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First Look: SF Chef Charles Phan's Cookbook, Vietnamese Home Cooking

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[Photos: Paula Forbes]

Here's Vietnamese Home Cooking by chef/restaurateur Charles Phan of San Francisco's Slanted Door and five other restaurants. The "home cooking" of the title doesn't mean the food is dumbed down from restaurant quality, as is often (unfortunately) the case in the current trend of chefs writing cookbooks for at-home cooks. On the contrary: Phan's recipes serve as a jumping off point for those looking to explore Vietnamese food. That is, a recipe for, say, ph? bò is not "Americanized" or "simplified"; it's a no frills, traditional pho recipe that calls for four different types of beef bones and takes half a day to make. It's scaled for the home cook, sure, but it's also made properly. No exceptions, no excuses, no shortcuts.

Don't be intimidated, though: the book is easily approachable with step-by-step instructions and it even has a handy ingredient glossary in the back for folks who are really, truly new to Vietnamese food. (Although these days, how unfamiliar is tamarind or shrimp paste?) In any case, for those who would try their hand at the foods of Vietnam, regardless of skill level, Phan's got you covered. Below, a preview of the book — Vietnamese Home Cooking comes out from Ten Speed September 25 (pre-order on Amazon).

Video: Vietnamese Home Cooking by Charles Phan Book Preview

· Vietnamese Home Cooking by Charles Phan Book Preview [YouTube]

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