The Pho Cookbook: Andrea Nguyen
The Pho Cookbook
Easy to Adventurous Recipes for Vietnam's Favorite Soup and Noodles
Author: Andrea Nguyen
Publisher: Ten Speed Press
Pub Date 07 Feb 2017
Vietnam's most beloved culinary export—pho—is now within the reach of any home cook.
Andrea Nguyen first tasted pho in Saigon as a child, sitting at a street stall with her parents. That experience sparked a lifelong love of the iconic noodle soup, and here she dives deep into pho's lively past, visiting its birthplace and then teaching how to successfully make it. Options range from quick weeknight cheats to 5-hour weekend feasts with broth and condiments from scratch, as well as other pho rice noodle favorites. Over fifty versatile recipes, including snacks, salads, companion dishes, and vegetarian and gluten-free options, welcome everyone to the pho table. With a thoughtful guide on ingredients and techniques, plus evocative location photography and deep historical knowledge, The Pho Cookbook enables anyone to cook this comforting classic.
Despite its apparent popularity, before reading this book I hadn’t heard of pho, basically, it is broth with noodles. Who would have thought that so much could be written about broth? To say that author Andrea Nguyen is an enthusiast is a bit of an understatement, she writes with an undisguised passion about all things pho.
There is a handy description of common ingredients, most of which are found at the supermarket. A section on seasonings, and I must say I was surprised at the range and type of seasonings used including the controversial MSG.
The recipes are categorised by various meats and vegetarian, and also by length of preparation time. Nice to know that a chicken pho can be made quite quickly as the author doesn’t frown upon the use of commercially made stock, indeed, she recommends favourite brands.
Some of the recipes are far too long and complex for me, but might provide an interesting challenge for some, particularly the beef pho with “Flintstone” style bones, but they must be handsome bones, not ugly and gnarled!
I really did appreciate the Noodle section, excellent information on so many types of noodle, very useful.
This really is a niche book, it is for the passionate, those who want to know everything. For me, it was a little too detailed, too much information, but that’s only because I don’t have a raging desire to know all there is to know about pho. Some people do and this is the book for them.
The food illustrations are lovely and there are some nice street scenes, however, I didn't really get the arty style photos of peeling paintwork.
Great book for those who are true enthusiasts.
Review Copy via NetGalley and Ten Speed Press