Vietnamese Food Any Day:
Simple Recipes for True, Fresh Flavors
(Ten Speed Press, 2019)
Bay Area food writer and cookbook author Andrea Nguyen (Into the Vietnamese Kitchen, The Banh Mi Handbook, The Pho Cookbook, Asian Dumplings, and Asian Tofu) was born in Vietnam and came to the United States from Saigon as a child in the mid-1970s. Shopping at American supermarkets, which at that time didn’t stock much Asian fare, meant Nguyen’s mother had to learn to work with what was available to prepare their familiar and beloved Vietnamese dishes. Nguyen’s latest cookbook includes recipes for 80 Vietnamese dishes that can be prepared easily with ingredients readily available at mainstream grocery stores and markets. The book draws on decades of her own cooking experience as well as the workarounds her mother developed. Nguyen’s introduction to the book, “Seeds of My Supermarket Obsession,” is an engaging description of her early exposure to cooking in Vietnam and the way her mother learned to make tasty versions of their favorite dishes shopping at Albertsons.
I made Shaking Beef—a light salad of arugula, shallots, and tomatoes dressed with a little honey, black pepper, and rice vinegar and topped with marinated and pan-fried beef—which like all the recipes had just a few steps. Also tasty are Chile Garlic Chicken Wings; Vibrant Turmeric Coconut Rice; Pomegranate Sriracha Shrimp; Chicken, Lemongrass, and Sweet Potato Curry; and No-Churn Vietnamese Coffee Ice Cream. A lot of Vietnamese food is sweet, and Nguyen’s recipes include sugar, though she offers substitutes like honey and uses sweeteners sparingly without sacrificing taste.
Meet Andrea Nguyen at this free event:
Author Talk with Andrea Nguyen
Saturday February 9, 3–4pm
Omnivore Books on Food
3885a Cesar Chavez St., San Francisco
Edible East Bay’s book editor Kristina Sepetys is eager to share her ideas and book recommendations with our readers.