Vietnamese New Year Meal

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Chuc Mung Nam Moi! That’s “happy new year!” in Vietnamese, for the uninitiated. I had some friends over for a Vietnamese feast, and  wanted to try out the new hot pot my mom got me for xmas, so I decided to make Hot Pot and Caramelized Pork & Eggs. We also bought some traditional Banh Tet (savory new years cake), and my brother made an asian fruit cocktail for dessert. We definitely feasted, and I think my friends enjoyed trying a new food experience. 🙂

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I got the recipe for the hot pot broth from my mom and here it is! This makes a very healthy, but satisfying meal for 8 people.


2 stalks lemongrass
1/3 large stock pot of water
1 large can chicken broth (no msg, lower sodium)
8 baby bella mushrooms sliced
about 2 TB Salt, 4 TB sugar, 1 TB Pepper, to taste
3 TB Tom Yum paste
1 TB dried chopped onions

1 lb eye of round or other lean cut of beef
1.5 lb shrimp, shelled, tail on
(Can also have fish, chicken breast if desired)

Thai Basil
Baby Bok Choy
Any other leafy greens (spinach, watercress work well)
bean sprouts

Fresh Egg Noodles – found in refrigerated section of asian markets

1. Heat water in large pot to boiling. Chop lemongrass into sections about 2 – 3 inches long and smash with side of knife to release oils and add to pot. 30 min to create the lemongrass water. My mom says she cooks for 1 hr, but I found 30 min to be fine.

2. Add chicken broth, salt, sugar, pepper and bring back to boil. Taste and add more salt/sugar to taste. Add mushrooms and cook for about 15 min on medium until mushrooms cooked.

3. Add 3 TB tom yum paste and stir, cooking another 5 min.

4. in a separate small pot, heat olive oil til drop of water splashed in the pot sizzles and disappears immediately. Add dried chop onions and stir quickly to fry. Once the onions begin to turn golden, remove from heat and continue stirring. Add to broth.

5. Your broth is now done, keep it on med/low until ready to serve. You may also pour it into the hot pot at this point and keep it on low.

6. While the broth is cooking, you may also be preparing the rest of your ingredients. Wash the veggies and arrange them on large serving plates. The beef should be put in the freezer about 15-20 min before slicing to make it easier to thinly slice. Shrimp should just be defrosted if needed and arranged on a plate. You should have 1 veggie plate and 1 meat plate for each 4 people to make it easier to reach as everyone is cooking.

7. The fresh egg noodles will need to be quickly blanched in boiling water for about 1 min. Rinse the noodles in cold water when they are done and place in a bowl. The fresh egg noodles will be packaged something like this, but choose a thinner variety:


8. To eat, everyone can start adding their meats and veggies to the hot pot. In a small bowl, add noodles, meats, veggies and ladle some broth from the hot pot into the bowl. Serve with some soy sauce and chili paste to allow everyone to add seasoning as they wish. Happy lunar new year and Enjoy!