The Australians have been producing some wonderful Vietnamese cookbooks to capture how cooks in Vietnam are preparing food today. The works are great travel books with provocative location photos and interesting recipes. These are books that are perfect for people who’ve traveled to Vietnam and have a sense for the ingredients there. For example, Viet shallots are the size of boiling onions in the States.
I recently bought Vietnamese Street Food by Tracey Lister and Andreas Pohl, Australian ex-pats living in Hanoi. Tracey is a former chef who runs the Hanoi Cooking Centre, a place that I point people to for cooking classes in the capitol city. Flipping through Vietnamese Street Food (released this year in the US and then pulled for a re-release next year, which I don't understand) I was captivated by a number of recipes. One of them was a mock crab noodle soup prepared with soymilk that’s directly coagulated in the pot to mimic rich crab tomalley. (Why eat fake meat? There are many Asian Buddhists who are part time vegetarians and others who want to try something interesting.)