What's the view out your window look like? Dreary and grey? Then take a step inside Uyen Luu's kitchen. Breathe in the aromas of spices and chiles frying in oil and fragrant beef skewers roasting over flames. Fall into the lush and vibrant rooms of Uyen's Saigon. This is a cookbook that inspires, transports, and leaves you aching for just one little taste of something bright and spicy — all at once.
• Who wrote it: Uyen Luu
• Who published it: Ryland Peters & Small
• Recipes for right now: Omelette Banh Mi, Beef Noodle Pho, Sticky Rice with Chinese Sausage, Udon Noodle Soup with Fish Cakes, Fish Congee with Ginger, Sizzling Crepes with Pork and Prawns, BBQ Pork Belly Skewers, Tofu and Tomatoes in Fish Sauce, Avocado Ice Cream
• Major Takeaways: Authentic recipes, some of which will be familiar (pho and banh mi!) and some of which might take you by surprise (fried frogs legs and caramelized sardines!). Don't expect to find all the ingredients at your local chain grocery store, but it should be easy enough to source everything at a well-stocked Asian market.
• Who would enjoy this book? People of Vietnamese heritage looking for a taste of home, world travelers suffering from Vietnamese street food withdrawal, adventurous cooks who want to a taste of Vietnamese cuisine not found in restaurants.
Find the book at your local library, independent bookstore, or Amazon: My Vietnamese Kitchen by Uyen Luu
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(Image credits: Emma Christensen)