Don't you love the sensational smells and flavors that help Vietnamese food stand out on its own? From rice-flour crepes (bánh cuốn) to fresh spring rolls (gỏi cuốn) to pho, it's hard to not love Vietnamese cuisine. With that being said, the extensive ingredient lists and complicated language can make preparing Vietnamese dishes seem impossible to most American home cooks.
Luckily, there's a small selection of Vietnamese cookbooks that make whipping up all of your beloved favorites accessible and easy! Here are 9 great Vietnamese cookbooks that belong in any kitchen.
Vietnamese Food Any Day
by Andrea Nguyen
If you’re looking for a way to quickly create authentic Vietnamese favorites without visiting specialty grocers, look no further than this latest culinary endeavor from award-winning Andrea Nguyen!
In Vietnamese Food Any Day, Nguyen provides all the tips and tricks you could ever need to cook true Vietnamese cuisine at home. She draws on decades of her own experience as well as her immigrant mother’s wisdom to provide easy-to-follow recipes and quick-prep tips. If you’re longing for tasty banh mi, traditional pho, or flavorful chili garlic chicken without any fuss, then this is the cookbook for you.If Vietnamese Food Any Day peaks your interest, check out some of Nguyen’s other delightful Vietnamese cookbooks like Into The Vietnamese Kitchen and The Banh Mi Handbook.
by Helen Le
If you love Japanese ramen or want an all-encompassing guide to Vietnamese soups, look no further than Helen Le’s Simply Pho. With easy-to-understand, step-by-step directions, this Vietnamese cookbook brings homemade pho noodle soup and all of the side items directly to your table. Le’s recipes help you make pho for one or soup for an entire army, making it the ideal cookbook for anyone anytime.In addition to nearly a dozen varieties of pho soup, Simply Pho includes amazing recipes for traditional Vietnamese appetizers, pho-inspired dishes, sandwiches, desserts, and more! If Le’s pho noodle beef stew and vermicelli noodle chicken curry have your interest, consider checking out her YouTube channel for more flavorful recipes straight from Vietnam.
My Vietnam: Stories and Recipes
by Luke Nguyen
While most people know Vietnam for its food, not everyone realizes just how diverse the cuisine really is. In fact, Vietnamese dishes can vary greatly between the North, Central, and Southern regions. Luke Nguyen worked diligently to capture this in his cookbook My Vietnam.
Nguyen started at the northernmost border and worked his way south, visiting with family and friends throughout the country. Combining knowledge gleaned from both everyday Vietnamese families and culinary experts, the end result is a full exploration of the country’s rich, diverse cuisine. From wok-tossed crab with sate sauce to tamarind broth, you will feel the strong connection to food that fills the hearts of the Vietnamese people that this cookbook delightfully conveys.
Vietnamese Home Cooking
by Charles Phan
Chef Charles Phan of San Francisco’s The Slanted Door brings his restaurant success and personal home cooking favorites to the world in Vietnamese Home Cooking. Phan hoped that this Vietnamese cookbook would help home cooks better understand the essential techniques and fundamental ingredients used in Vietnamese cooking. And, through the pages of this impressive work, you can attain the skills required to make nearly any Vietnamese dish.
Vietnamese Home Cooking not only contains the tricks to prepare tender, steamy dumplings and delicately flavored fish; it includes vibrant images of “the motherland” and tons of educational material. Phan’s amazing instructions and guidance make Vietnamese home cooking not only seem attainable but also incredibly fun!Vietnamese Home Cooking is widely available from retailers in both print and e-book options.
Wild, Wild East
by Bobby Chinn
Wild, Wild East is more than just your average recipe book; it's renowned chef Bobby Chinn’s personal guide to all things Vietnam. Chinn, known as an international cooking sensation, opened numerous successful restaurants both in Vietnam and abroad. In this 200-page novel of a cookbook, Chinn not only shares the delightful culinary creations of Vietnam, but also his own personal stories and fond memories. This book makes a perfect addition for someone who enjoys a bit of personal flare thrown in with their flavorful dishes.
