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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
Right, that may work in the IP. I've only made soy milk on the stove for my Asian Tofu book. It's just a matter of simmering the filtered milk to make it digestible. You have to keep the monitoring the heat. Boil overs do happen in the IP. I had it happen the other day with yogurt: http://www.vietworldkitchen.com/blog/2017/09/instant-pot-vietnamese-yogurt-recipe.html That plastic overflow/spill cup actually came in handy. I was wondering for months what it was suppose to do. It filled up with milk.
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Michelle and I have a friend named Coco Morante who has all the IPs, since she'd just written an IP cookbook. She mentioned a small 3-quart IP that recently came out. Love that you wrote to the IP support. They're tech people and should have programmed that in.
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Yup, the simmering is nothing but evaporating water to create a fattier milk. Harold's great. I like some tang in my yogurt but have wondered about using higher fat milk, like local milk. Half and half is a terrific idea.
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Gretchen -- if you do the extra evaporation step after pasteurization, the yogurt may be the exact thickness for you. Thank you for sharing your family's yogurt story. It's great that your mom still makes her own! That's dedication. And margarine tubs, too. Wow. The paper lids make sense for air circulation while keeping the bugs away. The Instant Pot makes yogurt making lots easier!
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You are hilarious! You own three (3) IPs? Wow. Wow. They should make multiple IPs controllable from one. You could name the machines, then! That would be awesome. Totally soak sticky rice. Any anything that avoids that mushy rice at the bottom of the pot, I'm all for it. The IP is all about that reveal, and when you're looking at unattractive grains of rice, it's a major let down. Last week when I wrote this post, the IP Duo was $79 on Amazon. This week when I posted about making yogurt, the machine was back to $99. The games retailers play... but sounds like you scored big time. Hooooray.
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I eat yogurt for breakfast most mornings. It’s not glamorous but it’s healthy and easy to assemble a bowl of muesli, fruit, yogurt, and honey. I add a heaping spoonful of flaxseed meal (my dad got me into flax years ago). My husband has his yogurt with just fruit. Together we eat about half a gallon of yogurt every ten days. For years, that meant we were amassing a collection of yogurt tubs. My mom loved those tubs for freezing food and I took to gifting her frozen pho broth in recycled yogurt tubs. She got so many tubs that she re-gifted empty tubs to her friend, Mrs. Nha. Earlier this year, I investigated buying a yogurt maker. Why keep going to Costco for half-gallon... Continue reading
Posted 5 days ago at Viet World Kitchen
The yogurt function is the best! How do you make your Viet yogurt in the IP? I have some going now and just added some condensed milk to my regular batch.
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Thanks Nathan! I hadn't seen that. So interesting!
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I typically soak sticky rice before steaming, or raw rice if I'm going to grind it up. I've heard of people soaking jasmine and sushi rice before cooking to ensure the grains develop well. The IP promises convenience so I figure why not push its buttons? I think there's a presoak function built into the multigrain function. You may want to try that so you don't have to monitor the 30-minute presoak. Thanks for the tip!
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Randy -- you're the pro user!!! Slow cookers rely on a thick insert that holds heat well. The IP's metal insert is for pressure cooking, not for slow cooking. Thanks for all the tips and insights. I'm kinda hooked on making yogurt in the IP. More on that soon.
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You're right! It's a fab deal after Thanksgiving! Smart shopper. That gasket/silicone sealer ring does pick up food aromas! Thanks for the tip.
