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Into the Vietnamese Kitchen: Treasured Foodways, Modern Flavors

4.16  ·  Rating Details  ·  330 Ratings  ·  23 Reviews
When author Andrea Nguyen's family was airlifted out of Saigon in 1975, one of the few belongings that her mother hurriedly packed for the journey was her small orange notebook of recipes. Thirty years later, Nguyen has written her own intimate collection of recipes, INTO THE VIETNAMESE KITCHEN, an ambitious debut cookbook that chronicles the food traditions of her native ...more
Hardcover, 352 pages
Published October 1st 2006 by Ten Speed Press (first published September 5th 2006)
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Aug 16, 2011 Book rated it really liked it
Shelves: cookbooks
If you have any interest in Vietnamese cooking and live in a western country, this is the book to get. One of the difficulties with Vietnamese cooking is that a lot of the ingredients are only purchasable in Asian markets, and even then, there are differences in the quality of the ingredients. This book goes over names, both in English and Vietnamese, herbs and substitutions that might be more readily available, and the qualities and brands of ingredients to get (e.g. there is an entire section ...more
Apr 29, 2012 Darren rated it it was amazing
It must be an insult to many Asian people that, to the uninitiated, a lot of Asian food looks the same. Of course such a wide generalisation does not mean to offend, but the casual observer can fail to see the often subtle difference in ingredients and methods of cooking when looking at rice or stir-fry type dishes. It does not help that many Asians, who have relocated overseas, often open a food business and sell food that is not from their native homeland, such as a Thai person cooking Chinese ...more
Mar 18, 2013 Sarah rated it really liked it
Shelves: earthing, vietnam
I've been trying to do a better job of planning ahead and cooking Real Food, not endless stew, chile, or pasta meals. I've also been cooking with meat a little bit more but it's always so heavy with lots of butter and cream and a very high meat to everything else ratio. So I thought maybe I'd try some Asian dishes that incorporate more greens and less dairy. So this is one of the cookbooks I got from the Library this weekend and so far it's been delightful.

I made the Cháo Gà from this cookbook t
Oct 13, 2010 Sophia rated it really liked it
Shelves: cookbooks
This is another great ethnic cookbook and has provided a good foundation for me to cook some of my favorite dishes that I had when growing up. I tweaked many of the recipes, but that's just because my mom, like many other moms out there, cooked these dishes a bit differently. My mom never measured anything and didn't teach me how to cook these dishes. To have just some idea of how to make a Vietnamese dish is spectacular.
Dec 01, 2010 Max rated it it was amazing
This was the first book that I found to be authentic to my own experiences with Vietnamese food, via an ex's mother and a trip to Vietnam right after college. When I tasted Andrea's bahn beo recipe after making it for the first time, it took me straight back to the stall in Saigon where I first encountered the food for breakfast, and I knew I had found a both a book and a writer I could rely on. Highly recommended.
Nicole (Reading Books With Coffee)
I really liked this cookbook. Granted, I only made a few things from it, but what I did make, I liked.

There were a bunch of recipes I wanted to make, but didn't have the chance to, so I'm planning on checking it out another time. I'm not sure about the authenticity of the recipes, but honestly, I wouldn't know the difference.

Some of the recipes looked really complicated, but after making them, they really weren't that complicated. There's a lot of steps involved with some of the recipes, so they
Feb 22, 2011 Sps rated it it was ok
Shelves: cookbooks, 600s
Ah, that word 'foodways' in the title. Now I can't see it without thinking of a Dwight Garner NYT review of a different cookbook: "It’s a vaguely sanctimonious term that’s caught on among food historians, especially Southern ones, in recent years. I await the books on sexways and toiletways."

-Lemongrass curry didn't taste much of lemongrass, just of curry powder.
-The spring rolls were nice; I substituted sauteed oyster mushrooms for the shrimps.
Not fascinated enough to make more recipes.
Jan 08, 2009 Tam rated it liked it
Breaks down steps in a logical fashion. But her recipes lack oomph(and her suggested substitutions are laughable).

Something about her authoritative tone rankles me. I s'pose it'd be easier to swallow if it was a more reliable book to cook from.

