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‘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 … Pho is the flirty mistress that you slip away to visit.’

 

… SO BEGINS ANDREA NGUYEN’S BRILLIANT INTRODUCTION TO ALL THINGS PHO. Now, I’m a huge cookbook fan – and as I type this, I am staring at shelves, simply heaving with recipes from fields afar – and soup, in all its various shapes and forms, is my go-to food, when I’m feeling happy, sad, hot, cold, ill or well. So, it’s hardly surprising that this book ticks all my boxes in terms of what a good cookbook should be. My favourite kinds are those that are more than just a series of beautifully shot spreads, featuring recipes with carefully photographed ingredients. And The Pho Cookbook provides so much more than that, Nguyen thoughtfully revealing the history, culture and regional variations of this truly delicious Vietnamese dish.

 

 

There are helpful explanations of how to cook key ingredients and more importantly, for those like me, who don’t eat meat, there’s a good range of delicious vegetarian/vegan recipes.

Nguyen weaves her recipe spells so beautifully that I defy anyone not to love this book and also not to come away from it an infinitely better cook. And, even if you’ve never eaten pho before, nor cooked it, this book is a revelation. Read it – and eat.

 

The Pho Cookbook * Andrea Nguyen • Ten Speed Press •

7 February 2017

 

Also of interest: The not-so-invisible woman – 150 greats in their own words’;’Venison requires a strong arm – Nero Wolfe knows how to cook‘; ‘Cooking Price-wise – Vincent Price, Master of Horror…‘; ‘eat by Nigel Slater – the joy of a good crush‘.

 

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