What do Vietnamese-Americans eat for Christmas? I don't know as I only have my personal experience to share. As I mentioned in the past, we gave up on turkeys at Thanksgiving and hams for Easter. Christmas is a tossup and we've had roasted chickens, goose, beef and venison tenderloin over the years.
This past week's was somewhat of a doozy. My mom's menu (above) was basically a list of family favorites. There were originally 20 people expected and she made sure to load up the menu with Nguyen all-time hits. From the top of her hand-written list to the bottom:
Fried cha gio rice paper rolls, a surf-and-turf rice soup (chao boi), wontons in broth, roast riblets (xuon nuong), goose from my brother , sticky rice dressing with roasted chestnuts (nhan go nhoi), stuffed periwinkle (oc nhoi), sticky rice with hominy and mung bean (xoi bap), plain sticky rice with sweet Chinese sausage (xoi trang, lap xuong), head cheese (gio thu), cinnamon sausage and beef silky sausage (cha que, cha bo), shrimp toasts (banh mi tom quet), banana cake (banh chuoi), banh “fruit cake.”
My mom began the preparations weeks ago, my dad revealed with a light sigh. He is her kitchen assistant when none of us kids are around (most of the time). I think she'd put him through the wringer. When I saw the menu, I didn't know how we'd serve it all, let alone eat it up.