The 10 Best Vietnamese Cookbooks You Want To Have in Your Kitchen

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Vietnamese cookbooks are an essential staple to a worldly kitchen. After all, Vietnamese food is one of the most exquisite Asian cuisines and definitely one of our favorites.

Cooking Vietnamese food requires learning about the specific and complementing ingredients as well as the essential cooking techniques.

A few authors stand out when it comes to writing Vietnamese cookbooks and recipes. 

From famous chefs to renown authors, we spotlight authors from different horizons approaching Vietnamese cuisine with their own unique style.

Some Vietnamese cookbooks draw attention to the cultural aspects of the cuisine while others focus more on the recipe technicalities.

Check out our list of the best Vietnamese cookbooks that will make a great addition to your kitchen.

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Andrea Nguyen Best Vietnamese Cookbooks

Andrea Nguyen is probably the name you will hear the most when it comes to Vietnamese cookbooks.

Born in Vietnam, she has been based in California since she left Vietnam at the age 6 years old.

Andrea Nguyen, an award winning author, has written several cookbooks.  Since her first cookbook was published in 2007, she has received praise and recognition. 

Her most prestigious award comes from the James Beard foundation for The Pho Cookbook. She is also a prolific contributor to food magazines and publications.

What transpires in Andrea Nguyen work is her ability to make Asian and Vietnamese food approachable to anyone.

When it comes to Vietnamese recipes, Andrea Nguyen has published three books we particularly recommend.

1- Vietnamese Food Any Day

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Vietnamese Food Any Day is Andrea Nguyen’s latest cookbook, named one of the best cookbooks by NPR.

This recipe book helps you make Vietnamese recipes with ingredients you can find at any grocery stores.

The recipes are broken down into different chapters from snacks to sweets including the main Vietnamese staples.

It comes with ingredients essentials, shopping tips and recommendations to get you closer to the authentic Vietnamese flavors.

Most of the recipes are simple and can be easily made in any home cook’s kitchen. We’re particularly impressed by how simple this cookbook is to use, and helps make your kitchen a Vietnamese kitchen.  

+ Who Is It For: One of the best Vietnamese cookbooks for Novice cooks. Also for people with no access to specific Vietnamese ingredients

Not For: Someone looking for the subtleties of Vietnamese ingredients and the authentic takes to Vietnamese cuisine

2- The Pho Cookbook

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Another classic cookbook by Andrea Nguyen, The Pho Cookbook is a cooking manual about Pho, the famous Vietnamese noodle soup.

In this Vietnamese cookbook, you find traditional Pho recipes with beef and chicken as well as more “adventurous” versions with seafood and lamb.

We are quite fascinated by how wide and deep Andrea Nguyen dives into Pho. She makes it easy for anyone to make this staple Vietnamese dish right in your kitchen.

In addition to the recipes, Andrea Nguyen also provides the history behind this staple food in Vietnam and its importance in Vietnamese cuisine.

Besides Pho, Andrea Nguyen invites you to prepare spring rolls, sauces and drinks to make it a full Vietnamese meal.

+ Who Is It For: If you are looking to learn the ins and out of Pho, this book is for you.

Not For: Someone looking for an all encompassing book about Vietnamese recipes

READ MORE: The Best Pho You Want to Slurp on in Vietnam

3- The Banh Mi Handbook

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Banh Mi, born in Saigon, has become one of the most famous Vietnamese food staples eaten all over the world.

You might wonder why you would need a full recipe book for just a simple sandwich. After having spent months in Vietnam tasting Banh Mi from North to South, we understand that making Banh Mi can be quite involved.

In this The Banh Mi Handbook, Andrea Nguyen aims to give you all the information you need to master Banh Mi.

From the essential ingredients to the various Banh Mi styles you can make, you get an in-depth take on the Banh Mi sandwich.

Beyond the sandwich itself, the author provides history and family stories as well as practical tips to finding the right bread.

You will never think about a sandwich the same way again, especially after making a Banh Mi sandwich.

+ Who Is It For: If you are looking to learn the ins and out of banh mi, this book is for you.

Not For: Someone looking to explore Vietnamese recipes beyond banh mi

READ MORE: Banh Mi – The Best Vietnamese Sandwich to Fall in Love With

Charles Phan Best Vietnamese Cookbooks

While Andrea Nguyen is known as a cookbook writer, Charles Phan has been a long time chef before being an author.

Chef Charles Phan is the owner and executive chef of San Francisco’s Slanted Door, the famous farm to table Vietnamese restaurant.

In 2004, he won the James Beard Award for Best Chef, California. He is said to have brought modern Vietnamese cuisine to the United States. 

Born in Da-Lat Vietnam, Charles Phan’s family flew Vietnam to eventually settle in California. After a rapid success with the Slanted Door, Chef Charles Phan has opened more restaurants in San Francisco. 

His first cookbook, Vietnamese Home Cooking, came much later in his career as a chef. The book won the IACP (International Association of Culinary Professionals). 

