Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Vietnamese Street Food!

Vietnamese Street Food
by Tracy Lister and Andreas Pohl

Paperback, 208 pages

Wow. I have to say that I didn't know a lot about what sets this Asian cuisine apart before reading this beautiful book. I knew they had great sandwiches that had something to do with pickles and baguettes and that was about the sum total of my shaky understanding of Vietnamese street food. But the book, Vietnamese Street Food, has opened my eyes and my senses to a lively and colourful palette of flavours.

The photos alone are a beautiful adventure to an exotic land, and the recipes are uncomplicated yet bursting with fresh flavours and exciting new combinations of tastes. I am a Vietnamese street food convert. This is one of the most exciting books I have read this year.

 I immediately made some Vegetable Pickle and some Carrot and Daikon Pickle, accompaniments for many street food items, and one of the many dipping sauces provided. Then we were Vietnamese for a week. We had Barbecued Chicken Wings, lovingly marinated in Vietnamese flavours; Marinated Grilled Beef on Noodle Squares; and West Lake Prawn Cakes. Next on the list: one of the famous Banh Mi sandwiches. What a glorious cuisine!

Chapters include:

Chopsticks and Toothpicks - Street Food Culture in Vietnam
About the Recipes
Roll
Grill/Roast
Boil/Steam
Fry
Baguettes/Salads
Sweets
Sauces/Condiments
Glossary
Index

And the book is filled with beautiful photos of the street food and the street culture itself. A exotic vacation in book form!

About the Author
Tracey Lister knows how to shop, cook, and eat in Vietnam. After fifteen years in the Melbourne restaurant scene, Lister took a sabbatical in Hanoi, where she met Jimmy Pham, founder of KOTO, a grassroots charity that helps street kids through vocational training in cooking and serving. Lister stayed on for a few years, setting up accredited training programs for the students. Her time at the charity, along with husband Andreas Pohl, resulted in their first book, KOTO. Lister currently runs a successful cooking school out of Hanoi.