After reading Grandfather’s Dream, I immediately called my brother to get him and his Vietnamese wife to come over and cook with me. His response? “We don’t cook Vietnamese food.” Whaaat?! I scolded them of course, and then started scouring the menu of my favorite local Vietnamese restaurant. While starting to crave a big bowl of pho, shaken beef with rice, and Vietnamese iced coffee, my phone rang. It was my brother with an invitation to come cook with his Vietnamese mother in law in her home! Two days later I was in the kitchen with mẹ (mother in Vietnamese) learning to cook a traditional Vietnamese dinner.
Everything was served family style, and my Vietnamese instructor said this is how she serves dinner to her family daily. Aways family style, and even when friends or guests are over they just have to be on board with that. Love it!
Definitely add this dinner to your Grandfather’s Dream menu, and don’t forget the “precious”! That’s the small bowl of leftover crispy rice. I poured some extra sauce from the fish onto the precious and it was amazing.
Traditional Vietnamese Dinner
Leftover “precious” rice
P.S. The oranges and dragon fruit you see pictured were gifts from my hosts! Over the course of the 3ish hours I was in my brother’s mother-in-law’s home cooking and eating, their doorbell rang twice with neighbors coming over to drop of food gifts. How cool is that?! I got to go home with the ripest, juiciest oranges and dragon fruit ever. Plus, I’ve been invited to come over the next time she gets a fresh durian so we can crack it open together for me to try. It is her favorite delicacy. (I’m a little nervous about it, though.)