Customer Reviews: The Classic Cuisine of Vietnam (Plume)
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on August 19, 2003
This book has the most authentic Vietnamese recipes, even pickled pig's ears! Whoa! I couldn't believe it when I saw it because I've eaten it before. I'm Vietnamese, after all. This book is a treasure because it authentically writes down many Vietnamese recipes for future Vietnamese generations to enjoy. With so many changes in the world, I'm afraid that future Vietnamese generations will not know how authentic Vietnamese foods are prepared. I had to buy a used copy from because this book is out of print. I hope this book will be re-printed one day. The author, Bach Ngo, does not try to show how creative and inventive she is, rather she simply writes down valuable authentic recipes. If you are Vietnamese and you want an authentic Vietnamese cookbook, this is the one you should buy. It's an heirloom, for sure. Personally, I do not buy Vietnamese cookbooks that do not have authentic Vietnamese recipes.
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on June 29, 2012
This is hands-down the best Vietnamese cuisine book I have found (I am aware of the existence of Mai Pham's Pleasures of the Vietnamese Cuisine, but just don't connect with it--Pham's cuisine is very earthy and quite unlike my own family's cooking). It does skimp a bit on the herbs and the dipping sauces (which is the only reason I keep the Pham book on my bookshelves), but it makes up for it with a variety of Vietnamese classics like nem nuong, cha gio (even cha lua!), and appetisers that I remember from my childhood.
It's a book for the Western kitchen, which has both advantages and flaws: the recipes are simple and tasty, but of course there is minimal reliance on ingredients you'd have trouble finding (very few tropical fruit, not the full range of sauces or herbs, adaptation to local variety of fishes...). It's not quite what you'd have in Vietnam, but then again my Vietnamese cookbook from Vietnam generally requires 10 ingredients out of which I have maybe 2 in my pantry...
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on April 30, 2001
When I left home for college, what I missed most was my mother's Vietnamese cuisine. This book was a lifesaver! The recipes are all familiar, from the fancier noodle soups, Pho and Bun Bo Hue, to the basics, such as omlettes and picked mustard greens. Each of the dishes come with an introduction accompanying their Vietnamese name. The region of the dish is sometimes discussed as well as when the dish is enjoyed and with what. The recipes are very easy to follow. I recommend this book for anyone who wants an AUTHENTIC Vietnamese cookbook. I am just sorry to see that it's out of print.
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on January 29, 2004
My mother bought this book as a first edition and cooked from it when I was a child so I am somewhat biased towards it. page 110 is favourite.. stir fried beef with french fries was one of my favourite one dish meals as a kid, and brings back lots of memories.
Compared to Nicole Routhiers book which is all flashy, this book is a lot more about home cooking (the food styling in the pictures is non existant.. which is cool and refreshing if a bit dated) it also has recipes for things like vietnamese pâtés, something rarely included nowdays because it is widely available in vietnamese stores ( not true when the book was written in the 70's). Some recipes need a bit of ajusting, but all in all this book is a real asset.. I still have my mum's original copy.. I had it rebound and recovered and I still cook from it.
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on November 8, 2013
it features classic Vietnamese foods. There aren't very many photos or illustrations of the final dish. The typeface seems to be consistent with when the book was published.

Many times I find the recipes are unclear - either amount of ingredient is incorrect, or what to do with a major ingredient in the recipe is missing, or a step altogether is missing, such as when to incorporate the rice flour into the batter before allowing it to proof or steam.

Many of the recipes in this book are also in Andrea Nguyen's cookbook "Into the Vietnamese Kitchen."

If given a choice for only one book on Vietnamese cuisine, I'd opt for Andrea's cookbook. This cookbook is good - it just sometimes feels like certain steps are kept secretive.
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on May 29, 2014
This is my first experience with vietnamese recipes, I recently fell in love with some of the foods I've had the opportunity to try and thought I'd give it a shot on my own. I'm impressed that the recipes appear to be traditional as well as the ingredients. Its not a super fancy, modern book by any means which is just what I wanted - tasty foods just waited for me to whip them up. I found the reviews on this book especially useful prior to purchasing - they helped me determine how genuine the recipes would be.
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on August 8, 2000
I am Vietnamese and have grown up in a home with authentic Vietnamese cooking. Most all of the recipes in this book are great and easy to follow. My only recommendation would be to add pictures. But it is a great book nonetheless. I especially like how it contains the Vietnamese name of each dish so I can better identify it (since I only know what the dishes are called in Vietnamese).
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on February 28, 2015
This is a very authentic and easy to follow cookbook. When I first received it, I read most of the recipes just to get a feel of the dishes, and I'm very impressed at how thorough and very authentic they are. I made Cha Que and Cha lua for New Year's celebrations and they turned out better than the store bought, so from now on, I'll be making my own! Excellent cookbook!
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on January 13, 1999
This book has a wealth of good information on Vietnamese cooking. The recipies are relatively easy to follow. The one thing that I would criticize is that it lacks photographs.
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on November 16, 2000
This book contained some of the tastiest dishes I ever prepared. It has many good recipes with easy to found ingredients (such as chicken and ginger). Preparations are easy and fast (under 30 minutes).
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