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The Songs of Sapa [Hardcover]

Luke Nguyen
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (32 customer reviews)
RRP: 25.00
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Book Description

5 Oct 2009
Luke Nguyen, of Secrets of the Red Lantern fame, is going home. Travelling on a personal and culinary tour through Vietnam, Luke visits his family and friends, and is invited into the homes of local Vietnamese food experts and cooks, to learn more about one of the richest, most diverse cuisines in the world. Be tempted by more than 100 regional and family recipes and vibrant, stunning photographs bursting with colour and texture, capturing the beauty of Vietnam, her people and their deep connection to food. Key points: from the co-author of best-selling cookbook Secrets of the Red Lantern; vibrant photography and shot entirely in Vietnam; more than 80 regional Vietnamese recipes

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The Songs of Sapa + Indochine + Secrets of the Red Lantern: Stories and Vietnamese Recipes from the Heart
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Product details

  • Hardcover: 344 pages
  • Publisher: Murdoch Books (5 Oct 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1741964652
  • ISBN-13: 978-1741964653
  • Product Dimensions: 22.8 x 26.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (32 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 60,140 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Luke Nguyen is a proprietor of the acclaimed Sydney restaurant, Red lantern. Informing all of his writing and recipes is the Nguyen families difficult history and having left Vietnam as boat people they eventually settled in Australia. His books tell the story of a love of food - it helped to placate homesickness and became central to their early success, it was sometimes the only language the family could use to communicate with each other. In the end, it was this shared passion for food that reconciled the family and help create Red Lantern's success. Later, with the book Songs of a Sapa, Luke travels on a personal and culinary tour through Vietnam. Luke visits his family and friends, and is invited into the homes of local Vietnamese food experts and cooks, to learn more about one of the richest, most diverse cuisines in the world.

Product Description

About the Author

Luke Nguyen is a proprietor of the acclaimed Sydney restaurant, Red Lantern.

Inside This Book (Learn More)
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Front Cover | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
4.7 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
17 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautifully presented and comprehensive 19 Oct 2009
Format:Hardcover
This generously, beautifully presented book is bursting with stunning photography and evocative stories from Vietnam alongside a comprehensive cook's trip around the country from North to South. Staples of Vietnamese cuisine - beef noodle soup and fish porridge, gorgeous roast pork - sit alongside other dishes both more complex and more approachable. Cooks of all levels should will something to appreciate.

The book really captures the character of the different regions of Vietnam - the relaxed coastal lifestyle of Na Trang, the cool, lush coffee-growing hills of Da Lat, the bustle and street food of Saigon. If you've been to Vietnam, this book should help bring memories flooding back through the food and the imagery. If you haven't been, this book should serve as a great introduction to Vietnamese food, and the country itself.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The best Vietnamese cookbook!! 19 Jan 2011
By themell
Format:Hardcover
I have never bothered to review any books I have purchased on Amazon until this book. I absolutely love the recipes in this book; not only are they authentic, they all taste wonderful. My husband raves that all the dishes I have prepared from his book to be restaurant quality. I would even venture to say that they are even better than my mother's recipes. If you're looking for a really authentic Vietnamese cookbook, look no further!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A jewel of a book 14 Dec 2009
Format:Hardcover
This book is a real work of art and brings back so many memories of my travels around Vietnam, with a look at the cultural side as well as focusing on the culinary side it is a shear joy to own, so if you have an interest in the about you really should try this book out as the recipes turn out exactly as they would in Vietnamese home's and restaurants.

All I can say is buy it and enjoy,
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A great read! 19 Aug 2011
By N.P.
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I saw the TV series and felt compelled to buy the book because of my love of Vietnamese food. This 'cookbook' is like no other that I've bought, as it reads so brilliantly. Part travel log, part cook book with recipes, it has been a joy to read. Superb photos and the writing is some of the most readable that I've come across. Many famous chefs (Pierre Koffman, Giorgio Locatelli to name a couple)have written books of recipes around their experiences, but Luke Nguyen's is far more interesting.
Only a couple of issues: he refers to lemon juice in the book, however, in the TV series, there was an occasion when he said lemon juice whilst cutting a lime! Now, in Chinese, limes are 'green lemons', so, I'm not sure which he means?! Also, in the TV series, the Pho soup base was made from charred Asian shallots, whereas the book recipe calls for 'onions'. I feel sure that the size differential between the two can result in a significant difference in the charred taste. However, an excellent book, full of recipes a home cook could quite easily reproduce.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful culinary tour of Vietnam 6 Oct 2010
By KLT
Format:Hardcover
I couldn't agree with the other reviewer's more - this book is stunning, well written, artistic and captures the essence of Vietnamese cuisine and culture. Definitely one of the best cookbooks I've purchased (and I've got a fair few).
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars As much a travel log as a recipe book 8 Nov 2011
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Visually this book is very striking - with an awful lot of fascinating and attractive pictures of the Vietnamese landscape, the bustling cities and of course of the food. The recipes themselves are well laid-out, very pleasant and so far as I can tell (though I'm really not any kind of expert) very authentic. The overall organisation of the book is also pleasingly logical with recipes ordered according to region. The recipes are all furthermore put into some kind of cultural context via an accessible introductory passage to each region.

