February eighth marks the traditional New Year for many countries around the world who follow the lunar calendar, such as China and Vietnam. For help celebrating the occasion, Southern-style, we turned to Chef Michael Gulotta of MoPho in New Orleans, Louisiana. Chef Gulotta honed his culinary skills in the kitchens of the Big Easy, most notably under Chef John Besh at Restaurant August , and along the way absorbed a lot of the Vietnamese culinary influences present in New Orleans. At MoPho, Chef Gulotta creates traditional Vietnamese dishes with a modern, New Orleans riff with dishes like Sloppy Roast Duck Po’ Boys and Pork Belly & Crispy Shallot Pho.
To celebrate the Lunar New Year, Chef Gulotta prepares Bánh Xèo Battered Shrimp with Nước Chấm Pickled Mango. “The one dish I eat the most of at the New Orleans East Tete festival is the Ban Xeo crepe.” Explained Chef Gulotta. “After enjoying all of those delicious crepes we developed a dish that we run often as a special, our Ban Xeo battered jumbo shrimp. Traditionally the dish is a rice flour crepe stuffed with shrimp and pork, but we decided to coat the jumbo gulf shrimp with the crepe batter and deep fry it.” Celebrate the New Year with Chef Gulotta’s recipe for a taste that is a little bit Vietnamese and a little bit New Orleans.