Get ready for Vietnamese Food Any Day! It releases on Tet/Chinese/Lunar New Year – February 5, 2019. I can’t wait for you to get your hands on the cookbook and start cooking, getting it messy, and adding your personal tweaks.
I’ve been wanting to write this book for years because one of my not-so-secret life missions is this: Help people make great Vietnamese food part of their regular rotation. The book title isn’t telling you to make Viet food everyday. Heck, I don’t eat Vietnamese food daily. But rather, Vietnamese Food Any Day will equip you with knowledge, recipes, and confidence so you can cook up Viet dishes whenever you want.
This book aims to inform, inspire, and unleash your culinary awesome-ness! Here’s a peek at what’s inside.
Easy Ways to Find Ingredients
Sourcing ingredients for making Asian food is one of the biggest obstacles for cooks. To minimize effort and lower the intimidation factor, the book’s recipes employ ingredients sold at regular supermarkets, natural food stores, and other mainstream retailers. No Asian market shopping is required.
If you’re skeptical, check out the Asian section at a regular supermarket. It’s remarkably well stocked these days. For Vietnamese Food Any Day, I surveyed supermarkets wherever I’ve traveled in recent years, including Cleveland, Atlanta, Montgomery (Alabama), Pittsburgh, and Boston. It wasn’t scientific but I quickly determined that an amazing range of traditional and modern dishes can be prepared from grocery store ingredients.
That said, you want to be a smart grocery shopper, which is why the book includes a section on shopping strategies. I organized the ingredient discussion according to the various sections of a supermarket so you may find things. People often ask me about which brands to buy and how to select the best one so I’ve included that kind of information in this book, too.
Deliciously Doable Recipes
Whipping up a Viet meal is a fun weekend project but you can take a casual path to Viet tastiness on the weekdays too! Vietnamese Food Any Day includes over 80 easy-going, versatile recipes plus a bunch of variations. Over the years, many cooks suggested or inquired about ingredient substitutions or workarounds because they may not have the exact ingredient featured in the main recipe, or they may have dietary preferences or needs. Given that, wherever there was space, I slid in extra tips and workarounds.
Check each recipe’s headnote (introduction) and “Notes” section for things like advance prep and reheating information. Additionally, there are time estimates for each recipe for you to gauge your commitment.
To keep things simple without compromising results, I kept ingredient lists as short as possible. Additionally, I often offered ingredient swaps, such as “1 1/2 teaspoons fish sauce, soy sauce, Bragg Liquid Aminos, or Maggi Seasoning sauce”. And as you’re working through the book, look for extra cooking and shopping tips.
How do you know the recipes work?
For every cookbook that I write, I conceive, draft, test, and taste each recipe many times to obtain results and instructions that I’m happy with. I’ll ask my family and friends to weigh in, too. After I’m satisfied with a recipe, it is then cross tested by at least one other person from my team of volunteer testers. The tester(s) works through the recipe and sends honest feedback.
My testers comprise a tough and smart group of home cooks:
Linh Bui, Diane Carlson, Alex Ciepley, Jay Dietrich, Alyce Gershenson, Candy Grover, Doug Grover, Paulina Haduong, Colin Hart, Cary Hart, Kate Leahy, Laura McCarthy, Hugh McElroy, Cate McGuire, Rosemary Metzger, Josie Nevitt, Daniel Nguyen, Jenny Sager, Karen Shinto, Terri Tanaka, Catherine Thome, Maki Tsuzuki, Tina Ujlaki, and Dave Weinstein.
I’m incredibly lucky that many of the testers have stuck with me over the years, and that they include colleagues as well as friends. For Vietnamese Food Any Day, my sister, brother, niece and her boyfriend and his mom pitched in, too.
Gorgeous Images to prime your appetite
Each cookbook I make carries a unique message. For this one, I went for a look that is lovely-and-light filled but also practical.
We had the best, all-women team to make the book’s stunning photos: Photographer Aubrie Pick and her assistant Bessma Khalaf; my steadfast food stylist Karen Shinto was assisted by cookbook author extraordinaire Kate Leahy; and prop stylist Claire Mack. My long-time art director and designer Betsy Stromberg was on hand for the five-day shoot, and my editor Kelly Snowden regularly checked in to make sure we on the mark and didn’t goof off too much.
Along with the beauty shots of the dishes, we also made process (how-to) shots of potentially tricky instructions, such as the ones for making Viet caramel sauce below.
With each set of shots, Aubrie, Betsy and I strategized on the best angles and props to create not only beautiful images but also ones that will tell a story and help cooks succeed.
What people are saying
After rounds of editing and design, my publisher Ten Speed Press sent the book out for review. Phew(!) — it received sensational feedback:
“Nguyen’s newest is as utilitarian as it is innovative.”
“Packed with bold new recipes and expert advice, Vietnamese Food Any Day opens up a world of exciting flavors to cooks at any level. Within hours of getting my hands on this book, I charged into the kitchen to make Shaking Beef and Easy Soy Sauce-Glazed Zucchini. Both winners! I’ll be adding these and many more of Andrea Nguyen’s thoughtfully crafted recipes to my weeknight repertoire.”
—Molly Stevens, author of All About Roasting and All About Braising
“Andrea Nguyen is a masterful and irrepressible guide to Vietnam’s cuisine and culture. Vietnamese Food Any Day delivers big, bold flavors translated for the American kitchen. It’s exotic simplicity at its best.”
—Christopher Kimball, founder of Milk Street
“From beginners to more experienced cooks, everyone will benefit from Vietnamese Food Any Day, which demystifies ingredients and techniques so anyone can make extraordinary, authentic Vietnamese food at home. I’ve been using Andrea’s recipes for years and each one has been a sure-fire hit. I’m thrilled to have this collection of favorites that are easy to master, from snacks and soups, to shaking beef and spicy sweet tofu!”
—David Lebovitz, author of My Paris Kitchen and The Perfect Scoop
Vietnamese Food Any Day on Sale Now
Leading up to the February 5 release, you can pre-order the book wherever books are sold. Consider local independent bookshops by checking Indiebound.org. If you’re a cookbook fanatic, support a cookbook bookshop, such as:
- Book Larder (Seattle)
- Kitchen Arts and Letters (NYC)
- Now Serving (Los Angeles)
- Omnivore Books (SF)
- Read it and Eat (Chicago)
Also check in with cookware shops with solid cookbook inventories, such as Cooks of Crocus Hill in Minnesota. Outside of the U.S., Books for Cooks in Melbourne is among my favorites. Eslite in Taiwan has an amazing cookbook selection.
Thanks for your enthusiastic interest! I hope you’ll love the book and look forward to your feedback.
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