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Into the Vietnamese Kitchen: Treasured Foodways, Modern Flavors Hardcover – October 1, 2006
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From Publishers Weekly
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James Beard Award nominee
“Andrea Nguyen may be to Vietnamese food what Julia Child was to French fare and Barbara Tropp to Chinese cuisine.”
“Best for: Anyone who wants to fall in love—truly, madly, deeply—with Vietnamese food.”
—San Jose Mercury News
“[A] smart, soulful collection of Vietnamese recipes.”
“A comprehensive take on a delicate yet dynamic cuisine.”
“No other author has presented such a detailed account of the culinary abilities of Vietnamese home cooks, and subjects like the role of pickled vegetables and the techniques of charcuterie have never been so clearly explained for a wide audience.”
—New York Times
"Only now is Vietnamese food culture getting the attention it deserves, and a book of this beauty and seriousness will do much to explain the origins, traditions, and refinement of the country's cuisine.”
—John Mariani's Virtual Gourmet
“Nguyen makes Vietnamese cuisine accessible with this extensive cookbook, which stretches from soup to charcuterie.”
“An impressive, carefully researched, and thoroughly readable guide to Vietnamese food and culinary tradition.”
Top Customer Reviews
I also find the stories and introductions interesting, and true to Vietnamese traditions. They are similar to the stories I have heard in Vietnam. I have an American husband, and we love to read these stories together, so that he can understand more about Vietnamese society. He also loves the dishes that I have prepared from the cookbook.
This is by far the most comprehensive, well-written, througough, authentic Vietnamese cookbook I have ever seen. If you want to know more about Vietnamese cuisine, it is a must-have!
1) "Guide To Ingredients" at the back of the book. The names of the ingredients are both in English & Vietnamese so that you can read labels on jars/bottles/packages that have been written in Vietnamese. Detailed descriptions of all the common ingredients used in Vietnamese cooking are included, including how best to use them and which brands are the best. There is a great section about the difference between rice papers that are made from 100% rice flour and rice papers that are made from a combination of rice flour and tapioca flour. This author tells you which type of rice paper is better...very helpful information. Other Vietnamese cookbooks do not give their readers advice on how to select rice paper, which is an important Vietnamese ingredient. This author knows the difference between yellow rock sugar and white rock sugar, and she makes sure her readers do not make the mistake of buying white rock sugar because they're usually sold side by side on store shelves. Other Vietnamese cookbooks do not take pains to differentiate between these two types of rock sugar; this is important information to have. This author offers so many useful advices such as these. This book has the most detailed and helpful "Guide To Ingredients" of all the Vietnamese cookbooks out there, and I should know because I own several Vietnamese cookbooks.
2) "Note" sections at the end of recipes that give more instructions on how to store food or how to turn the recipe(s) into vegetarian dishes. It also gives advice about how to select, use, and prepare certain ingredients such as chestnuts.
3) This book is beautifully presented in color and is very organized. It's easy to follow and understand. Too bad not every recipe is accompanied by a photograph to encourage readers to try making the recipe, but this is a minor issue, I suppose. I think only 50% of the recipes are accompanied by a photo.
4) Good pork steamed buns recipe ("banh bao").
5) The charcuterie chapter so you can make your favorite Vietnamese cold cuts at home and modify the amount of fat you want in your cold cuts.
If I were you, I would buy this book before buying other Vietnamese cookbooks later on. After buying this book, I would buy Mai Pham's "Pleasures of the Vietnamese Table", which has fantastic and authentic recipes. Even though I'm recommending that you buy this book before buying Mai Pham's "Pleasures of the Vietnamese Table", Mai Pham's "Pleasures of the Vietnamese Table" is still my favorite Vietnamese cookbook on the market today. The recipes in Mai Pham's "Pleasures of the Vietnamese Table" are more authentic because they are based on those of street vendors and home cooks in Vietnam. This book is geared toward the American kitchens and adjustments to the recipes are made accordingly (i.e. ingredient substitutions for convenience). The only reason I'm recommending that you buy this book before buying Mai Pham's "Pleasures of the Vietnamese Table" is that this book has a great "Guide To Ingredients", which all beginners really need. One negative thing about this book is that its binding is not at all durable, and readers will have to baby this book if they want the pages to remain intact.