Japan Japan has two moon festivals every year, following lunar calendar. Zyuyoga is associated with the traditional customs of "Otsukimi" (meaning watching the moon on the full moon day in autumn). For the people in the land of the rising sun, the festival is the time for them to honor the moon in the fall, the only time the moon is at its fullest. In the Otsukimi festival, the Japanese often make Dango, a type of rice dumplings (mochiko). It is quite similar to mochi and is served with tea. On the 15th day of the eighth lunar month, the Japanese personally hand mix flour with water, pound it to create that structure-builder before proceeds to baking. Dango cake is presented with a Susuki grass vase during moon festivals. Also known as tail flower, susuki is a perennial tall grass that blossoms in the autumn. The moon watching ritual cannot be done without dango cake. Dango cake and susuki grass. Photo courtesy of Katorisi on Wikipedia The legend of Dango cake is traditionally … [Read more...] about Are moon festivals the same everywhere in Asia?
Vietnam sticky rice treats
Talented: Nguyen Bach Lan, also known as Ma Bay (Seventh Mum) from Ben Tre‘s Chau Thanh District, often uses coconut to make dishes, including cakes for her family. Whenever I think of coconuts, Ben Tre Province immediately comes to mind. Though coconut trees can be found nearly everywhere in the country, only in Ben Tre can you find the special species of palm tree that is characteristic of the region. Located in the southwestern part of the Mekong Delta, about 90km west of HCM City, Ben Tre has ong been famed for its delicious variety of coconut dishes. Travelling from HCM City, you will soon notice the shadows of coconut trees as you cross the Rạch Mieu Bridge over the Tien River linking the two Delta provinces of Tien Giang and Ben Tre. All around you are lush, verdant paddy fields and boats quietly gliding on waterways, a perfect gateway to a relaxing vacation or weekend retreat away from the big city. One of the area’s most famous products is keo dua (coconut … [Read more...] about Ben Tre: Vietnam’s coconut kingdom
Xoi ngu sac used to be served on special occasions, but is a daily dish in the northern region now (Photo: monan9.com) Hanoi (VNA) - If rice is Vietnam’s staple crop, xoi (steamed sticky rice) is the nation’s choice dish, as much as the famous pho (rice noodle soup), if not more so. It is a breakfast favourite, and the most popular snack or meal at late night or in early dawn. It is sold by vendors in early morning markets and it can be found in fanciest restaurants serving traditional Vietnamese food. There are any numbers of specialty xoi restaurants, as well as push carts that stand on street corners or bicycles that go around the streets well past midnight, long after restaurants and other eateries have closed. Xoi, as the name suggests, is made with glutinous rice, steamed or cooked. There are those who love having this regularly for breakfast and those who have it at any time of the day or night, but almost every Vietnamese will have it … [Read more...] about Xoi – a quick fix for empty stomach
Con Son - Kiep Bac Complex (Source: Internet) Hanoi (VNA) - “Con Son suoi chay ri ram/ Ta nghe nhu tieng dan cam ben tai” (Con Son’s streams are babbling/ As music from a stringed instrument) The beauty and serenity evoked in this line from 15th-century poet Nguyen Trai’s Con Son Ca (Con Son Ballad) still come to mind when visiting the Con Son-Kiep Bac Complex today. The complex of pagodas and temples nestles amidst forested mountains in the Con Son area’s Chi Linh district, Hai Duong province. The most prominent structures in the complex are the Con Son Pagoda and the Kiep Bac Temple, havens of peace and quiet, some 80 kilometres from central Hanoi. The sacredness of the pagoda, believed to have been built in the 13th century, is encapsulated in the famous saying: “Con Son, Yen Tu, Quynh Lam/ Neu ai chua den thien tam chua danh” (Those who haven’t been to Con Son, Yen Tu and Quynh Lam haven’t … [Read more...] about Con Son-Kiep Bac
Vietnamese women are traditionally in charge of the housework, and that burden multiplies when it comes to the country’s biggest holiday, Tet. But some have found a way out. They pay other people to do their chores. “My days of organizing parties are over. They will bring all the food over on New Year’s Eve,” said a woman in Hanoi, who only revealed her first name as Thao. “The burden is off my shoulders,” she said. Tet, or the Lunar New Year, will fall next week and is the most important holiday in Vietnam. It involves a lot of parties and house visits, and as a result requires a lot of cooking and cleaning. In the still largely patriarchal Vietnam, most of the work is usually done by the women, until they can stand it no more. Media reports and human rights organizations have been criticizing the housework stereotype in Vietnam, so companies are featuring more men in advertisements for kitchen appliances (although only in supporting … [Read more...] about Ready-made feasts free Vietnamese women from Tet chores
Updated at Sunday, 26 Nov 2017, 09:49 The Hanoitimes - Hanoi in cold days is the best time you can enjoy many famous dishes. Corn and sweet potato Corn and sweet potato. Hanoi in cold days, the good smelling of grilled corn and sweet potato in a corner of night street with yellow light makes many people feel fluttered… If the autumn is woken up by the smelling of young green sticky rice and milky flower, the winter is featured by the smelling of boiled corn and grilled sweet potato. This smelling appears in all streets, all small valley, making people cannot resist because it reminds a part of peaceful childhood in the bustling day. The fresh corns and brown sweet potato on the coal stove bring a strange warm feeling. Their good smelling seems to urge the customers to enjoy immediately. Enjoying the simple snacks is to wake up the childhood memory of anyone. They make the people living in the city remember the friends in the country. Sitting on the sidewalk to eat corn … [Read more...] about The delicious dishes
Sugar cotton candyWandering around Hanoi’s Old quarter, Hoan Kiem Lake, you can easily catch the sight of cotton candy made on bikes. The candy is called ‘kẹo bông gòn’ in Vietnamese which is a form of spun sugar confection with dashes of colour and flavour which change from place to place.However, like other countries, in Vietnam, the candy is made by heating and liquefying sugar and spinning it out through a minute holes with a centrifuge. Once in air, thin molten sugar strands re-solidify as cotton candy, which mostly contains air. It is sold on a stick or in a poly bag. The machines in Vietnam are small and automatically produce single-servings of sugar cotton candy in which the spinning head moves at a speed of several thousand revolutions per minute. Most tourists have Vietnamese sugar ball candy to get nostalgic about their childhood experience. Bánh rán (fried rice ball)Bánh rán is a deep-fried glutinous rice ball from … [Read more...] about Childhood nostalgic with Hanoi’s street food