Recipes for Tet From Red Boat’s Founder
The Lunar New Year, called Tet in Vietnam, starts on Feb. 1. As for what to prepare, you might consider thit kho trung (extra special caramelized pork) or lil banh chung (rice cakes filled with pork, mung beans and shallots) from “The Red Boat Fish Sauce Cookbook,” which has a chapter about the holiday. There are many more satisfying but less elaborate recipes in this book by the founder of the excellent Red Boat fish sauce company, Cuong Pham — written with a food writer and a chef — including quick Red Boat bacon, shrimp and green beans; broccolini with garlic sauce; and chicken soup with cellophane noodles. Some dishes veer away from Vietnam, like pasta marinara, to showcase the versatility of fish sauce. (Chicken wings for a party crisped with a veneer of tapioca starch could fortify during halftime.) There’s also a full-dress rundown on homemade nuoc cham dipping sauces and a guide to ingredients. The story of Mr. Pham, his family and his essential condiment is woven throughout.
“The Red Boat Fish Sauce Cookbook” by Cuong Pham with Tien Nguyen and Diep Tran (Harvest, $25).
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