Into the Vietnamese Kitchen: Treasured Foodways, Modern Flavors
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Into the Vietnamese Kitchen: Treasured Foodways, Modern Flavors

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4.13 of 5 stars 4.13  ·  rating details  ·  194 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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Sarah
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...more
Max
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.
Book
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
Darren
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
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...more
Sps
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.
Tam
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.
Sophia
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.
erik
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 accessible...as 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
Heard about this book on Spilled Milk podcast and requested it from the library. Just begun .... more later.

FINAL
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.
Dh
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.
Megan
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.
Jenn
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!
Deborah Ward
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.
Kat
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.
Leann
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
A good, solid introduction to Vietnamese food and cooking...simple for the beginning, not so simple as to be beneath the more experienced cook.
Beebee
Apr 04, 2013 Beebee rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  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
Just wonderful. Andrea Nguyen is a treasure trove of culinary knowledge. I read this cookbook like a mystery novel.
Valerie
Aug 20, 2008 Valerie rated it 5 of 5 stars
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.
Mary
Aug 25, 2010 Mary rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommended to Mary by: Triciaflower
Shelves: cookbook, austin
Perfectly written, easy to follow, and valuable hints on which brands to buy.
Amanda
I am so excited about getting this book from the library!
Albert
All the Vietnamese secrets revealed.
Mousey Diaz
Mousey Diaz marked it as to-read
Aug 16, 2014
Jon Stanway
Jon Stanway marked it as to-read
Aug 13, 2014
Jessica
Jessica marked it as to-read
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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
More about Andrea Nguyen...
Asian Dumplings: Mastering Gyoza, Spring Rolls, Samosas, and More Asian Tofu: Discover the Best, Make Your Own, and Cook It at Home The Banh Mi Handbook: Recipes for Crazy-Delicious Vietnamese Sandwiches Making Soy Milk and Tofu at Home: The Asian Tofu Guide to Block Tofu, Silken Tofu, Pressed Tofu, Yuba, and More

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