Lemon Lavender Candied Ginger (Mứt Gừng) for Chinese New Year (Tết) | plantcrush.co

Lemon Lavender Candied Ginger for Chinese New Year (Mứt Gừng)

Like any new year celebration, Chinese New Year is about new beginnings. Sweet treats are popular cross-culturally, as they symbolize a sweet, joyful start to the upcoming year. I think we can all agree that we definitely need more joy this year. This year, I was honored to be invited by the lovely Christine (Vermilion Roots) to participate in a Chinese New Year sweets party with several other Asian bloggers. It’s kind of like a virtual potluck—I urge you to check out the participating blogs below, to get a taste of the lunar new year from various parts of Asia!

This is my first time participating in a big recipe link party like this, and I’m so excited to promote my fellow Asian bloggers’ creations. It’s always interesting and heartwarming to see how other cultures celebrate–there are similarities and differences. Not all the recipes below are vegan, but they’re all vegetarian and can certainly be veganized. I have another blog post about Chinese New Year (Tết, in Vietnamese) planned this week, in which I will share a recipe I made with my mom, and I will talk more about what the holiday means to us.


#SweetLunarNewYear Party: Sweet Recipes for a Joyful New Year

Snow Fungus Soup / Vermilion Roots

Three Color Dessert (Che Ba Mau) / The Viet Vegan

Pineapple Cookies (Nastar) / V for Veggy

Indonesian Honeycomb Cake (Bingka Ambon) / What To Cook Today

Chinese Peanut Cookies / Wok & Skillet

Vietnamese Steamed Rice Cakes / A Taste of Joy and Love

Gluten-Free Chinese Almond Cookies / Grits & Chopsticks

Black Sesame Shortbread Cookies / Little Sweet Baker

Ice Cream Mooncakes / Brunch-n-Bites

Coconut Red Bean Pudding / The Missing Lokness

Korean Caramelized Sweet Potatoes (Goguma Mattang) / What Great Grandma Ate

Cashew Nut Cookies / Anncoo Journal

One Bite Pine Nut Cookies / Yummy Workshop

Baked Coconut Walnut Sticky Rice Cake / Jeanette’s Healthy Living

Black Sesame Cream Puffs / Pink Wings

Cashew Nut Cookies / Roti n Rice

Mini Peanut Puffs (Kok Chai) / Malaysian Chinese Kitchen

Thousand Layer Cake (Lapis Legit) / Daily Cooking Quest

Almond Orange Spiral Cookies / Butter & Type

Year of the Rooster Mochi / Thirsty for Tea

Korean Tea Cookies (Dasik) / Kimchimari

Sweet Sticky Nian Gao (Kuih Bakul) / Lisa’s Lemony Kitchen

Sweet Rice Balls with Peanut Butter (Tang Yuan) / Omnivore’s Cookbook

Chick Egg Tarts / Dessert Girl

Red Bean Soup with Black Glutinous Rice / Nut Free Wok

Orange Scented Sweet Red Bean / Lime and Cilantro


lemon-lavender-candied-ginger3

Candied sweetmeats, such as candied ginger (mứt gừng), are part of the traditional array of treats for Vietnamese celebrations of Chinese New Year (Tết). Initially, for this recipe, I was envisioning a simple lemon infused candied ginger, sweetened with coconut sugar instead of regular sugar. My friend Margaret (the girlboss behind The Plant Philosophy) suggested the genius addition of lavender! The pairing sounded gorgeous, and the taste turned out to be a sweet romance—tangy and aromatic, perfect with the fiery fire of the ginger. Lemon and lavender are truly destined to be together. The lavender’s subtle fragrance creates a quiet delight of mystery (what is this elusive flavor, people may ask), while the ginger is cleansing and will warm your soul up from the inside. I hope you’ll enjoy this twist on a classic Vietnamese Tết treat!

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Shredded Mushroom + Tofu Bánh Mì

I threw some things together to make bánh mì for my dad and myself last weekend, not thinking too much about it. The sandwiches turned out so beautifully that I had to photograph them and share a recipe with you!

Shredded Mushroom + Tofu Bánh Mì

When it comes to bánh mì, the fixings really make the sandwich, and silly things like measurements are not necessary. The quantity of fillings just depends on how hungry you are.

Fixings I used:

  • paprika mayo (I just whisked together some Just Mayo, smoked paprika & garlic powder)
  • cucumber sticks
  • fresh cilantro
  • fresh basil
  • jalapeño slices
  • Đồ chua (Vietnamese pickled carrots & daikon–available at Asian markets, or you can DIY!)
  • Sriracha

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Kimchi & Tofu Lettuce Wraps

The warm spring weather has prompted my sister and me to put many spring rolls and lettuce wraps on the menu lately. My cousin Jackie introduced us to kimchi tofu wraps last month and we’ve been hooked. Savory dry-fried tofu and fiery kimchi provide the main flavors in these wraps, while add-ins like basil, sprouts and cucumbers add green freshness.

Kimchi & Tofu Lettuce Wraps | plantcrush.co

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Lunar New Year | Sweet Celebration Bowl

Chúc Mừng Năm Mới!
Happy Lunar New Year!

For today’s post, I considered making something savory, but we’ve been having some mildly warm afternoons here in Texas, so instead, I will share a refreshing fruity recipe. This recipe showcases lucky fruits with meanings for Tết (Lunar New Year): soursop (custard apple), coconut, papaya, and mango.
Sweet Celebration Bowl

In Vietnamese, the names of these fruits create a pun, “Cầu Dừa Đủ Xoài (Cầu Vừa Đủ Xài).” This phrase means “[Let’s] pray for just enough [resources/money/food, etc.] to use”–a wise wish for the new year.

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Vegan Lunar New Year Traditions

lucky fruit platterYesterday marked the beginning of the Lunar New Year, the year of the snake. This holiday is celebrated by the Aulacese (Vietnamese), Korean and Chinese.

My family celebrated with essential dishes such as longevity noodles  and a lucky fruit platter.

Our fruit platter had dried coconut pieces, papaya, and mangoes. All that was missing was custard apples (mãng cầu). In Aulacese, the names of these fruits create a pun, “Cầu Dừa Đủ Xoài (Cầu Vừa Đủ Xài).” This phrase means “[Let’s] pray for just enough [resources/money/food, etc.] to use”–a wise wish for the new year. Continue reading