1-star for irritation caused by her 'tude
2-star on the spectrum of tasty
4-star for clear instructions, pretty pictures

Note: Southern-style Vietnamese cooking.
Feb 23, 2007 erik rated it liked it
I really like this book even though recipes have been massively simplified from their vietnamese orgins. Maybe i'm biased because there are so many of the caramel-based kho dishes that I love, but maybe it's because most of the recipes are so long as you have a couple viet standards in your pantry, you can prepare a tasty--if not wholly authentic--meal without planning a trip to chinatown.
Julie Davis
Nov 28, 2011 Julie Davis rated it really liked it
Heard about this book on Spilled Milk podcast and requested it from the library. Just begun .... more later.

Quite an easy read in which the author does a lovely job of introducing her beloved Vietnamese favorites to a Western audience, both in describing flavor / context and in placing them in her memories of growing up. I am holding onto this for a while to try out a few recipes.
Aug 31, 2008 Dh rated it it was amazing
I love everything about this book. Andrea Nguyen is my hero. Every recipe works and most are outstanding, involving flavors and textures that are new to me. The stories that go along with the recipes are also wonderful. I like that the recipes have been adapted for an american kitchens but are not dumbed down. My favorite cookbook to date. I use it weekly.
Mar 14, 2009 Megan rated it it was amazing
Everything I have made out of this cookbook has been utterly fantastic. Nothing fancy--just exactly balanced seasonings. Includes a recipe for the best potato salad I have ever had. I have craved it every day since I made it. Also a great chicken cabbage salad, pho, etc. I checked this out from the library but am going to buy a copy to keep at home.
Jan 05, 2013 Jenn rated it really liked it
Shelves: cooking
Each chapter of this book starts with an essay about Vietnamese cooking, often sharing personal experiences of the author. I found these sections of the book extremely interesting even though I'm not sure reading the book actually boosted my confidence in making my favorite Vietnamese food!
Mar 06, 2012 Deborah rated it liked it
Shelves: cookbooks
solid introduction to the cuisine, including tools and ingredients. The authors instructions for making pho are easily understood by cooks with limited experience with Vietnamese cooking. I enjoyed the cultural insights she provides as well.
Aug 10, 2012 Kat rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: cookbooks
Great recipes, easy to follow, with interesting and useful explanations! Favorite recipes include the Garlicky Oven-Roasted Chicken and the Rice Noodles with Chinese Chives, Shrimp, and Pork.
Jan 20, 2013 Leann rated it it was amazing
I do not usually read cookbooks from cover-to-cover, but this one reads with a bit of story included. This makes for an introspetive, creative read. Lovely...
Tom Hammer
Jan 21, 2013 Tom Hammer rated it liked it
A good, solid introduction to Vietnamese food and cooking...simple for the beginning, not so simple as to be beneath the more experienced cook.
Apr 04, 2013 Beebee rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anyone who loves Vietnamese or Asian cooking.
Recommended to Beebee by: Powell's books
Shelves: use-all-the-time
Great introduction to Vietnamese cooking and Andrea Nguyen's work. It was referred to me when I ordered her other work "Asian Dumplings"

Derek Barnes
Oct 02, 2012 Derek Barnes rated it it was amazing
Just wonderful. Andrea Nguyen is a treasure trove of culinary knowledge. I read this cookbook like a mystery novel.
Aug 20, 2008 Valerie rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Debbie, Rick
Recommended to Valerie by: bookshop santa cruz
Shelves: cookbooks
I recommend the gingery mustard greens and tilapia soup. My oldest son says it is the perfect soup.
Aug 25, 2010 Mary rated it it was amazing
Recommended to Mary by: Triciaflower
Shelves: austin, cookbook
Perfectly written, easy to follow, and valuable hints on which brands to buy.
Jan 22, 2009 Amanda rated it really liked it
I am so excited about getting this book from the library!
Oct 17, 2007 Albert rated it really liked it
All the Vietnamese secrets revealed.
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Andrea Nguyen is a cookbook author, food writer, and cooking teacher based in the San Francisco Bay Area. Born in Vietnam, she came to the United States at the age of six. Andrea's work appears in the Los Angeles Times, San Jose Mercury News and Saveur magazine, where she is a contributing editor. Her first cookbook, "Into the Vietnamese Kitchen" was nominated for three 2007 James Beard and IACP c ...more
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