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Saigoneer Podcast: Tet Food Improvements and Writer Nguyen Phan Que Mai

The latest Saigoneer Podcast episode is available now!

On this week's show, our last before the Lunar New Year break, we discuss (1:26) potential ways to improve traditional Tet dishes. Specialties like bánh tét, for example, are very heavy — could they be made healthier? Should they? And would it be possible to run a year-round Tet food restaurant?

Then (22:00), we have an extended chat with Vietnamese writer Nguyen Phan Que Mai, author of the upcoming novel The Mountains Sing. Que Mai is the first Vietnamese national to write a novel in English published by a major American press.

The novel is a stunning multi-generational story that explores the strength and heartbreak of Vietnamese women during the 20th century. We discuss the book, the craft of writing novels, the differences in publishing in Vietnam versus the west, and, of course, durian.

As always, we end with Bánh Mì Banter (1:13:22).

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Chúc mừng năm mới, and see you in the Year of the Rat!

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