From salads to sweet sensations and everything in between, Chinn covers the entire gamut of Vietnamese cuisine. As the renowned Anthony Bourdain (who died of suicide in 2018) says in the book’s preface, “What Bobby doesn’t know about Southeast Asian Food is not worth knowing.”
Some of Chinn’s recipes include: Chicken Wings in Caramel & Ginger, Braised Banana Blossoms, and Wasabi Mashed Potatoes.
Vegetarian Viet Nam
by Cameron Stauch
During his time in Vietnam, Cameron Stauch learned a wealth of information about vegetarian Vietnamese cooking. The dishes in this vegetarian Vietnamese cookbook utilize the entire arsenal of herbs and sauces found throughout Vietnam. Within the pages, Stauch included recipes for soups, salads, tofu, noodle dishes, and rice, not to mention delicious drinks and desserts.Vegetarian Viet Nam includes meatless Vietnamese recipes that will not only delight dedicated vegetarians, but anyone who loves the rich, vibrant flavors of vegetarian cuisine. It provides an extensive universe of healthy, tasty, sustainable entrees that you will easily learn to love. The book also includes an extensive, well-illustrated glossary and comes in both print and e-book formats.
The Banh Mi Handbook
by Andrea Nguyen
Pho isn't the only top dog of Vietnamese cuisine. In fact, many people love the simplicity and variety that banh mi (or Vietnamese sandwiches) can offer; and for good reason! In The Banh Mi Handbook, Andrea Nguyen shines a new light on this favorite throughout Vietnam. Her 50 sandwich recipes span the range of traditional favorites to modern innovations and everything in between. Nguyen’s simple, yet flavorful concoctions will definitely leave you wanting more!
As Nguyen says, “[Banh mi] is a party in your mouth!”
Vietnamese Street Food
by Tracey Lister & Andreas Pohl
Let’s be real: most exotic cookbooks help us enjoy the few dishes we know and love from a specific cuisine. However, this recipe guide goes above and beyond that and provides a unique peek inside the bustling streets of Vietnam and highlight the exciting flavors of Vietnamese street food. Vietnam’s history is paved with street food vendors, and the culinary delights they serve up are to die for.
In this recipe guide, Lister and Pohl worked to recreate some of the most exciting and flavorful dishes that the streets of Vietnam have to offer. Consider trying your hand at preparing the crunchy peanut-studded rice balls or the duck rice porridge… they won’t disappoint!
Eat Real Vietnamese Food
by Lien Nguyen
If you’ve been looking for a way to travel back in time to early 20th century Vietnam and traditional dishes prepared the “real” way, then look no further than Lien Nguyen’s Eat Real Vietnamese Food!
Nguyen, a Parisian-born Vietnamese woman, loves food and history. Therefore, it only makes sense that she would beautifully capture both passions in her best-selling recipe collection, Eat Real Vietnamese Food. Using her mother’s traditional, hand-written recipes and research skills, Nguyen carefully crafted a storyboard format of a cooking guide. It provides mouthwatering photos, complete ingredient lists, and well-outlined, step-by-step preparation guides for each of the 90 included recipes.Eat Real Vietnamese Food is an attractive book for any coffee table, a wonderful recipe guide for any foodie, and an amazing read for any history buff.
Which Vietnamese cookbooks will soon make their way into your home?
Whether you're looking for quick pho recipes or more elaborate traditional favorites from the home country, this list offers endless options for anyone. The best part? Most of these books come in both printed and digital formats, so you can decorate your home or carry these treasured recipes with you wherever you go. One thing's for sure: Once you start cooking up Vietnamese cuisine from one of these wonderful recipe guides, your kitchen will smell incredible!Feature Image by Mae Mu on Unsplash