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Andrea Nguyen
San Francisco Bay Area
I'm a cookbook author, food writer, and cooking teacher based in the San Francisco Bay Area. My publications include "Into the Vietnamese Kitchen" (2006), "Asian Dumplings" (2009), "Asian Tofu" (2012), and "The Banh Mi Handbook" (July 2014) all published by Ten Speed Press. Additionally, I developed the "Asian Market Shopper" iPhone app with Chronicle Books. A contributing editor to SAVEUR, I also write for the Los Angeles Times, Wall Street Journal, and other publications..
Interests: food, wine, history, art, cooking, travel
Recent Activity
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After reading the dan dan noodle recipe post, Jay emailed earlier this week asking for assistance with a noodle dish that he was trying to replicate from a Bay Area restaurant named Crouching Tiger (where’s the Hidden Dragon?). He shared his sauce recipe with me and asked me to help him tweak it. I looked up the restaurant’s menu and the characters for the noodles that Jay was interested in -- “Sichuan Cold Noodles.” Then I checked out recipes for it online and in my cookbook collection. Turns out that Jay was looking for an authentic version of Chinese peanut noodles, a dish that I made and ate with abandon in the late 1980s, early 1990s. My husband (then boyfriend) and I ordered the room... Continue reading
Posted 3 days ago at Viet World Kitchen
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Here are two staples that I use for making dumplings and Vietnamese food: wheat starch and rice paper. I employ the former for dim sum such as har gow and the latter for hand rolls or fried cha gio imperial rolls. I suffer allergies but not many food-related ones so I've not thought much about cross-contamination issues in the manufacturing process. Back in February, Mikhaela prompted me to think a little harder about them. I didn't have answers to her questions until today. Even so, I don’t have totally solid answers. Maybe you can help fill in the holes? Here’s her email and what follows is my response: Dear Andrea, First, I want to say thank you for your amazing cookbooks and recipes. Your recipes... Continue reading
Posted 5 days ago at Viet World Kitchen
For years I used peanut butter but the sesame paste takes dan dan mien to another level. Sometimes you can find "dark" tahini which may be very similar to the Chinese stuff, if not the same.
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My pleasure. It's a really interesting little dish. I just sent my husband off to work with some. Try to get the ya cai and sesame paste to go the Full Monty on it.
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Meatless Mondays is a great idea but I don’t do it. I’m a mostly meatless lunch person. On the days when my husband is at work, I often make myself a vegetarian mid-day snack. A fried egg with leftover rice and some Viet pickles is among my personal favorites. So is banh mi with tofu or egg. This week while rummaging through the hinterlands of my pantry (a deep hallway closet), I found a five-pound box of Quon Yick dried Chinese noodles. I went to the factory years ago to discuss dumpling wrappers with the owner because the company is one of the oldest of its kind in the Los Angeles area. Quon Yick makes great noodles and dumpling wrappers and used to be Chinatown,... Continue reading
Posted Apr 10, 2014 at Viet World Kitchen
You know it! Those Saigon ladies look righteous.
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You and I may be interested in iconic Vietnamese foods like pho and banh mi but many people in Vietnam are interested in trying something new. Something exotic. Something western. Over the weekend, Simon and Jeff alerted me to a New York Times story about Pizza 4P’s, a farm-to-table pizza restaurant in Saigon (aka Ho Chi Minh City). The pizza restaurant is owned by a young Japanese couple that decided to chuck a corporate financial life for culinary entrepreneurship in Saigon. Pizza isn’t new to Vietnam as there are Pizza Huts and Dominos there. I remember seeing a California Pizza Kitchen knockoff years ago. I haven’t been to Pizza 4P’s, which stands for “Platform of Personal Pizza for Peace”; they pledge to listen to customer... Continue reading
Posted Apr 8, 2014 at Viet World Kitchen
Totally, Naomi. I was looking in my pantry and thought the same thing! It's just sticky rice and you're going to grind it up.
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Right on, Mikhaela. And, I haven't forgotten your question on wheat starch!
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Both, Claudia. Since it's already made, just keep them longer before you eat the ginger. It mellows over time.
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Nope, because I stick the jar in the fridge. No sterilization needed.
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Love that idea, Amy. Thank you!!!!
