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Quick & Easy Vietnamese: 75 Everyday Recipes Paperback – November 10, 2005


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 168 pages
  • Publisher: Chronicle Books (November 10, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 081184434X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0811844345
  • Product Dimensions: 8.7 x 0.7 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (22 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #635,420 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

This snappy workhorse of a cookbook reveals the blend of tropical ingredients, delicate seasonings and French colonial influences that distinguish Vietnamese cooking and offers recipes easy enough to integrate into one's standard recipe roster. McDermott (Quick & Easy Thai) begins with a primer on elements of Vietnamese cuisine: "Contrasts prevail," "soup is a mainstay" and "[m]eat often stands alone, minimally seasoned." She then reviews the cuisine's central herbs (Asian basil, cilantro), starches (rice noodles, rice paper wrappers) and other foundations (chili-garlic sauce, coconut milk). Throughout, McDermott delivers the history and food information with a sureness indicative of the years she has spent in southeast Asia. Among the book's many notable dishes are Shaking Beef with Purple Onions and Watercress; Chicken Simmered in Caramel Sauce; Cha Ca Fish with Fresh Dill, Hanoi Style; and, for dessert, Sweet Coconut Ribbons, and Crème Caramel, which, McDermott explains, was adopted by the Vietnamese, who had long enjoyed their own version of steamed custard before the French arrived. Stunning color photographs by Caren Alpert illustrate the distinctiveness of Vietnamese cuisine. (Jan.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Review

"This snappy workhorse of a cookbook reveals the blend of tropical ingredients, delicate seasonings and French colonial influences that distinguish Vietnamese cooking and offers recipes easy enough to integrate into one's standard recipe roster. McDermott (Quick & Easy Thai ) begins with a primer on elements of Vietnamese cuisine: "Contrasts prevail," "soup is a mainstay" and "[m]eat often stands alone, minimally seasoned." She then revieweds the cuisine's central herbs (Asian basil, cilantro), starches (rice noodles, rice paper wrappers) and other foundations (chili-garlic sauce, coconut milk). Throughout, McDermott delivers the history and food information with a sureness indicative of the years she has spent in southeast Asia. Among the book's many notable dishes are Shaking Beef with Purple Onions and Watercress; Chicken Simmered in Caramel Sauce; Cha Ca Fish with Fresh Dill, Hanoi Style; and, for dessert, Sweet Coconut Ribbons, and Crme Caramel, which, McDermott explains, was adopted by the Vietnamese, who had long enjoyed their own version of steamed custard before the French arrived. Stunning color photographs by Caren Alpert illustrate the distinctiveness of Vietnamese cuisine. " -Publisher's Weekly

More About the Author

Nancie McDermott is a North Carolina native, born in Burlington, raised in High Point, and educated at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Her three years as a Peace Corps volunteer in Thailand gave her a lifelong love for the cuisines, history and cultures of Asia, and she has spent the last twenty years cooking, reading, traveling, writing, and teaching about Asian food. Her ten cookbooks focus on Asian kitchens, but since moving back home to North Carolina in 1999, she has taken time to look at the foods of the American South, the place she fell in love with cooking in her grandmother's dairy farm kitchen. Now living with her family in Chapel Hill, NC, she writes, researches, and teaches about both her beats, while serving as a contributing editor for Edible Piedmont magazine. Visit her blog at: nanciemcdermott.wordpress.com, to keep track of it pie by pie.

Customer Reviews

The recipes are delicious and easy to follow.
A. Barnett
The Good: I use this cookbook all the time, and every dish I've made from it has turned out great.
D. K. Stokes
This is a great fundamental vietnamese food cookbook.
F. Frost

