting a subtle sweetness and earthy aroma. The rice, a special fragrant variety grown in Hue, is cooked to perfection, achieving a delightful chewiness that complements the savory pork and sweet mung bean filling.

So, as you celebrate Tet and explore the vast array of Vietnamese holiday foods, don’t miss the chance to savor a piece of Hue’s tradition. 

Hue Cuisines In Tet Holiday
Hue Cuisines In Tet Holiday

2.3 Mut gung ( ginger jam)

Hue Jam For A Tet Holiday is a traditional Vietnamese food eaten during the Lunar New Year. Ginger jam from Hue is made by hand, requiring the skill and meticulousness of the maker. Tuần ginger is washed, sliced thinly, and then soaked in sugar water for 2-3 days. After that, the ginger is removed and with sugar, until the water is gone and the desired thickness is reached.

Ginger jam from Hue has a bright orange color, a strong aroma, and a warm and spicy flavor. This jam is often used as a snack with hot tea, or as a gift during the Tet holiday. Ginger jam from Hue is full of the flavor of Hue, a characteristic dish of the ancient capital. This jam is not only delicious but also has health benefits. Ginger has the effect of relieving colds, preventing vomiting, warming the stomach, and stimulating digestion.

Hue Cuisines In Tet Holiday
Hue Cuisines In Tet Holiday

2.4 Mut dua (coconut jam)

For Vietnamese culture in Tet Holiday, jam is one kind of Vietnamese holiday foods. Taking New Year’s greetings, asking about health, drinking hot tea together and tasting candy jelly has become a cultural beauty of Vietnamese life. 

Hue cuisines in tet holiday, coconut jam is a must-have on the tea table of every household during the Lunar New Year. Coconut jam from Hue is made by hand, requiring the skill and meticulousness of the maker. Young coconut meat is peeled, washed and cut into fibers. Then, the coconut meat is soaked in warm water for about 30 minutes to soften the coconut meat. Next, the coconut meat is added to a pan with sugar and vanilla, stirred evenly. Bring the mixture to a boil over high heat, then reduce the heat and continue cooking until the sugar is dissolved and the coconut meat turns a light yellow color. Finally, remove the coconut jam and let cool before enjoying.

Hue Cuisines In Tet Holiday
Hue Cuisines In Tet Holiday

2.5 Dua mon (vegetable pickles)

Along with tet cake, spring rolls, and nem cha tre, dua mon ( vegetable pickles) is a Vietnamese holiday foods served during the Lunar New Year. The sour taste of vegetable pickles is created by lemon juice, and the sweet and crunchy taste is created by the vegetables that are soaked in a sweet and sour sauce for enough time to absorb the flavors but still retain their crunchiness.

To make authentic Hue vegetable pickles, it takes many meticulous steps. Dua mon must be prepared in advance, even a month before Tết. The ingredients are simple and easy to find: cabbage, carrots, papaya, white radish, chili, and pickled radish. The perfect combination of the salty and sweet pickled sauce and the crunchy texture create an irresistible flavor that is unlike anything else. Dua mon is a reminder of the festive days of Tet. It is a curiosity among tourists who want to experience Cultural Vietnamese food for Tet holiday.

Hue Cuisines In Tet Holiday
Hue Cuisines In Tet Holiday

2.6 Cha lua (Classic Vietnamese Sausage)

In every Vietnamese family, cha lua (Classic Vietnamese Sausage) is a must-have on the eating table during the Lunar New Year. Cha lua is one of the oldest and most traditional Vietnamese food for Tet holiday. It is a symbol of Vietnamese hospitality, as it is the first dish served to guests during the Tết holidays.

This is made from finely minced pork seasoned with salt, pepper, sugar, garlic, and shallots. The pork is then wrapped in banana leaves and steamed. The cooked Classic Vietnamese Sausage is then cooled and sliced in a crispy, flavorful, and slightly spicy dish. It is a popular snack and can also be served with bún bò Huế, bánh mì, or other Vietnamese dishes.Classic Vietnamese Sausage is hue cuisines in tet holiday that is worth trying

Hue Cuisines In Tet Holiday
Hue Cuisines In Tet Holiday

2.7 Cu kieu (Pickled small leeks)

Cu kieu (Pickled small leeks) is a traditional Vietnamese Tet dish, especially in Hue. This is traditional Vietnamese food for Tet holiday. Cu kieu has a sweet and sour flavor, a crispy texture, and a fragrant smell of Huế fish sauce is not only a delicious dish, but it also carries the meaning of wishing for luck and prosperity in the new year. Therefore, Huế củ kiệu is always a must-have dish on the Tết table of the people of the ancient capital.

