The first time I ever ate at a Vietnamese restaurant, my dinner companion described the cuisine as, “like Chinese, but better.”
That phrase pretty much nails it as far as I’m concerned. It’s much like Chinese cooking but with some French techniques and Indian spices added in. Trouble is, Vietnamese cuisine, being full of fish sauce, isn’t all that vegan friendly. But I just got my hands on Chat Mingkwan’s all-vegan Vietnamese Fusion cookbook. The book has a great deal in common with his Thai cookbook, Buddha’s Table that I reviewed here last month. Specifically, it’s got a nearly fifty pages of incredibly helpful introductory material that gets you acquainted with the main ingredients and cooking techniques in Vietnamese cuisine.
With that preparation out of the way, the book lets the hammer drop with some amazing recipes: glass noodle soup; deep fried rice spring rolls; stir-fried fresh mango and cashew nuts.
Made any of these things lately? I didn’t think so.