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Just as Thanksgiving has its turkey, and Italian Christmas has its panettone, so too does Vietnamese New Year have its holiday food - Banh Tet.

The ingredients are soy bean paste, sticky rice, pork fat, and of course, nuoc mam (fish sauce). This is enclosed in banana leaves and then wrapped with nylon ribbon before being boiled for about 6 hours.

These packets are on sale weeks before the actual holiday. Unwrap it, slice it, fry it, and serve it with pickled onions.

Banh Chung