How do Vietnamese people typically eat their meals?


Vietnamese cuisine is known for its fresh ingredients, vibrant flavors, and balance of sweet, salty, sour, and spicy tastes. Eating is an essential aspect of Vietnamese culture, and meals are often enjoyed as a social event with family and friends. Vietnamese people have a unique way of eating their meals that is steeped in tradition and deeply ingrained in their daily lives.

Family-style dining

Vietnamese people typically eat their meals family-style, with dishes placed in the center of the table for everyone to share. This communal style of dining fosters a sense of togetherness and encourages conversation. Family members take turns serving themselves and passing dishes to each other. It is customary for the eldest family member to start serving and for guests to be offered the first helping. Vietnamese families place a high value on hospitality and make sure their guests are well-fed and comfortable.

Use of chopsticks

Chopsticks are the primary utensil used for eating in Vietnam. Vietnamese chopsticks are slightly shorter and thicker than Chinese chopsticks and are made of bamboo or plastic. They are typically held in the right hand, with the left hand used to hold a small bowl of rice. Vietnamese people use chopsticks to pick up small pieces of food, such as meat, vegetables, or noodles. They also use them to mix ingredients and to scoop food into their mouth. It is considered impolite to point chopsticks at someone or to spear food with them.

Rice as a staple

Rice is the staple food of Vietnam and is served with almost every meal. Vietnamese people prefer white rice, which is often steamed and served in small bowls. Rice is eaten with a variety of dishes, such as stir-fries, stews, soups, and curries. It is also used to make rice paper, which is a popular ingredient in many Vietnamese dishes. Rice is an essential part of Vietnamese cuisine and is used to signify wealth, prosperity, and happiness.

Soup as a side dish

Vietnamese people typically serve soup as a side dish to their meals. The most common soup is pho, a beef noodle soup that is a popular breakfast food in Vietnam. Other soups include canh chua, a sour soup made with fish or shrimp, and bun bo hue, a spicy beef noodle soup. Soup is believed to aid digestion and is served to balance out the flavors of other dishes. Vietnamese people also enjoy drinking a hot cup of tea or cold glass of water with their meals.

Drinking habits during meals

Vietnamese people do not typically drink alcohol during meals, but instead, drink tea, water, or soft drinks. It is considered impolite to drink before everyone at the table has been served or if a toast has not been made. Vietnamese people also tend to drink hot tea before and after their meals to aid with digestion. Drinking hot water is also believed to have health benefits, and some people prefer to drink it instead of cold water.

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Written by John Myers

Professional Chef with 25 years of industry experience at the highest levels. Restaurant owner. Beverage Director with experience creating world-class nationally recognized cocktail programs. Food writer with a distinctive Chef-driven voice and point of view.

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