Simply Vietnamese Cooking
135 Delicious Recipes
“Deliciously different recipes, simple enough for a busy weeknight meal.”
by Nancie McDermott
Simply Vietnamese Cooking, by Nancie McDermott, entices your mind with detailed descriptions of the flavors the cook will encounter in each dish. We were already mesmerized by the beautiful cover showing a bowl of Pho Noodles with Beef, Hanoi-Style, but when I read the introductory paragraph to this dish before the recipe began, I was swirling with thoughts of warm spoonfuls and lasting aromas. Listen to this:
“Consider pho, a small word for a big bowl of noodles in soup. The soup is clear, delicate and redolent of cinnamon, star anise and ginger. The noodles swirl just below the surface of the steaming stock, barely visible beneath slices of beef, slivers of onion and a tumble of crisp bean sprouts. A minuscule mountain of aromatic herbs, big green slices of chile and a chunk of lime attend the bowl for seasonings everything just so. Pho takes a little more time than some dishes, but it gives you a memorable, delicious reward.”
Did you just fall in love too? I kind of wish I could have the author write the intros to all of my recipes from now on (wink).
McDermott describes Vietnamese food as “the traditional cuisine of a beautiful country located in the heart of Southeast Asia. Its central essence reflects its proximity to China, and its vibrant, delicate and varied flavors reflect its tropical climate and proximity to the sea. Rice is the cornerstone, with an endless array of dishes created to accompany it. Noodle play a distinctive role as well, moreso than in any other Asian country, and the Vietnamese delight in and creative use of fragrant and flavorful herbs gives the food of Vietnam a unique, sparkling essence.”
If you didn’t know anything about Vietnamese food before you opened this cookbook, you will want to travel to Vietnam by the time you finish reading it! Nancie McDermott has beautifully written the 135 recipes in a way that I never imaged a cookbook could be told.
About the Author:
Nancie McDermott is an expert on the food and culture of Thailand, where she lived for three years as a Peace Corps volunteer. She has traveled extensively throughout Asia and has written ten cookbooks, including 300 Best Stir-Fry Recipes. Nancy is a frequent guest chef on television and radio and also writes for newspapers and magazines. She lives in Chapel Hill, North Carolina.
Find Simply Vietnamese Cooking on Amazon
Delight your holiday guests with Vietnamese Coffee, Iced or Hot
Photo credit: Colin Erricson
Vietnamese coffee is a lingering souvenir of the French colonial presence in Vietnam. Along with delicious baguettes and the fabulous sandwiches they inspired, ca-phé sua da long ago made itself at home, embraced with such passion that it has become something very Vietnamese. You can make it at home with ease, with or without the signature top-hat contraption used to prepare ca-phé in Vietnamese establishments. If you lack the metal filter but long for the taste, pour 2 tbsp (30 mL) of sweetened condensed milk into a coffee cup or sturdy bistro glass. Brew some espresso, add it to the cup and stir like crazy. Voilà ca-phé sua! Pour over ice and it’s ca-phé sua da.
2 tbsp sweetened condensed milk 30 mL
2 tbsp finely ground dark-roast coffee 30 mL
3⁄4 cup boiling water 175 mL
- Spoon condensed milk into a coffee cup or a short drinking glass and place Vietnamese coffee filter on top. For iced coffee, fill a tall glass with ice cubes and set aside. Remove coffee filter’s lid, unscrew inner press and set both aside. Add ground coffee and then screw the press lightly in place to pack coffee down a bit. Add boiling water, cover with lid and let water drip through coffee, 3 to 5 minutes.
- Remove lid and rest upside down. Then place drained filter basket on inverted lid to catch any last drops of coffee. Stir well to mix coffee with milk. For iced coffee, pour coffee into ice-filled glass and serve. For hot coffee, skip the glass of ice or da and sip (carefully) your steaming ca-phé sua.
If you’re buying ground coffee, look for espresso so that it will be strong and robustly flavored. If you’re buying whole beans, look for French roast or Italian roast and grind the beans as finely as possible.
You’ll find the top-hat contraption in many Asian markets and through mail-order sources
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