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Into the Vietnamese Kitchen: Treasured Foodways, Modern Flavors Hardcover – October 1, 2006

4.5 out of 5 stars 127 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Vietnam-born Nguyen writes passionately and knowledgeably about the history and fundamentals of Vietnamese cuisine and offers more than 175 tempting and largely nonintimidating recipes, with the Vietnamese translation of the name beneath the English name and headnotes that provide excellent context and helpful tips. Chapters begin with alluring introductory text—the first set of recipes, for example, are the "Gifts to the Mouth," which the author explains is a translation of the Vietnamese phrase for snacking. The chapter includes such dishes as Beef and Jicama Hand Rolls, the Baguette Sandwich—the "one sandwich in the Vietnamese repertoire... a tour de force"—and Fried Shrimp Chips. Other chapters are Sacred Soups (Chicken Dumpling and Chrysanthemum Leaf Soup is one beautiful entry), Classic Meats (like Beef Flank and Ginger Simmered in Caramel Sauce), Vegetables Many Ways, and Delightful Sweets and Palate Refreshers, which features Grilled Bananas with Coconut Sticky Rice and Lemongrass Ice Cream. Chapters on noodles, poultry, fish and shellfish, and basic sauces, as well as guides to Vietnamese ingredients, round out this culturally rich culinary tour. (Nov.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.


IACP Finalist

James Beard Award nominee

“Andrea Nguyen may be to Vietnamese food what Julia Child was to French fare and Barbara Tropp to Chinese cuisine.”
Chicago Tribune

“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.”
Philadelphia Inquirer

“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.”
Houston Chronicle

“An impressive, carefully researched, and thoroughly readable guide to Vietnamese food and culinary tradition.”
Library Journal

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Ten Speed Press; First Edition edition (October 1, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1580086659
  • ISBN-13: 978-1580086653
  • Product Dimensions: 9.4 x 1.1 x 9.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (127 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #73,192 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
Being a Vietnam-born Vietnamese American, I know and love Vietnamese food. When my family moved to America, it became a struggle to find ingredients and recreate the traditional Vietnamese dishes. Because I learned how to cook in America, I am more used to the American equipment, measurement, ingredients, etc. This is why I have always tried to look for Vietnamese recipes and cookbooks that are written in a way that a Vietnamese American cook like me can understand. This book does just that. Everything is written in clear English, American cookbook style. It gives wonderful instructions on how to prepare dishes, identify and buy ingredients, use equipments, etc. - all tailored to the modern American kitchen. The level of details is simply amazing. However, the taste of the dishes remains authentic Vietnamese. Take a look at any recipe, such as the popular Pho, and you will realize that Andrea Nguyen does not compromise Vietnamese flavors. But she also knows how to guide you, step by step, to achieve that flavor with things you can find in America.

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!
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Format: Hardcover
I own several Vietnamese cookbooks but I must say that this is the most comprehensive and detailed Vietnamese cookbook to date. Ms. Andrea Nguyen ventures into unchartered Vietnamese culinary territory by covering recipes from charcuterie to specialty noodles, and even desserts and pastries (which a lot of Vietnamse cookbooks lack). What is particularly noteworthy is that each recipe is exceptionally detailed and thorough; you can read and imagine yourself performing each particular step with Ms. Nguyen. Another factor that I think sets this book apart from the rest is that this is more conventional and up-to-date, making it feasible for the average American housecook to execute the recipes. What I particularly appreciate are the follow-up notes that Ms. Nguyen adds to the end of most of the recipes which give hints and additional information. But aside from the literal aspect, the major question is: are the recipes delicious? I have to say that, of course, each taste palette is different and seasoning is to one's own but all the recipes that I have tried came out scrumptious and mouth-watering! A must have for anyone who wants to learn Vietnamese cuisine.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book is great for beginners because it's very detailed and comprehensive. It has informative background information about Vietnamese culinary culture. Other Vietnamese cookbooks (i.e. Andre Nguyen's "Quick & Easy Vietnamese Home Cooking For Everyone, Diana My Tran's "The Vietnamese Cookbook") are also good for beginners because the recipes have been simplified, but they do not have detailed explanations of the ingredients and they do not include a wealth of information about the Vietnamese cuisine. On the other hand, this book is different because it guides the beginners through everything from selecting the best rice brands to selecting the best fish sauce brands. If you want a good understanding of the Vietnamese cuisine, then this book is a must. Then, you can add other Vietnamese cookbooks to your collection later. The author has a wealth of knowledge about Vietnamese cooking, and she sprinkles her pearls of wisdom throughout this book. If you're serious about cooking Vietnamese food, then you have to buy this book and Mai Pham's "Pleasures of the Vietnamese Table". The reasons I like this book are:

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.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I bought this book a few weeks ago and just cannot put it down. I think I will be cooking my way through it this summer. Vietnamese food is so perfect with hot sticky weather. The flavors are light and bright and savoury.

This is an excellent book for novice cooks as well as experienced cooks. If you have never tried making Vietnamese food at home it is the first Vietnamese cookbook you should own. It is clear and concise. I love that it has a glossary with how to pronounce the ingredient correctly, that makes shopping a whole lot easier. I was really pleased to find a chapter on Charcuterie. In a Vietnamese/Asian grocery you will see these foil wrapped frozen rolls and know that they are used in Pho or Bahm Mi but they are hard to interpret. Now I can make my own.

Some highlights so far have been the incredible corn and coconut fritters, I made a quadruple batch for a party 2 weeks ago and guests were gobbling them up as quickly as I could get them out of the skillet. The shrimp toasts are lighter and crisper than restaurant versions, I made the cucumber and shrimp salad on Thursday evening. The veggies in it are still crisp and when I had more for lunch today the flavors were even better. The Cha Gio I made for the same party disappeared quickly, you just cannot have too many of those things and make a bunch and freeze some to have on hand later. I love stuffed squid and her tip about piercing the tail end with a skewer as a steam vent took all of the frustration of trying to keep the filling in the squid body. Next on my list is her deviled crab. I've not had the book long and pages are already getting spatters. If you are a fan of Asian cooking your cookbook collection is sadly lacking if you don't have this book.
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