Back Eat & Drink » Food Culture » Vietnamese-American Chef Andrea Nguyen Creates Eclectic Pho Cookbook

Vietnamese-American Chef Andrea Nguyen Creates Eclectic Pho Cookbook

Vietnamese-American chef Andrea Nguyen's latest book, The Pho Cookbook, is an ode to Vietnam's national comfort food: phở.

Much has been written about Vietnam’s renowned national dish. From its history and cultural impact to whether hoisin sauce and sriracha belong in the already-flavorful phở broth, the scalding-hot, aromatic bowl of noodles seems to have an innate ability to inspire lengthy essays and even spur Internet wars.

Still, for most Vietnamese, phở is first and foremost a comfort food. Andrea Nguyen, who migrated to the US when she was six, embraced phở as part of a Sunday morning ritual with her family. “As Vietnamese expatriates, we savored phở as a very special food, a gateway to our cultural roots,” she wrote in an article for NPR’s The Salt on the Bon Appétit phở debacle. An established Vietnamese food expert in the US, Nguyen is also the brain behind Viet World Kitchen and Asian Dumpling Tips.

Her latest project, The Pho Cookbook, came out earlier this February. The recipe book takes you through the meticulous process of creating your own phở bowl at home, including explanations of ingredients, guidelines for choosing the best meat cuts and beverages to complement the dining experience.

Photos via Viet World Kitchen.

There is also room for creativity, as Nguyen ventures beyond the common phở conventions to include recipes such as “Vegetarian Chicken Phở”. For Nguyen, cooking is a creative endeavor. “Phở is constantly evolving because phở cooks are an innovative lot,” she wrote in a blog post.

Still, one is bound to ask: is the American chef's phở truly authentic? After all, this is the age of fusion food, and some of us have had enough of that one unsanctimonious phở with broccoli and quinoa.

To this, Nguyen poses another question: “What is authenticity in the realm of food?” Noting that nationality does not give one the right to monopolize a cuisine, she adds: “At the end of the day, I always define authentic cuisine as one that captures the relationship between people and their food”.

[Top photo via Heritage Radio Network]

Related Articles

Phở: The Next Great International Dish?

[Video] Americans Fail at Eating Vietnamese Food, Love It Anyway

Pho Tacos: When Vietnamese and Latin Food Meet

Related Articles

in Food Culture

'Trendy' Elephant Poop Coffee Taking off in Vietnam

Vietnam is known for its cafe chồn, coffee beans that are ingested, pooped out by weasels and sold at prices far higher than the normal variety. Now, a Vietnamese breeder is adopting a similar techniq...

in Food Culture

2 Vietnamese Restaurants in Saigon, Hanoi Named Among Asia's 100 Best

Vietnam’s culinary prowess is no secret, with its traditional dishes helping to draw tourists from all over the globe. 

in Food Culture

20 Vietnamese Foods You Need to Try Now

Uyen Luu, author of My Vietnamese Kitchen and contributor to Jamie Oliver’s FoodTube, shares her favorite Vietnamese dishes and how to cook them.

in Food Culture

30% of Coffee in Vietnam Has No Caffeine: Survey

If you've been seeking out cà phê sữa đá from street carts for a super-caffeinated start to your workday, you might want to look elsewhere, as there’s a chance you've been drinking coffee-flavore...

in Food Culture

5 Eateries Doing Takeaway to Try Today, as Recommended by Saigoneer Staff

Starting from this week, Saigon officially enters another two weeks of social distancing orders. While staying at home, what do you miss?

in Food Culture

5 Of Saigon’s Best Markets

When people think of Saigon, the iconic Bến Thành Market usually comes to mind. But while it’s rich in history, for locals, it’s little more than a tourist attraction. Vietnam Coracle recently took to...

Partner Content