These passages, however accessible, are not brief, nor are they really objective, informative accounts of each region's culture. Collectively, they are instead, essentially, a travel log written in rambling prose, of which a large part is an account of various family reunions (but with the occasional interesting fact about Vietnam's food or culture thrown in). Given that with most contemporary food writing there will invariably be some sort of autobiographical or narrative preamble before each recipe section, they are usually easy to overlook or even enjoy out of idle curiosity. In this book however, they are pretty gratuitous. Upon opening this book to a random page, you are about as likely to encounter a non-food-related photograph (however pretty) or an excessively detailed description of a day of travelling and social interaction as you are one of the recipes.

I appreciate that many people enjoy this kind of travel writing and that for existing fans of Luke Nguyen a lot of this autobiographical detail would be fascinating. My expectation on buying this book was however, that it would primarily be a recipe book of generic interest for anyone wanting a concise but detailed account of Vietnam's food.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great culinary tour of Vietnam 27 Nov 2009
Format:Hardcover
Luke Nguyen uses his extensive understanding of the food of Vietnam to tell his story of his travels. And he succeeds in creating a wonderful book.
Like the related book 'History of the Red Lantern' and his TV show 'Luke Nguyen's Vietnam' it reminds me so much of our recent (2008) holiday in Vietnam. The food is fabulous. The people are fabulous.
Through these books and TV show we get to glimpse at the lives of those who were able to flee Vietnam after the war and their dependents.
Both books are a great reads (my mother-in-law wants to read them as novels).
Recommended!
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars I love Viet Nam so I love this book
I've been in Viet Nam last year and I found it fantastic! The food is really really nice, especially in the north and that's why I've bought this book. Read more
Published 2 months ago by Paola Ferrari
5.0 out of 5 stars simply brilliant
Bought this amazing book for my partner after travelling Vietnam last year and watching Lukes programmes ..... Read more
Published 2 months ago by terry hopper
4.0 out of 5 stars good recipe book for experienced cooks, but i think it tries too hard...
A good book for experienced cooks who want to try out a new cuisine. It does describe the specialised ingredients well enough that you can work out the local names and therefore... Read more
Published 4 months ago by Moppers
4.0 out of 5 stars Mixed feelings
I'm a great fan of Luke Nguyen tv series and recently returned from Vietnam so was very enthusiastic to get this book. Read more
Published 7 months ago by pip
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Book
I purchased this book as a present for my daughters boyfriend. He is very much into his cooking & wanted a book with Vietnamese recipes. This book seemed perfect. Read more
Published 8 months ago by Guinnie Boy
5.0 out of 5 stars Teriffic Book
I purchased this book as a present for my daughters boyfriend. He is very much into his cooking & wanted a book with Vietnamese recipes. This book seemed perfect. Read more
Published 8 months ago by GJ
4.0 out of 5 stars Good book
This is the 2nd 'Nam cookbook I've bought as it's my favourite regional cuisine. The 1st I bought was at a time when there weren't any alternatives (I bought it before the Red... Read more
Published 8 months ago by Steamboat
5.0 out of 5 stars Next best thing to going there!
A brilliant introduction to Viet Nam, its culture, people and food. The photographs are stunning and the recipes are sumptuous. Read more
Published 10 months ago by Michelle Sedgebeer
5.0 out of 5 stars genuine Vietnem coming to life
this is the best book for genuine recipes. I went to a Vietnamese cookery class in London and the teacher recommended it. Read more
Published 11 months ago by Mrs Marie Killick
5.0 out of 5 stars Great photography, recipes and content
A big book, full of recipes and great photography, packed with text and descriptions. Great price, too !
Filling up space so I can click submit !
Published 12 months ago by Daniel Tyler
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