The way to make Hue Pickled small leeks is not too complicated, but it requires meticulousness and skill. Fresh kieu after being washed, roots and leaves removed, soaked in dilute salt water for about 2 days to reduce the pungent taste. After that, kieu is removed, washed again, and soaked in a mixture of fish sauce, sugar, vinegar, chili, and other spices. The soaking time for kiệu is usually about 1 month so that absorbs the spices evenly and has a sweet and sour, crispy flavor.

Hue Pickled small leeks has a harmonious sweet and sour flavor, a crispy texture, and a fragrant smell of Hue fish sauce. It is an indispensable side dish in the meals of the people of the ancient capital during the Tet season. This dish is often served with chung cake, tet cake, thit kho,… or eaten directly as a snack.

Hue Cuisines In Tet Holiday
Hue Cuisines In Tet Holiday

2.8 Bo ngam nuoc mam (vietnamese Beef Shank in Fish Sauce Brine)

Bo ngam nuoc mam (Vietnamese Beef Shank in Fish Sauce Brine) is considered to be a Hue cuisines in tet holiday by Hue people because it helps to make your family’s taste buds less bored than many other fried and oily dishes.

The way to make beef pickled in fish sauce is not too difficult.  Rinse the beef, cut it into bite-sized pieces. Put the beef shank in a pot, add water to cover, add a little salt and boil. Remove the beef shank, rinse it again with cold water and let it drain. Put sugar, fish sauce, vinegar, chili, minced garlic, and minced ginger in a large bowl. Stir until the sugar dissolves. Pour the marinade into the beef, making sure to submerge the meat. Cover the jar tightly and let it marinate for about 2-3 weeks before serving. With this dish, you can roll rice paper with beef shank, vegetables, pickled radishes or carrots, and a little noodles. It will be a very effective appetizer during the Tet holiday because this dish has all the flavors of sour, spicy, salty, and sweet. It is especially good for drinking during the Tet holiday.

Hue Cuisines In Tet Holiday
Hue Cuisines In Tet Holiday

2.9 Nem chua (Vietnamese fermented pork roll)

One of the indispensable dishes during Tet is spring rolls. There is nothing happier than gathering with family to talk about the past year and enjoy spring rolls. Nem chua hue has the sweet and sour taste of naturally fermented meat, combined with the aroma of pepper, garlic, the sweetness of sugar, and the crispiness of pork skin, creating a rich, unforgettable aftertaste. Dubbed Hue cuisines in tet holiday, spring rolls are delicious in every bite, with a spicy and sour taste that stimulates the taste buds, making them irresistible to eaters. Nem Chua Hue is not only a delicious dish but also carries the meaning of praying for luck and prosperity in the new year. Therefore, the Hue fermented pork roll is always an indispensable dish on the Tet table of the Hue people.

Hue Cuisines In Tet Holiday
Hue Cuisines In Tet Holiday

2.10 Cha bo (beef rollѕ)

Cha bo (beef rollѕ) is a famous specialty dish of the Central region, especially Hue. Used to worship grandparents and ancestors during holidays. How to make Hue beef rollѕ is not too complicated but requires skill and meticulousness. The main ingredients to make are beef and pork fat, which are then pureed together. Pork fat is also pureed and mixed well with beef. All ingredients are mixed together, marinated with spices, then placed in banana leaves and steamed. Beef patties are not only a delicious dish but also Hue cuisines in tet holiday with bold flavors of the Central region. If you have the opportunity to come to Hue during the holiday season, don’t forget to enjoy this dish.

Hue Cuisines In Tet Holiday
Hue Cuisines In Tet Holiday

3. Traditional cuisine combined with traditional games

3.1 Unique cooking techniques

Hue cuisine is famous for its rich, delicate flavors, which reflect the cultural heritage of the ancient capital. One of the factors that make Hue cuisine unique is the cooking techniques of its people. At festive occasions, their skill and attention to detail are expressed through traditional dishes. Spices are an important element in creating the distinctive flavor of Hue cuisine. Hue people use many different kinds of spices, combining them in a harmonious way to create a delicious, full-bodied flavor.

3. 2 Traditional games during Tet

  • Play Swing ( Danh du)
  • Wrestling game Sinh village (Dau vat lang Sinh)
  • Crush the clay pot (Dap nieu dat)
Traditional games during Tet
Traditional games during Tet

4. Tet experiences for tourists in Hue

Visitors to Hue during the Lunar New Year will be amazed by the many traditional activities. They will join the locals in wrapping banh chung, banh tet, or cooking traditional Hue cakes. Participate in Tet candy-making classes organized in Hue, and learn about the history of traditional foods with the people of Hue. Immerse yourself in the lively atmosphere of Tet in Vietnam. Hue is a great destination for visitors who want to experience the Lunar New Year in a traditional way. With these experiences, visitors will have a memorable Tet holiday in Hue.

Tet experiences for tourists in Hue
Tet experiences for tourists in Hue

Reference