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Apr 24, 2011 09:47 AM

How do you eat Vietnamese soup noodle dishes? (Moved from the Boston board)

those are great leads for actual dishes; thnk you. But HOW , mechanically, to eat them?(especuially that pork CUTLET you have me wanting to try!?) I somehow can't get the spoon and the chopstix in my two fingers at the same time.By the time i'm done, pig pen has an older sister. What's your technique, everybody?

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  1. Oh! I wasn't quite understanding your question.

    There is no graceful way to eat the pig trotter in the bun bo hue, but I use my chopsticks in my right hand, and my soup spoon in my left. When you pick up the piece of meat with your chopsticks, you can use your soup spoon to support the meat, while using your chopsticks to move it around. And when in doubt, just use your fingers. I'd like to think that as long as I have a utensil in one of my hands, using my fingers is a little more graceful, but maybe I am just telling myself that.

    1 Reply
    1. re: shirshir

      that's quite helpful. An old personal story of how my family learned to use chopsticks.... We were living in Rome in 1967 and my brother's good schoolfriend was the son of a Chinese actor who played Mexican heavies in Italian westerns. Well, my brother came back from a weekend sleep-over and taught us all how to use chopsticks. And when we asked him, "yes, but how do they eat RICE with those chopsticks?" he put the chopsticks together, pulled a soupbowl up to his mouth, rested it on his chin, tilted and shovelled. :-) True story.

    2. If you are right handed, soup spoon in left hand and chopsticks in right. In soups, crab meat inside the shell (like a small whole crab cut in half) can be consumed with chopsticks, meat stuck on an oxtail can be picked off with chopsticks, all with no problem, just by digging and picking patiently. If the meat piece is smaller but still too large for a bite (like pieces of bone in duck) feel free to lift it to your mouth and bite the flesh off of the bone multiple times, gnawing away. Use the spoon in your left hand to help prop things up. (You should also be using the spoon to consume broth or make bites combining noodles, broth, and protein even if the meat is bite sized.) But don't feel like you have to use special skills to get at what you want. You can ask for a side plate and put the challenging item there is necessary, and eat it in a way that is more comfortable for you. The end justifies the means in this case.