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am 8. Juni 2000
The book is bilingual with instructions in both Chinese and English. Each section is graced with photos of the dishes.
The book is flawed for its lack of details such as, time for preparation; and of procedures (either written or pictorial. Phrases such as, "Cook chicken until 80% done" - are not overly instructive.
I would not recommend this book unless one is already familiar with cooking processes, Asian in particular. It does not give thorough background in either the history of the country nor dishes. This book also fails to teach a person on how to cook. There is an introducion of ingredients that does have photos but other than that you are on your own. IT is a simple repository of *very* modified recipes.
The recipes are not quite right. An example is the "vietnamese pancake" or Ban Xeo which only uses wheat flour (try rice flour and potato starch) or the fact that the frequent sauces used section is missing caramel (an essential ingredient used in various stewed and stir fry dishes. Oh yes, the dipping sauce recipe is WAY off.
You are much better off getting another Vietnamese cookbook to start you off such as, "Best of Vietnames and Thai Cooking" - Mai Pham which is an easy introduction to dishes and ingredients though somewhat westernized (not excessively). The Lonely Planet food guide to Viet Nam is better than this book - and that is not a cookbook but a guide to Vietnamese food. For the more hardcore go get Corinne Trang's "vietnamese cooking".
If you are a collector and obsessed about having a complete collection then get this book but ONLY on a big discount.
Not recommended for beginners and for advanced users it will be disappointing except as a possible cross reference for dishes.