I find it hard to convince that parents would allow their child to eat food off the table in a public restaurant, but than again I was raised by a hygienic freak. My mama would whip my ass if I drop a piece of meat on the table and try to pick it up. We weren’t rich but eating dirty food has never been my mama’s style.
The older she gets the cleaner she becomes. These days, her food is losing its savory and authenticity. I love lap xuong (Vietnamese sausages), but not when my mom prepares them. She rinses them thoroughly. Then she pokes holes around them and steams them until all the fats drained off. The final product tastes pretty much like robber. She does the same thing with cha lau. Before we eat, she steams the heck out cha lua and the end result is quite chewy.
Worst of all, she ruins my favorite dish of all: mam ruoc xao xa ot (salted fermented shrimp). She has to filter the shrimp paste to get all the sands out. Well, all the good parts get filtered out as well. I rather go to Eden and buy me a dirty version for full satisfaction.
Except those extreme cases, my mom still bangs out pretty delicious dishes, especially her fantastic version of bun goi da (vermicelli with tamarind broth). I even slurp up all the broth because I know it’s freaking clean.