return icon

Norwegian diplomat enjoys making Vietnamese spring rolls to welcome Tet

“When I came to Vietnam, I realized that spring rolls was a popular dish, both for vegetarian and pescatarian. Tet (Lunar New Year) is coming and this is the dish that almost every Vietnamese family has in their Tet meal.”



Mrs. Nina G. Enger, 1st Secretary of the Norwegian Embassy in Vietnam, has a passion for Vietnamese cuisine. She said that this year she and her husband will celebrate Tet in Hanoi. The Norwegian diplomat is quite knowledgeable about the ingredients to make fried spring rolls and does not hesitate to go to the kitchen to make this dish for her guests on the occasion of the coming Tet.

Hello Mrs. Enger, what cuisine are you going to cook?

I'm going to make spring rolls. The first time I tried spring rolls was in Oslo, Norway in the 80's. At that time, Asian restaurants began to appear in Norway. Fried spring rolls became more popular in my country very soon.

When I came to Vietnam, I found that spring rolls are quite popular here, spring rolls and fried spring rolls, both for vegetarian and pescatarian. I want to practice making Vietnamese spring rolls. As Tet is coming, this is a dish that almost every Vietnamese family has in their Tet meal.

Nhà ngoại giao Na Uy thích thú cuốn nem đón Tết

Mrs. Nina G. Enger


I use ground pork - this is the traditional ingredient of fried spring rolls, some sliced carrot, a type of bulb Vietnamese call “cu dau” that Norway does not have and I don't know how to call it in English, wood ear and mushroom. Someone uses onions, but I use Vietnamese onions and some vermicelli – a traditional ingredient as well.

It is very interesting that when making spring rolls, each family has its own recipe. This is similar to our traditional Norwegian dishes. Usually in each family, the mother's food will be the best dish and the children will always tend to cook the same way as their mothers when they grow up.

As for the spring rolls I make today, I added some fresh shrimp. Since Norway is a country of seafood, I want my spring rolls to have the taste of shrimp. Another spice is coriander. This is the taste that I really like. I'll add some pepper. This is the pepper I bought in Phu Quoc which is very flavorful. A little bit of sea salt. I will break 1 egg and mix it well. You can see that I have not mastered this dish. This is the second time I have tried to make spring rolls.

Nhà ngoại giao Na Uy thích thú cuốn nem đón Tết

Mrs. Nina G. Enger


This is the second time you have experienced Vietnamese New Year, how do you feel?

This is very interesting to celebrate another New Year since we already celebrated the New Year at the end of December. This is not my first Lunar New Year. I’ve been posted to Asian countries before so I have experienced this kind of celebration. But I must say my first Tet here in Vietnam - which was last year – coincided with my 60th birthday, so it was quite special for me. My husband and I, we went down to Phu Quoc and spent some days there in the warm and tropical climate which is my absolute favorite, so last year’s Tet was very interesting out of Hanoi.

For this Tet I am going to stay in Hanoi and my husband will arrive back from Norway, so close to Tet he will be finished with his quarantine and I’m looking forward to spending time with him and we would like to be here at home this time this year.

Last year and the present time, the Covid-19 pandemic has made things upset. Has your embassy been affected?

Well, we were first and foremost very impressed at how the Vietnamese government and authority took charge of this pandemic.

Quickly after the pandemic broke out, they closed the border; they encouraged foreigners to leave the country and go back to their own countries; and they also took charge of bringing Vietnamese citizens back and get them quarantined as well.

This was something that the embassy was very impressed to observe. And of course, we took strict measures at the embassy during this time. For example, we closed the door to the public and implemented strict hand hygiene. We discussed the use of masks inside. We also improved the cleanliness of the office areas, and when the social distancing period started, we split the embassy into two halves so that one half would work from home and the other half would work in the office so as not to risk anything.

That’s what we did in early May. We felt that the situation was good and was under control so we went back to business as usual, slowly open meetings in the embassy, receive counselor visitors, etc. We also declared the embassy to be Covid-19 free.

Nhà ngoại giao Na Uy thích thú cuốn nem đón Tết

Photo: Pham Hai


Looking back to 2020, what is the highlight in the Vietnam-Norway relationship? And what do you expect from the bilateral relationship this year?

First and foremost, one of the highlights that we shared together with Vietnam last year was the chairmanship of ASEAN, which was very impressive how Vietnam was able to think anew.

There were so many high-level meetings and other activities related to ASEAN that were going to take place. However, we started postponing them month by month; we didn’t really know but then everybody realized that the pandemic has come to stay, so to be able to push through some of the activities they used modern technology to good use.

There were lots of online meetings for all these activities, which was very convenient for our ambassador who was - for most of the time – in Oslo. She could participate without coming here. Also, our ASEAN ambassador – who is normally posted in Jakarta – was able to participate without coming here. So we were really impressed at how Vietnam was able to push this through.


