Recently, YouTube channel HiHo Kids released a video showing kids trying Vietnamese food for the first time.
They tried a variety of dishes, including pho, bánh xèo, cá kho tộ, and soda sữa hột gà.
Overall, the video was adorable and each child reacted differently to the dishes that were presented to them.
Unfortunately, it seems that a number of dishes were not entirely authentic. Commenters self-identifying as Vietnamese started weighing in.
Apparently, most of the dishes were not entirely authentic and presented the wrong way. One user wrote:
“I’m so glad you guys added Vietnamese food to the ‘kids’ try’ list. However, I wish you guys could have been more accurate with the food. The pho could have came with some meat since the flavors and textures is what makes the dish special. The banh xeo is suppose to be accompanied by nuoc mam pha , a fish sauce, sugar, lime, and garlic concoction. The fish sauce alone is way too overpowering and destroys the flavor of the dish. Without the sauce banh xeo is not banh xeo. Lastly, the ca kho to must always be paired with rice. That is not a dish you eat alone. Without the rice, the complete balance of the dishes sweet and salty cannot be achieved. In Vietnamese cuisine, the balance of flavors is what makes our cuisine great. With the lack of balance, you lose the true authenticity of the food.”
“What kind of half ass Vietnamese food are they feeding these kids? It was definitely NOT Vietnamese food and it was such an insult to see it! Great way to make sure they hate our food. Bravo crappy channel! Go do your research before dishing up disgusting looking food. It’s like putting tomato paste and a slice of cheese on bread and calling in Pizza!” another user said.
In one part of the video, the host tries pranking the kids by inferring that the cá kho tộ (catfish) dish was cat meat, which very clearly plays into negative stereotypes Westerners have on people of Asian descent.
Nonetheless, the kids featured in the video were surely adorable and we hope that these experiences won’t deter them from trying ethnic foods ever again.