Love pho, but want to branch out? Charles Phan, the chef behind San Francisco’s famed restaurant the Slanted Door, offers Vietnamese Home Cooking (Ten Speed Press, $35), devoted to bringing tamarind, star anise, fish sauce and lemon grass to a kitchen near you.
While many of the recipes are a little too “chefy” — who’s going to fillet their own fish for the “simple fish soup”? — they go a long way to introducing the flavors and techniques of the cuisine.
Bite-sized steamed rice cakes promise unusual party snacks, and lemon grass chicken could be a feather in your toque.
— Michele Kayal