5 “insect-killing” dishes not to miss on Doan Ngo Tet

Dragon Boat Festival is a holiday custom found in many Asian countries. Not only Vietnam but China, North Korea, South Korea… all have this New Year. Dragon Boat Festival is essentially an Asian holiday custom and is associated with the concept of the circulation of the weather during the year.

In Vietnam, Doan Ngo Festival has been Vietnameseized into a Tet holiday to kill insects and worship and remember ancestors. Doan Ngo Tet is also known as Doan Duong Tet. In which “doan” means the beginning of “noon” or “yang” which is understood to mean that midday is positive energy. Doan Ngo or Doan Duong means starting when the positive energy is strong. According to ancient customs, people often burn incense early in the morning, but in fact, Doan Ngo Festival is held at the main hour of Ngo (midday) on May 5. Lunar calendar.

Doan Ngo Festival takes place when the rice fields are being harvested. It is a period of changing seasons that easily causes pests and diseases, so on this day, people have many customs to prevent diseases, especially with food.

Black sticky rice and wine

Sticky wine is an indispensable dish on this special holiday because according to people’s belief, the strong taste of sticky rice mixed with the spicy yeast of sticky rice wine will have the effect of eliminating parasites. harmful substances in the body. Right on the morning of the 5th after waking up a lot family also has the habit of eating a bowl of rice and wine to kill insects.

Rice The type of sticky rice chosen to make rice wine is black sticky rice or yellow flower sticky rice. Families can cook sticky rice and brew wine at home or buy it from a ready-made store.

Sticky wine is made from fermented whole-grain sticky rice. People often use white and black sticky rice to make sticky rice, let it cool and then sprinkle with yeast to ferment for three days. The basket of fermented sticky rice is placed on a basin to collect the wine so that when eaten, it is mixed with rice to create a very pleasant sweet and spicy taste. Depending on each place, the way to prepare sticky rice and wine is different. The rice and wine of the Central people are pressed into blocks, while the rice and wine of the South are rolled into balls, completely different from the loose rice and wine of the North.

In addition, on Doan Ngo Tet, people also make Prepare some other delicious dishes from black sticky rice such as sticky rice with black sticky rice, black sticky rice, black sticky rice yogurt, black sticky rice with banana.

Duck meat

If duck meat is a taboo dish to eat on the first days of the month, it is very popular during the Doan Ngo festival. Also because of the concept of “killing insects” and curing diseases, duck meat, with its cool properties and the effect of balancing the yin and yang in the body, is chosen as the main dish on this day. According to oriental medicine, duck meat also has the effect of nourishing the body after illness, treating convulsions, lowering fever and reducing pimples.

Duck meat was previously considered a typical dish during the Doan Ngo Festival of people. Central region, however, duck meat is becoming more and more popular in many regions across the country. While some people explain that eating duck will help cool and nourish the body during the hot days of early May (lunar calendar), others believe that from May 5 (lunar calendar). From now on, the duck meat will be more fatty and delicious and will no longer have a bad smell. Therefore, during Doan Ngo Tet, most families buy ducks and prepare them into many different dishes.

First fruits of the season

People in many regions believe that plums are a good fruit to kill insects.

Along with sticky rice, wine and duck meat, seasonal fruits are also considered a remedy to kill insects. According to the beliefs of our ancestors, after the insects in our body were “drunk” by the sticky rice and wine, we continued to eat sour fruits, which would cause them to die faster.

May is the time when summer fruits and flowers begin to come into season. A tray of fruits offered to the ancestral altar for offerings is indispensable in every family. Eating the first fruits of the season, especially fruits such as: plums, lychees, mangos, rambutans, watermelons… is not only with the desire to eliminate pathogens, but also partly represents the desire for fruits to fill the house and multiply.

Ash cake

If Lunar New Year is indispensable for banh chung, then on Doan Ngo festival, clear and golden ash cakes are the cake. that every house has. Banh tro is also known as banh ú ash, banh gio, banh am, banh nang… The cake has a dark yellow color because the sticky rice is soaked in ash water burned by firewood from dry trees, then wrapped in banana leaves and then boiled with a filling. It can be sweet or salty or without filling.

Ash cake is often eaten with sugar or honey. Each region has a different type of cake wrapping, some are oblong, others are triangular. The cake is soft, has a light taste and is cool in color from light to dark brown depending on the type of ash liquid used.

Ash cake is considered a dish that brings together the quintessence of heaven and earth because of the selection of ingredients. and the processing process is very meticulous. The sticky rice used to make cakes must be selected with fragrant seeds and must not be mixed with plain rice. The ash water used to cook the cake is filtered from the ash water burned from golden sticky rice straw. Therefore, according to the ancient concept, ash cake absorbs the properties of plants and trees, helping to eliminate all diseases in the body and cool down in the hot weather of May.

Troi Nuoc sweet soup

Droam sweet soup is an indispensable dish during the Doan Ngo Tet holiday of the Southern people. The round sweet soup balls are made from white glutinous rice flour and filled with green beans and served with coconut milk. The sweet soup has the fatty taste of green beans, the sweetness of sugar, coconut milk, the coolness of powder at the tip of the tongue and the attractive aroma of ginger and coconut milk.

Cooking sweet sweet soup does not require many hard steps but does require skill and sophistication. of the cook. The dough is kneaded until soft and pliable. When shaping the cake, the maker only takes a sufficient amount of sticky rice and places it in the palm of his hand, then spreads it thinly, puts the bean paste in the middle, wraps it into a ball and rolls it in the palm of his hand so that it is round.

Hoang Ngoc