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The IP makes awesome yogurt and steams eggs super well. I like it more than I thought I would. It has its ups and downs but for a multicooker that costs less than $100, it's a good appliance for folks -- but not everyone. ;-)
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I was a skeptic about the Instant Pot a while back, writing a post to compare it to a stovetop pressure cookers, like the Fagor Duo. Which should you buy? It all depends! I’m still on the fence about it but now I own an Instant Pot. I have been using it along with the Fagor Duo for about six months. It all started when Hunter Lewis, the editor in chief of Cooking Light, asked me to review the Instant Pot for my column in the magazine. They bought me one from Amazon and after it arrived, I set it aside in my kitchen for a few days, not wanting it to take up space on my counter. Then I opened it and took it... Continue reading
Posted Sep 14, 2017 at Viet World Kitchen
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I’m never one to say that you have to be Asian to cook Asian food well. A friend of mine, Andrea Slonecker, is a food stylist, recipe developer, researcher, and writer. She tested the recipes for Andy Ricker’s Pok Pok cookbook I cooked with Andrea earlier this year at an event for the International Association Culinary Professionals, a guild that we both belong to. She’s smart and funny. She’s also a thoughtful cook. That’s why I was intrigued by a new little book she’s authored about pears. I love pears -- raw and poached. At Christmas time, I gift my parents Harry and David pears. My mom sets them aside to eat with us after my siblings and their families have departed, when she and... Continue reading
Posted Sep 7, 2017 at Viet World Kitchen
Hi MerryB -- No problem! Make a regular liver pate. I have 2 recipes in The Banh Mi Handbook that are just terrific. There's no soy or soy sauce involved in them. There's a delicious gateway chicken liver pate and a quick one made with store-bought liverwurst. Here's a little about the book: http://www.vietworldkitchen.com/blog/2014/06/banh-mi-handbook-review-recipes.html Your library may have it. Otherwise, it's available at amazon: http://amzn.to/2x6xlSc
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The supermarket ads this week scream “Grill, grill, grill!” It’s our American way of saying farewell to summer, and there are many options for doing so. Even in California, where we can cook outdoors practically all year round, Labor Day weekend still calls for grilling up a storm. At my house, much of what we grill up is Asian-inflected. I’ve written lots of grilling recipes in my cookbooks and there are more at Viet World Kitchen. Here’s a collection of Vietnamese and Thai ideas to get you going, either now or later, to savor or extend summer. Viet Restaurant-Style Lemongrass Pork – I never tire of this recipe. It’s sweet, salty, and delicious. You can use the marinade on chicken, too. Grilled Goat Chops with... Continue reading
Posted Aug 30, 2017 at Viet World Kitchen
Thanks for weighing in, Marc! With retailers like Walmart and Costco having gotten on board with selling more organic foods products, the prices have come down. Food producers choose the best ingredients to meet their business needs. Consumers need to consider their budgets, culinary uses, and tastes. It's up to individuals to identify the intersections that suit them and make the economic choices. Yes, the jury is out on organic and non-GMO, but for people for whom that kind of labeling matters, they have affordable options. As consumers and cooks, it's important to be curious. I encourage people to keep an open mind.
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Hooray! I hope you like it.
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Oh my. Then I'd buy extra-firm tofu. Buy it. I don't think it's worth making tofu for this. I just thought of this... use 6 ounces of extra-firm tofu, cut it into small cubes then let it sit on paper towel or a dish towel for 30 to 45 minutes to allow it to drain. That will firm it up some before you put it in the pot.
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That's a great question but in all honesty, Trader Joe's green olives were just what I had. I don't think it's super special, though I don't go around tasting olive brine much. You could use any brine of a big-flavored green olive. Dark brine would darken the pate mixture but maybe some time you want that! The brine from a mild olive wouldn't do that much and you may have to use a lot, thereby softening the mixture too much, before you get the flavor you want.
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I’ve been thinking about a vegetarian pate and fried egg banh mi since I had a liver pate and fried egg banh mi in Saigon back in 2014. It was my second breakfast that day. The banh mi vendor, Mai Thi Hoang, situated herself outside the gate where my apartment hotel was located. As it turned out, she lived nearby and operated her banh mi stall for extra pocket money, she told me. Her husband had an office job and her son was in college. I liked her spirit. We were both born in 1969. Hers was one of the best banh mi sandwiches I had in Saigon on that trip. So I’ve been mentally chewing on her sandwich for a couple of years now... Continue reading
Posted Aug 24, 2017 at Viet World Kitchen
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Do they have a sodium count on the back? Usually regular, full-sodium soy sauce is about 920 mg of sodium per tablespoon. You can compare the sodium count and dilute the La bo De to come to about 900 mg. Thanks for offering to send me a bottle. I trust your judgment on this one!
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You'd want to mix it with other ingredients -- water and sugar. Is it like a super salty version of fermented soy beans? I'm not familiar with the soy sauce made by La Bo De. I've only bought the fermented soy beans in the tall jar.
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Go for the organic and then look for a different non-GMO certification, if both of those qualifiers are important. That seems sound to me!
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That's interesting. But I notice that Westsoy has USDA organic certification and non-GMO certification.
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