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

19 of 19 people found the following review helpful By 31u3b1rd on March 11, 2006
Format: Paperback
I love Vietnamese cuisine, and this book allows me to easily incorporate it into my everyday diet. The ingredients are easy to find in chain grocery stores and I can use ingredients I buy in multiple recipes, making the book economical. I recommend preparing your own chicken stock (have it on hand in freezer). It improves the taste of the recipes. I grow my own Vietnamese herbs in the summer, and the book will give me lots of opportunity to use them on the fly. I have also lost a little weight cooking from this book because the dishes are flavorful (be sure to use the Everyday Dipping Sauce) and healthy, and replaced microwaved and canned meals. Many books may be more in-depth, and not every dish is absolutely fantastic, but if you need something for the busy weekdays, this is a good choice.
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19 of 19 people found the following review helpful By Kathy Khuu on March 8, 2007
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Though I grew up in the states, my family is of Vietnamese descent and I travelled (and ate) my way through Vietnam, especially Hanoi. This book was my first attempt at making Vietnamese food at home and boy am I impressed at how AUTHENTIC it is to what I ate in Vietnam and in local Vietnamese restaurants. I'll think twice about eating out now that I know how easy it is to make at home.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By V. Attaway on December 13, 2006
Format: Paperback
Let me first say that the bar was set very high: McDermott's Quick and Easy Thai is a masterpiece.

These recipes are also delicious, and the ones I've tried have been easy. However, they're not nearly as quick and easy as the ones in the Thai book.

What makes them not so quick? In a word, ingredients. Most recipe has lots of them, so there's a lot of measuring/chopping going on before you cook.

Also, if you're a European American like me, you don't have these ingredients lying around, so a trip to an Asian market is a necessity, at least to stock up in the beginning.

But don't let this deter you! Make fish sauce and lemon grass part of your standard staples, and McDermott does have an excellent section on ingredients, how to find them, and which are most important.

The recipes also have notes on what to do if you can't find something: suggestions for substitutions or just leaving things out (though again, not as many as the Thai book.) These recipes are delicious and have complex flavors, so even if you leave something out it'll still be good.

So to sum up, this is a great cookbook, but if you want to enter the world of SE Asian cooking, go with McDermott's Quick and Easy Thai first.
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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on December 15, 2005
Format: Paperback
This book delivers exactly what it promises. It is not an in-depth, exhaustive look at the cuisine but a great, accessible introduction. Some years ago this type of cooking may have been more inaccessible but now the "exotic" ingredients here like lemon grass or fish sauce you should be able to find at any decent grocery store, or get on the internet. And as simple as some of the recipes are, they are fantastic, and most cook quickly so are good for entertaining. Asparagus and crab meat soup, yum yum. And the salmon steaks with caramel sauce are delicious!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Deborah on May 6, 2008
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
While the initial cost of buying ingridents for these recpies can be

expensive, once you invest you are in for a treat! The direction of the

recipes are easy to follow , authentic and tasty too! We went to Vietnam

recently and now cooking from this book brings back culinary delightful

memories. The recipes can be time consuming but if you love to cook that

won't matter, have a glass of wine! The PHO is my husbands favorite,

Lemongrass Beef ummmmm good! Don't Miss
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By F. Frost on August 10, 2008
Format: Paperback
This is a great fundamental vietnamese food cookbook. I received this as a present because I love to eat Vietnamese food but never took the time to learn how to cook it from my mom.
Now that I no longer live in an area with a big vietnamese community, I'm finding it more and more necessary to cook the food myself so that I get my fix.
What I love about this cookbook:
nancie mcdermott keeps things very simple
the flavors are right on
simple cooking techniques
short ingredient lists
pictures! (you need to know what it's supposed to look like, right?)

Basically, I have three beefs with cookbooks: 1) extremely long or hard to find ingredient lists, which is overwhelming, 2) the outcome that, in spite of buying all the ingredients and putting in the effort, the food still tastes bad, and 3) food that uses a lot of obscure techniques or a lot of pots and pans.

Nancie Mcdermott rocks for realizing all of this and honestly, yes, the recipes are pretty good! You can tell she has eaten a lot of vietnamese food, and a lot of the recipes are one pot meals, healthy, and also list ways to use leftovers, so that you don't buy something for one dish and then have no idea what to do with it afterwards (another pet peeve of mine). You can tell she has run many a kitchen and is creative with leftovers.

oh yeah, another reason this cookbook is great - she really tries to help you figure out the vietnamese name of what you're cooking, and the index has a list of dishes by the letter it starts with in vietnamese as well as t in english. just in case you want to test your cooking against a restaurant's (trust me, your stir-fry, with nancie's help, is probably fresher)

Until I get to eat my mom's vietnamese, I am sticking with nancie mcdermott.
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