Vietnamese family meal, A Vietnamese folk song says:
“Shrimp antenna is cooked with gourd guts
Both husband and wife sip and enjoy the dish.”
Despite the poor and lack of delicious foods, Vietnamese family has still enjoyed simple and cheap dishes. Vietnamese family meal symbolizes for union and love. It has played an important part in the country culture. The family meal is one of customs, traditional values, and etiquettes of the ancestors. In Vietnam, most of family members have breakfast with different foods at different time. They usually gather to have lunch and dinner together. In recent days, because of many reasons they can have their lunches at schools, working places. So that dinner is a good chance for all members of family sit around tables, enjoy favorite foods and talk to each other in a warm atmosphere.
Although women are mainly responsible for the meal, other members can help to prepare ingredients, arrange table before and after eating. Tender part of steamed rice and dishes are for old members and children. A typical Vietnamese family meal consists of steamed rice, dipping sauce, soup, braised/deep-fried/stewed/grilled/boiled meat/chicken/fish/shrimp/seafood with vegetables, or pickles, fresh vegetables and herbs. However, number of dishes and meal quality depend on family economy and time. Busy families tend to cook simple meal with a few quick and easy dishes. On weekends, they cook more dishes and prefer complex recipes. Each member uses his own chopsticks and small bowl to eat. Vietnamese people usually serve steamed rice in a big bowl, soup in soup bowl, stir-fry on plate. Braised fish/pork and steamed rice could be served in clay pot.
Steamed rice, Braised fish with caramel sauce, Stir-fried morning glory, Pickled mustard greens, Sweet and sour soup with fish, fish sauce
A Vietnamese family meal with Stir-fried bitter melon with egg, Braised pork in caramel, Crunchy rice at the bottom of the pot, Braised beef with egg
Simplest Vietnamese family meal with Stir-fried chayote, Soup with ground pork, winter melon and malabar nightshade, Fish in tomato sauce
Vietnamese family meal with 2 dishes: Stir-fried morning glory, Fried egg with vegetables
Braised pork with pineapple in caramel sauce, Soup with shrimp and katuk, Braised pork and shrimp, Stir-fried napa cabbage with egg