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Into the Vietnamese Kitchen: Treasured Foodways, Modern Flavors

4.20  ·  Rating details ·  518 ratings  ·  29 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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Mar 18, 2013 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
Dec 01, 2010 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. ...more
Apr 25, 2012 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
Feb 20, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I love food. Particularly food from Southeast Asia. So it is no surprise to me that I loved this book. However, I think it is quite accessible to others that may not share my passion.

The book is laid out nicely. The introduction gives some background on Ms. Nguyen and her family, who moved to America from Vietnam when she was young. Her family's story gives some insight into the experience that the Vietnamese refugees encountered in their flight to this country. These types of tidbits appear thr
Sep 05, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Very Comprehensive

This book is not only a cookbook, but also helps one understand the historical aspects of Vietnamese cuisine. It also is personal in that the author describes how a family member makes a particular dish.

There are recipes that seem very doable and others that I know I will never attempt, but all cookbooks are like that.
Feb 13, 2018 rated it liked it
This was a little more than what I was looking for, which sounds so awful. Truthfully, I can see really devoting time to exploring and trying these recipes, but I'm not ready for that now. So I am marking this one: "Liked, and must revisit at length someday soon." ...more
Mar 04, 2020 rated it it was ok
Shelves: cookbook, non-fiction
Wide breadth of vietnamese food history & recipes. Not enough photographs!
Shane C
Nov 29, 2018 rated it it was amazing
this book were totally magnificent!!
Aug 16, 2011 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
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 15, 2011 rated it it was ok
Shelves: 600s, cookbooks
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 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.
Oct 13, 2010 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. ...more
Feb 23, 2007 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. ...more
Feb 19, 2009 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.
Julie Davis
Nov 23, 2011 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 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.
Dec 24, 2012 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! ...more
Jan 10, 2012 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 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.
Tom Hammer
Jan 21, 2013 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.
Derek Barnes
Aug 15, 2012 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 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.
Jan 20, 2013 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...
Dec 13, 2008 rated it really liked it
I am so excited about getting this book from the library!
Oct 17, 2007 rated it really liked it
All the Vietnamese secrets revealed.
Jun 19, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Recommended to Mary by: Triciaflower
Shelves: cookbook, austin
Perfectly written, easy to follow, and valuable hints on which brands to buy.
Oct 11, 2012 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"

C.M. Hill
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Jul 14, 2017
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Mar 28, 2012
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A bank examiner gone astray, Andrea Nguyen is living out her childhood dream of being a writer, editor, teacher, and consultant. Her impactful books—Into the Vietnamese Kitchen, Asian Dumplings, Asian Tofu, The Banh Mi Handbook, and The Pho Cookbook—have been recognized by the James Beard Foundation, International Association of Culinary Professionals, and National Public Radio for their excellenc ...more

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