*There’s a video tutorial at the end of this post.
Many, if not all, Vietnamese women I know who know how to cook learned from their mothers or grandmothers or both. I didn’t.
Working 12+ hours a day, often seven days a week, my mother has never had time to cook, except for traditional Tet holiday once every year. My father has always been the chef in our family. He’s not a good one though, I have to admit. Now I understand how difficult it could be to learn cooking without cookbooks, Internet, or somebody to guide you, but I was small and so I used to blame him for not feeding us very well. I used to long for the rare days when my mother had some time off to cook something for me and my little brother.
One time she made braised pork, and it was the only time she cooked that dish. It was 15 years ago but now I can still remember very clearly how that caramelized meat melted in my mouth like butter. It was one of the best things I’d ever eaten.