Publishers Weekly - Publisher's WeeklyThis excellent introduction to Vietnamese cooking will provide a good starting place for ignoramuses and a stock of useful recipes for know-it-alls. Duong, owner and chef of Truc Orient Express restaurant in Hartford, Conn., and Kiesel, of Food & Wine magazine, carefully itemize preferred equipment and the many ingredients used in Vietnamese dishes. Recipes appeal not just with their delicate interplay of flavors and textures, but with a golden opportunity to alter one's diet. Vegetables, spices and rice make up the bulk of a meal. And, as with most Asian fare, meats and fish are used to flavor, not to dominate, a dish. Several intriguing Buddhist vegetarian recipes are included. All are well organized, and directions are easily navigated. Some recipes may call for as many as 15 ingredients, so be prepared to spend some time chopping and measuring. Cooking time is quite brief. Because Vietnamese cookery relies on many exotic items--tamarind pulp, starfruit, tiger lily buds, pandan leaves--the authors have thoughtfully provided a mail-order reference source. Photos not seen by PW. (Nov.)
Library JournalAn attractive introduction to Vietnamese cuisine from the Vietnamese chef/owner of a Hartford restaurant and Food & Wine 's associate test kitchen director. The subtle, flavorful recipes include both Duong's version of classic dishes and nontraditional creations that reflect his French training, the influence of Western cuisines, and his culinary heritage; Kiesel's introductions and instructions are clear and straightforward but graceful. An excellent companion to Nicole Routhier's highly regarded, more traditionally oriented Foods of Vietnam (Stewart, Tabori & Chang, 1989).
- Simon & Schuster
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