Toggle Commented Apr 7, 2014 on How to Freeze Pho? at Viet World Kitchen
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I assume that you froze the fresh banh pho rice noodles in their vacuum-sealed package. That's what I was thinking. Very very smart of you to keep a frozen supply. Thank you for sharing the tip!!!
Toggle Commented Apr 4, 2014 on How to Freeze Pho? at Viet World Kitchen
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Yup, right on.
Toggle Commented Apr 4, 2014 on How to Freeze Pho? at Viet World Kitchen
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Got it. I was wondering about the noodles breaking. I wonder if they'd be easier to thaw in the microwave oven -- to avoid breaking that is. It is true with thawing and using the entire container of broth. Going smaller is better with the portions then.
Toggle Commented Apr 4, 2014 on How to Freeze Pho? at Viet World Kitchen
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Very smart, Steve!
Toggle Commented Apr 4, 2014 on How to Freeze Pho? at Viet World Kitchen
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I was on the road this week when I received this email from Mike: I'm just finishing up your beef stock recipe -- it took a little while longer than I expected because my butcher gave me almost 14 lbs of great beef bones! I will be trying the Pho tonight! I just got back from a two week vacation in Vietnam. I had pho almost every morning for breakfast and a few times for lunch. I just love it! I do have a question: I live by myself most of the time, so I can't eat 8 bowls all at once by myself. Do you have any advice or hints about how to store things so I can pull the stock out of the... Continue reading
Posted Apr 3, 2014 at Viet World Kitchen
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You're so right, Fawn. It totally looks like Parmesan! Love that comparison. Tee hee.
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You just reminded me of a Southern Fish fry recipe that I love. Same idea more or less. May I ask what a Blue Apron dinner is? A restaurant I should try?
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Cooking tips often come when you least expect them. Last week I drove to the Ritz Carlton in San Francisco to do a tasting of the Asia Society’s fundraising dinner. Japanese food and matcha green tea expert Eric Gower (the Breakaway Cook), restaurateur Hanson Li, and I comprised the panel of local Asian food experts that Asia Society invited to sample and critique the hotel’s proposed menu. It’s the organization’s biggest event of the year. About 400 people attend and Asia Society always wants to offer guests Asian inspired fare. We were seated at a table near the kitchen with Asia Society’s lead development officer and the Ritz Carlton’s catering director. One of the first courses featured tofu atop a tangy sushi rice-like platform. The... Continue reading
Posted Apr 1, 2014 at Viet World Kitchen
There were over 80 entries for the cookbook and the winner was double-digit entry number 77 -- Alea. Congratulations. Greatly appreciate all the uh... restaurant tips that people offered up. Like me, I hope you picked up some new spots to try in the Bay Area. Thanks for entering the giveaway everyone! Continue reading
Posted Apr 1, 2014 at Viet World Kitchen
You are amazing! Thanks for the tip on Deborah's recipe. I didn't know she had on in Savory Way and will look for it.
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Yowza! It's rare for anyone to make almond paste from scratch. Do you do that regularly and what recipe do you use?
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One of the best – if not THE best pastry shop in San Francisco these days is B. Patisserie run by Belinda Leong and Michel Suas. I met Belinda several years ago in the kitchen at Manresa restaurant in Los Gatos. She was cheery yet focused. She handed me a chocolate treat filled with extra virgin olive oil. She’d just made it and the little candy was divine, sensuous and exploded with a riot of flavor. I was with my friend Pim who had a question for Belinda about French canele, a tricky little pastry to bake. Belinda whipped out a small notebook and read off notes from her past work at places like Pierre Herme in Paris. I immediately liked her calm resolution and... Continue reading
Posted Mar 27, 2014 at Viet World Kitchen
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If you live in the United States, here’s your chance to win a copy of Carolyn Jung’s new cookbook, San Francisco Chef’s Table. You got a taste of what’s inside via the ribs recipe from State Bird Provisions. What's inside the book? You’ll find handsome chef portraits – lots of them. Among the Asian chefs featured, there are familiar chefs like Martin Yan and Hiro Sone and his wife Lissa Doumani of Michelin-star Ame. In the mix are young powerhouses like Belinda Leong of B Patisserie (I’ll be baking something from her this week) and Dennis Lee of Namu Gaji. Top L to R: Yan, Leong, Lee, Sone and Doumani Each of the 55 chefs contributed recipes and they run the gamut. Leafing through, you'll... Continue reading
Posted Mar 25, 2014 at Viet World Kitchen
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