A review of Secrets from My Vietnamese Kitchen by Kim Thúy
Disclaimer: “My Vietnamese Kitchen” was sent to me very generously by the author Kim Thuy, Penguin Random House Canada and Food Bloggers of Canada. This review is my small way of saying thank you Kim.
As someone who spends quite a bit of time in the kitchen myself, I also spend so much time looking through interesting recipes and techniques- not to mention all the time spent watching videos of experts showing everyone how it’s done. After some time you get the feel for a good recipe and the kind of recipe book you enjoy cooking from. A good recipe book isn’t simply a set of instructions, it’s a story; a journey if you will.
That’s precisely what this cook book provides the reader with, bite sized morsels which tell you tales of the salty, spicy, sticky and sweet. What makes Kim’s approach to telling her story so great is that it’s made up of all these little food stories which allows you to dip in an enjoy as much as you would like each time you open her cookbook.
What I Liked Most
Sometimes authors can throw you in the deep end and everything can become overwhelming, but each one of the sections in this book works great as a standalone section which give you the opportunity to slowly familiarize yourself with the cuisine and the culture. What makes it even better is that the basics of the Vietnamese kitchen are broken down through interesting sections on the produce, spices and sauces you will need to navigate the recipe journey of Kim’s many mothers.
So far… It would have to be the caramel Pork. Let me just start this off by asking, who doesn’t love pork? This recipe really epitomises everything we could love about this protein, it’s dark and spicy and sweet and just checks all the boxes. Besides being a genius recipe, it isn’t too far a stretch for someone who is not familiar with Vietnamese cooking and flavours to enjoy. It has this familiar quality to it, with each bite similar to trying to remember a hazy dream just after waking up- needless to say it, a must try!
In a Nutshell
No one book is going to answer every cooking question or “have it all”, but this book is just so authentic and well balanced, even a seasoned Vietnamese cook should definitely think about getting this.
you can get My Vietnamese Kitchen by Kim Thúy here