Nhà ngoại giao Na Uy thích thú cuốn nem đón Tết

Photo: Pham Hai


Last year Norway celebrated its 5th anniversary as a dialogue partner of ASEAN. We share many different values that ASEAN is highlighting (sustainable development, climate change…).

Another highlight that I would like to mention is that last year, Norway was elected as an observant member of the ASEAN Inter-Parliamentary Assembly (AIPA). We have been actively trying to get this role for five years and last year (2020) we were elected as an observant member. I was so fortunate to be head of the embassy at the time so I was present at the presentation of the Norwegian seat at the initiation ceremony.

Finally, the last milestone that we shared with Vietnam last year is that Norway was elected as a nonpermanent to the United Nations Security Council (UNSC). Vietnam was elected the year before so you have been in the Security Council for one year. We will share the seat next to you in 2021. We know that Vietnam was very positive towards our candidacy, so I dare to say Vietnam thank you for their vote. We will work together on important things, for instance peace and security which we will also do together with Vietnam under the ASEAN umbrella. This will be also very important for our work in the UNSC. We look forward to cooperating with Vietnam.

2021 is the year that we will celebrate the 50th anniversary of diplomatic relationship with Vietnam, so it’s a big year for the two of us. Having high level visits under that kind of umbrella and with that backdrop will be very interesting and very fruitful for all of us, I think.

I wish good health and a prosperous New Year to the audience of VietNamNet and all the Vietnamese people. Let us make sure the 2021 will be a year of play and joy, and maybe not so much hard work as a buffalo. Chuc Mung Nam Moi!

Thai An/Xuan Quy/Huy Phuc

US Ambassador describes his addiction to banh chung and four Tet holidays in VN

US Ambassador describes his addiction to banh chung and four Tet holidays in VN

“I really love the Tet season,” US Ambassador to Vietnam Daniel J. Kritenbrink told VietNamNet in an interview on the occasion of the lunar New Year (Tet).

Four ambassadors make pre-Tet visit to VN peacekeeping force

Four ambassadors make pre-Tet visit to VN peacekeeping force

Representatives of the embassies of Canada, New Zealand, Norway and Switzerland in Vietnam paid a visit to the headquarters of the Vietnamese peacekeeping force before the Lunar New Year (Tet).



Power shortage worries increase hunger for coal

Vietnam is maximising its coal mining output amid widespread power outages in the north.

Indicators ripe for wave of tech startup successes

Venture capital investment flows into Vietnam, particularly from Singapore, are on track to surpass the previous level, propelled by the country’s buoyant tech startup scene.

Tourism industry faces serious labor shortage

Because of low pay, many workers have left the tourism sector.

Industrial parks, economic zones absorb US$ 230 billion in foreign direct investment

Industrial parks (IPs) and economic zones (EZs) across the country have attracted nearly 11,000 foreign direct investment projects worth US$230 billion, according to Deputy Minister of Planning and Investment Tran Quoc Phuong.

Property, fishery sectors face hardship as credit chokes

At a government-to-business conference held yesterday, representatives of business associations expressed their concern over being unable to access bank loans as banks are running out of credit growth quotas.

Utilising every opportunity to grow and overcome challenges

That is the message and guideline of Minister of Planning and Investment Nguyen Chi Dung at the national conference on how to sustainably develop.

Outbound tours to Europe rocked by passport tangle

A number of Vietnamese outbound travel companies have already been affected by the decision of some European nations to not recognise Vietnam’s new passports.

Young people discover the universe via telescopes

Many young people have been spending time and money to buy telescopes and build rooftop observatories to admire the wonders of the universe.

Ample room remains for Vietnam’s exports to EU

There is still a lot of room for Vietnamese goods to expand their presence in the European Union (EU) market, but accessing its retail distribution systems is extremely important, heard a seminar in Ho Chi Minh City on August 11.

Vietnam yet rolls out Covid jabs for under-5s

Vietnam has yet planned to get younger kids aged under five vaccinated against COVID-19, according to the Ministry of Health (MoH).

Vietnam to host Mekong Tourism Forum in October

Vietnam is scheduled to host the 2022 Mekong Tourism Forum, themed “Rebuild Tourism, Rebound with Resilience”, from October 9 – 14, the first in-person meeting of the six Greater Mekong Subregion (GMS) destinations since the pandemic began in 2019.

Cryptocurrencies show high risks

Even though cryptocurrencies are not legally recognized in Vietnam, they have gradually become popular due to unlawful trading via specific platforms.

Pandemic-hit labourers continue to receive financial support

The Unemployment Insurance Fund plans to pay out 1.15 trillion VND (49.15 million USD) to support labourers affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, according to a resolution issued by the National Assembly (NA) Standing Committee.

Seven petroleum wholesalers’ licenses suspended

The Ministry of Industry and Trade suspended the operating licenses of seven key petroleum import and export businesses after inspecting 33 wholesalers in February this year.

President reduces death penalties to life sentences for 21 prisoners

President Nguyen Xuan Phuc on August 12 decided to reduce death penalties to life sentences for 21 prisoners, including two foreigners.