In his cookbooks, Chef Charles Phan brings a modern interpretation to traditional Vietnamese cuisine. He also introduces the fundamental techniques and ingredients to cook Vietnamese style.

4- Vietnamese Home Cooking

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In Vietnamese Home Cooking, the techniques to make Vietnamese food are at the core of the book. 

Chef Charles Phan draws on his unique experience mixing western and eastern techniques to inspire you to cook Vietnamese. 

You’ll learn the fundamentals of making Vietnamese food before diving into the recipes. Charles Phan provides insights about the spices, ingredients and how to balance the flavors and textures for a true Vietnamese taste.

He also combines his Chinese and Vietnamese heritage to provide Chinese influenced Vietnamese dishes. 

This Vietnamese cookbook is laid out so that the main chapters are organized by cooking techniques. We found this organization quite unique and helpful to understand the approach to Vietnamese cooking.

Under each cooking technique, several dishes are listed which are made using that specific cooking technique.

+ Who Is It For: The cook enthusiast who is looking to expand its repertoire into Vietnamese inspired cuisine.

– Not For: Someone looking for easy Vietnamese food to make any day.

AUTHENTIC FOOD QUEST TIP: Having a good cookbook holder makes a difference when following recipes in your kitchen. See our review of The 10 Best Cookbook Holders To Have in Your Kitchen

5- The Slanted Door

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The Slanted Door is Charles Phan’s second cookbook, this time focusing on modern VIetnamese cuisine.

In this Vietnamese cookbook, he puts a spotlight on the recipes behind the success of his restaurant, The Slanted Door.

The author relates The Slanted Door story from its beginning in the Mission to its glorious days in the Ferry Building.

He breaks out each time period that marked the evolution of the restaurant with the key recipes that made The Slanted Door what it is today.

I personally love learning about the backstories of someone’s accomplishment and this book doesn’t fail to deliver.

Beloved for his modern take on Vietnamese cuisine, you get to learn the recipes that make people come to the restaurant.

You will find one hundred recipes broken down into starters, mains, salads, soups, desserts and even cocktails. 

+ Who Is It For: Those looking for a beautiful cookbook focusing on modern Vietnamese cuisine including craft cocktails

– Not For: Homecooks looking for simple and traditional Vietnamese recipes.

Luke Nguyen Best Vietnamese Cookbooks

Luke Nguyen is a renowned chef in Australia where he opened his first restaurant Red Lantern in 2002. 

The Vietnamese-Australian chef is best known for its television shows. In his show Luke Nguyen’s Vietnam, he travels through Vietnam exploring the culture, cuisine and cooking along the way. He has also appeared on the television show MasterChef. 

Luke Nguyen has written a few cook books in which he shares stories as well as Vietnamese recipes. 

His cookbooks are typically written like a travelogue with recipes, beautiful pictures and fascinating stories.

6- The Food of Vietnam

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The Food of Vietnam takes you on a culinary journey through Vietnam. Luke Nguyen navigates from Saigon and the south, to Hanoi and the north of Vietnam.

In each region, he provides detailed insight about the city, cultural bites, and personal stories from the places he visited.

The recipes are inspired by his experience in each location and the people he meets. The beautiful pictures of the dishes are tantalizing and provide a real perspective of what to expect of the food in Vietnam.

Photographs of the cities and the Vietnamese people really transports you to Vietnam. We really like the details about the places that remind us of our own journey in Vietnam. 

There are also some insightful tips about the food, where it comes from and how to best choose some of the ingredients.

One thing to note is that the kindle version is well formatted to read through the recipes and check the images as well.

+ Who Is It For: Those looking for a beautiful cookbook focusing on authentic Vietnamese cuisine. And, for those looking for a cookbook to travel to Vietnam with.

Not For: Beginners and the ones looking for a cookbook with cooking techniques where ingredients can be easily found at home. 

READ MORE: Your Guide to Vietnamese Street Food

7- My Vietnam – Stories And Recipes

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This another beautiful cookbook from Luke Nguyen. My Vietnam is narrated more as a travelogue rather than a cookbook. 

This time the author starts in the north of Vietnam in Sapa and travels slowly to the South of Vietnam and the Mekong.

The photos are stunning and Luke Nguyen includes detailed narrative about the many places he travels through.

There are fascinating stories about Vietnamese street food, culture and daily life. The recipes are well detailed, providing this time the Vietnamese names which were missing in his previous book.

This recipe book gives you an authentic take on Vietnamese food. Each recipe starts with either a short story about how the author came across the dish in Vietnam. Or with insightful tips about the ingredients and the alternatives.

+ Who Is It For: Those looking for a travelogue cookbook to transport you to Vietnam with simple and authentic recipes.

Not For: Novice cooks just getting introduced to Vietnamese home cooking. 

Linh Nguyen Vietnamese Cookbook

Linh Nguyen was born and raised in Northern Vietnam, lived in New York as a student and now resides in Hoi An.

