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Celebrate the Year of the Rooster with Our 3 Favorite Rice Dishes

East Asian cultures continue to celebrate the Lunar New Year through the middle of February. Here's where, and what, to eat.

By Alice Levitt January 23, 2017 Published in the February 2017 issue of Houstonia Magazine

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Vietnamese banh tet

Image: Shutterstock

While January 28 ushers in the Chinese New Year, other East Asian cultures continue to celebrate the dawn of the Year of the Rooster through the middle of February. Not sure how to continue your tasty festivities? Rice, a universal symbol for the connection between heaven and earth, spans cultures. Here are a few of our favorite New Year’s rice dishes, and where to try them.

Korean Tteokguk

This soup of flat, chewy rice cakes in rich beef broth is ideal comfort food at this time of year, whether you’re celebrating or not. Head to the yellow domicile housing A Little Seoul for some true home cooking.

Vietnamese Banh Tet

Tet, the Vietnamese New Year, has a glutinous rice cake to call its own. The dish—banana leafs wrapped around sweet sticky rice filled with mung beans or pork—appears on many an Alief counter at this time of year, but Gio Lua Duc Long specializes in the cured meats that fill the rolls, so expect quality inside and out.

Japanese Kagami Mochi

Nippan Daido offers a treasure trove of delicacies from the Land of the Rising Sun. It’s no surprise, then, that they get their sweet, delicate kagami mochi (mirror rice cake, for its shiny exterior) imported from Japan. Display yours traditionally by topping a large, chewy rice cake with a smaller one, for a creation that resembles a decadent edible snowman.

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