INTRODUCTION Vietnam is a country of natural beauty with a coastline of sandy beaches stretching about 2000 miles (3225 km) from the northern to the southern tip of the South China Sea. Along the coast, fishing is the main livelihood. The majority of Vietnamese people are Kinh race people (87%) with the remaining of 53 different ethnic minority groups. For more than 2000 years, the country has been subjected to a near continuing series of foreign occupations from China, France, Japan, and America. One consequence of these occupations is the lasting influence on Vietnamese cuisine. Among Vietnamese dishes, perhaps the best known in the West is Pho, a noodle soup. Another is the deep-fried spring roll called Nern in the north, and Cha Goi in the south. Rice is a staple food used as a side dish, or a main dish when combined with other ingredients, such as beef, pork, chicken, or seafood. Vietnamese dishes consist of many different blends of herbs and spices. Most dishes are not fiery hot, nor greasy. Seafood and vegetarian dishes like An Chay are very popular. Today, Vietnamese cuisine is gaining increased international attention due to the fact that it is quite healthy.
This book is an introduction to a new generation for a delicious journey through Vietnamese cuisine. While the combination of flavors may seem experimental to some, they will result in a savory experience. All ingredients used in these recipes can be found in supermarkets, natural food stores or in Asian food markets. It is our pleasure to share these quick and delicious Vietnamese recipes with you. Enjoy the good nutrition that comes with it.