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Vietnamese Food with Helen's Recipes Paperback – August 1, 2014
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Top Customer Reviews
To those who don't know about Helen, she has a website, (danangcuisine.com) and a youtube channel. The videos are very professionally made. If you enjoy Vietnamese food, and want to try making it at home, her videos are a must see. I very much enjoy Vietnamese food, and think it is healthy as well. Flavorful herbs and fresh fruits and veggies are a big part of the diet.
About the book, here are the things that were good about the book:
The cookbook was very well organized. Sections were appetizers, noodles, main dishes broken down into pork, chicken, seafood, etc... and then breads, then sweet breads. (As in dessert.) The recipe names are in English first, then the Vietnamese name of the dish underneath. There is always a brief description or comment by the author before the recipe begins. In the margin there is always a list of useful info:
Prep time---- ( the time to peel chop etc...)
Cook time---( the time on the stove or in the oven)
Amount of time the recipe should be ready.
What course this recipe is--- ( appetizer, noodle, main, etc...)
What region of Vietnam this recipe is from.
There are numerous photos of EVERY recipe. Not just the finished product, but step by step photos as you progress through the recipe. If that isn't enough help, every recipe also has an easy access bar code ( the square kind that a smart phone reads) and that will take you directly to a video demonstration on the net. If you downloaded the ebook, you get a link that takes you directly to the video. At the end of many recipes there is a frequently asked questions page. This is good to read before making the recipe, since it may help you avoid any pitfalls, or you are wondering why a certain step is necessary.
All of the recipes are in a table of contents in the front of the book. There is no index.
Now the negative, and this is only my opinion. Many people may not see this as a problem:
There are a some special ingredients needed for some of these recipes. But if you are wanting to make real ethnic food of any kind, this is no
surprise. If you live in a big city, you should be able to find it locally. If you live in the country, you can order online, or sub another similar
ingredient. The recipes Helen chose to put in this book are probably her most requested recipes. I was disappointed that she didn't include the recipe for Vietnamese beef jerky, (delicious and useful in other recipes). I was a little disappointed that there weren't any of the delicious salads in this book. Her website has some wonderful salads. ---These are minor faults, in my opinion.
So, if you are going to buy only one Vietnamese cookbook, this one has great recipes, quick links to videos demos, and is well organized and nicely photographed. (don't know if the binding will hold up. Cookbooks usually take a beating. To my pleasant surprise, this book was printed in Louisville, KY U.S.A. !!!) I am so glad that I now have dozens of these recipes all in one book, easy to access.
Helen, even though we have never met, if you are ever in Nashville, let me know, because I would love to cook with you!!!
Thanks for all your efforts, and sharing your delicious recipes. ; )
We ate rice at least four times a week with a vietnamese dish and nuoc mam (fish sauce) where I grew up in Paris.
This book is such a treasure.
It offers accompaniments to an aperitif or an entrée or a dessert. Something for everybody.
First, I bought Helen's recipes for me.
I then bought 2 more for my daughters.
A taste from their grandmother's land and for me memories of long gone days of sweet vietnamese songs, the fragrance of water lilies and necklaces of flowering tea.
I love Helen's recipes because they are simply written: usually just a page with up to ten steps, and they always turn out well. They remind me of home cooked meals.
I hope she makes a second book!
Her recipes are as authentic Vietnamese as you can get. Even my mom is using some of her recipes.