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The Pho Cookbook

Cover of The Pho Cookbook

The Pho Cookbook

Easy to Adventurous Recipes for Vietnam's Favorite Soup and Noodles
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With this comprehensive cookbook, Vietnam's most beloved, aromatic comfort food—the broth and noodle soup known as pho—is now within your reach.

Author Andrea Nguyen first tasted pho in Vietnam as a child, sitting at a Saigon street stall with her parents. That experience sparked a lifelong love of the iconic noodle soup, long before it became a cult food item in the United States.

Here Andrea dives deep into pho's lively past, visiting its birthplace and then teaching you how to successfully make it at home. Options range from quick weeknight cheats to impressive 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 you to make this comforting classic your own.

With this comprehensive cookbook, Vietnam's most beloved, aromatic comfort food—the broth and noodle soup known as pho—is now within your reach.

Author Andrea Nguyen first tasted pho in Vietnam as a child, sitting at a Saigon street stall with her parents. That experience sparked a lifelong love of the iconic noodle soup, long before it became a cult food item in the United States.

Here Andrea dives deep into pho's lively past, visiting its birthplace and then teaching you how to successfully make it at home. Options range from quick weeknight cheats to impressive 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 you to make this comforting classic your own.

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Excerpts-
  • From the book What is Pho?

    Pho is so elemental to Vietnamese culture that people talk about it in terms of romantic relationships. Rice is the dutiful wife that you can rely on, we say. Pho is the flirty mistress that you slip away to visit.

    I once asked my parents about this comparison. My dad shook his hips to illustrate the mistress. My mom laughed and quipped, "Pho is fun but you can't have it every day. You would get bored. All things in moderation."

    The soup first seduced me in 1974, when I perched on a wooden bench at my parents' favorite pho joint and wielded chopsticks and spoon with dexterity and determination. The shop owners marveled; mom and dad beamed with pride. The fragrant broth, savory beef, and springy rice noodles captivated me as I emptied the bowl. I was five years old and suddenly hooked on soup. That experience is among the most vivid from my childhood in Vietnam.

    After we immigrated to the States in 1975, there were no neighborhood pho shops to frequent in San Clemente, California, where my family resettled. My pho forays were often homemade, for Sunday brunch.

    Like many Vietnamese expatriates, we began savoring pho as a very special food, a gateway to our cultural roots. My mother regularly brewed beef or chicken pho broth on Saturday, then the next morning after eight o'clock mass, we sped home. Everyone had a job on Mom's pho assembly line.

    At the table, our bowls of homemade pho were accompanied by fresh chile slices and a few mint sprigs. The simplicity reflected my parents' upbringing in northern Vietnam, where purity prevailed. They'd lived in liberal Saigon (now Ho Chi Minh City) for decades, but they didn't allow embellishments like bean sprouts, Thai basil, or lime wedges. And definitely no sriracha, which Mom deemed un-Vietnamese.

    As a college student in Los Angeles, I went to pho restaurants that served up giant bowls with plates piled high with produce for personalizing flavors. Flummoxed at first, I learned to loosen up, even at the sight of someone squirting hoisin and sriracha into a bowl. Over the years, I practiced making my own pho, developed recipes for my first cookbook, Into the Vietnamese Kitchen (2006), researched pho in Vietnam and wrote articles on it, answered reporter and blogger queries, and taught pho classes to countless cooks.

    Interest in pho has risen exponentially as it has moved from the margins to the mainstream. It's a favorite food for many but it's also been the focus of novels, art exhibits, rap songs, and Kickstarter campaigns. People are smitten by Vietnam's signature dish for many reasons: Pho is comforting (noodles in clear broth satisfy), healthy (there's little fat and gluten), restorative (try it for colds and hangovers), and friendly (you can have it your way). It's also delicious.

    I figured that I knew what pho was all about until friends, Facebook fans, and then my publisher suggested that I write a pho cookbook. Seriously? What was there to present beyond the familiar brothy bowl? As it turned out, a lot. It didn't take me long to realize that the world of pho was unusually rich with culinary and cultural gems.


    CASHEW, COCONUT, AND CABBAGE SALAD
    Serves 4 to 6 as a side dish
    Takes 20 minutes

    Pretty and bright, this vegan salad incorporates coconut's lushness by way of toasting unsweetened coconut chips (large flakes of dried coconut) with flavorful virgin coconut oil. It's a handsome side that refreshes the palate—a perfect pairing for any of the main dishes in this book as well as the pot stickers on pages 129 and 131. Feel free to prep the ingredients hours in advance and...
About the Author-
  • ANDREA NGUYEN is an author, teacher, and consultant based in the San Francisco Bay Area. Born in Vietman, she came to the United States at the age of six. Her first book, a children's book, chronicles that journey. She has written a number of acclaimed cookbooks, including Into the Vietnamese Kitchen, Asian Dumplings, and The Banh Mi Handbook. Her food writing has appeared in the Wall Street Journal, Cooking Light, Lucky Peach, Saveur, and Rodale's Organic Life, where she is a contributing editor.
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    Potter/TenSpeed/Harmony
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  • Copyright Protection (DRM) required by the Publisher may be applied to this title to limit or prohibit printing or copying. File sharing or redistribution is prohibited. Your rights to access this material expire at the end of the lending period. Please see Important Notice about Copyrighted Materials for terms applicable to this content.

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The Pho Cookbook
The Pho Cookbook
Easy to Adventurous Recipes for Vietnam's Favorite Soup and Noodles
Andrea Nguyen
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