These nutritious snacks, as their name suggests, symbolise and commemorate the coming of the spring season. They are among the traditional foods eaten in China on New Year's Eve, which, by the Chinese lunar calendar, marks the end of the winter season.
Dumplings are made in Beijing restaurants and homes. Simple treats, I think they make a far better, more delicious meal than can be had at the more fancy restaurants that often cater to tourists.
Like other cuisines of South-east Asia, Vietnamese cooking is highly perfumed with herbs such as lemon grass and purple basil. It is delicious and goes perfectly with plain rice.
Nuts such as peanuts or cashews are a good source of protein for vegetarians. The nuts in this recipe have not been salted as we should aim to reduce the amount of salt in our diets by about a third.
Lamb was not a meat I had known in my Chinese childhood. The first time I had lamb was in France; I was surprised by its assertive, but delectable, flavour.