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.)
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James Beard Award nominee