A Fulbright scholar, while she was teaching English to foreigners in New York City,  Linh Nguyen led workshops about Vietnamese culture. (do follow link)

 She started sharing Vietnamese culture through the country’s cuisine. After documenting recipes and her Vietnamese lifestyle on her blog, she published her first cookbook.

Lemongrass, Ginger and Mint Vietnamese Cookbook: Classic Vietnamese Street Food Made at Home quickly became an Amazon bestseller.

8- Lemongrass, Ginger and Mint Vietnamese Cookbook

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Vietnamese cooking comes to life in Lemongrass, Ginger and Mint Vietnamese Cookbook, a collection of easy-to-follow recipes. The writing is simple, straightforward and written with the expertise of someone who grew up in Vietnam.

This Vietnamese cookbook is split into 8 chapters after a brief introduction of the geographic and cultural influences of Vietnamese cuisine.

The chapters feature popular everyday Vietnamese food like Phở Noodle Soup, Cháo Porridge dishes, Bún or Rice Vermicelli foods and more. Sweet treats and drinks complete this traditional cookbook.

For home cooks eager to replicate Vietnamese dishes, ingredient lists, cooking techniques and shopping recommendations are provided.

What we like about this authentic Vietnamese cookbook are the personal stories Linh shares about cooking with her mother and grandparents. 

From growing up in rural Vietnam in the mid-1980s to cooking in New York City, we learn about adapting the Vietnamese kitchen for any situation.

+ Who Is It For: For home cooks looking for accessible Vietnamese popular dishes while learning about the history and culture. 

Not For: Those who like to see pictures of the food. Very few pictures of the Vietnamese traditional dishes included. 

Helen Le Vietnamese Cooking book

We first discovered Helen Le when we were visiting Da Nang, in Central Vietnam. While exploring local food in Da Nang, we stumbled upon some of Helen’s recipes. 

Helen started her food blog in 2010 and later became popular with her Vietnamese Cooking channel on Youtube

With this success, she published her debut cookbook to showcase her Vietnamese recipes.

9- Simply Pho

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Pho, arguably the most famous Vietnamese food is a worldwide sensation. Home cooks looking to make authentic Vietnamese pho, need not look any further.

Simply Pho, by Helen Le, will show you how to craft the perfect bowl of pho noodle soup at home. 

You’ll learn how to make fresh pho noodles from scratch including how to make pho with beef and pho with chicken.

Beyond pho, Helen’s recipes include other Vietanamese dishes. Find spring rolls and other appetizers, vermicelli noodle soups and dishes, Vietnamese sandwiches, condiments, drinks and treats.

With an engaged audience on YouTube, Helen Le brings her easy to follow approach to this recipe book. Visually striking photos with clear instructions will bring mouthwatering iconic dishes straight to your kitchen.

What we really appreciate about Helen’s content is her deep knowledge about central Vietnamese food. She provided useful tips while we were exploring the food in Danang.

 + Who Is It For: If you are already a fan of Helen’s Recipes on YouTube, you will love the down to earth approach she brings to this cookbook. 

– Not For: Those who want comprehensive Vietnamese recipes. Even though other recipes are included, the main focus of this cookbook is centered on pho noodle soup.

Lien Nguyen Vietnamese Cookbook

Lien Nguyen was born in Paris to Vietnamese parents who immigrated to France. Later, she moved to California to pursue a career in engineering. 

You might wonder what steered Lien from Engineering to cooking. Lien is a food lover and after retiring, she decided to dive deeper into her own Vietnamese culture through food.

Her journey took her to publish several cookbooks including Eat Real Vietnamese Food.

What we like about Lien Nguyen is that she brings in the spotlight the French influence to the Vietnamese food.

10- Eat Real Vietnamese Food

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An award winning author of several Vietnamese cookbooks, the Eat Real Vietnamese Food cookbook stands out for the use of technology.

Of all the Vietnamese cookbooks featured, this is the only one that features a free iphone app with preloaded recipe ingredient lists.

Vietnam has a long and tumultuous history and several influences on the food. For home cooks looking to dive into a specific period of Vietnamese food culture, this book immortalizes the cuisine of the 1950s. 

The recipes are gathered from Lien Nguyen’s mother’s extensive collection and captures the period when Vietnamese cuisine was still influenced by French culture.

The recipes in the book are authentic and accompanied with full color pictures. Easy to follow step by step instructions are provided as well as historical background on the dishes.

+ Who Is It For: This detailed cookbook is best for home cooks who already have knowledge about Vietnamese cooking and want to dive deeper into traditional recipes.

– Not For: These home cooking recipes are focused on the 1950s and while simple to make, not for those seeking more variety.

What is your favorite Vietnam cooking book? Please let us know in the comments below!

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17 Comments on “The 10 Best Vietnamese Cookbooks You Want To Have in Your Kitchen”

  1. This is so perfect! Ever since corona started last year and we couldn’t travel, the food was such a good “escape”. Preparing or ordering meals from around the world and having “themed” evenings was/is so much fun! Thank you for sharing about Vietnamese food, will have to try it for our next date night!


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