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The Vietnamese Market Cookbook

After many many months, folks met in Hyderabad over a cookbook.

Since I'm still unable to cook at my best, grilling meat or making a broth worked just fine. And let's face it, Vietnamese food is yummy.

The idea was to do pho and banh mi so that we'd have some noodles and some broths, a couple kinds of dips/spreads, breads, meats and greens. And we'd all eat to our fill without having to bother to make an entire dish.

We met at Arundati's studio where she'd made some delicious baguettes. The last time we'd done Vietnamese food for a cookbook club meet and asked someone to get baguettes, we'd disappointingly ended up with crostini. And I didn't want to repeat that. So I nagged Arundati in a very restrained way and hoped for the best.

She baked some wonderfully soft baguettes and she says she didn't realize we'd shared a recipe book, so she made her own. What I'd hoped for, though, was probably a ragi baguette and maybe a white flour one. But I'm not one to ng outside of home, so not having had time or resources to look at the book became a good enough excuse.

Suraj carried some sprouts and mixed greens. I had trouble sourcing pork bones earlier that day and my pork bone broth was brown and ugly instead of the usual white and delicious. I also had some trouble skimming the dirt off the broth while it cooked and that could've been a possible reason, I think. The chicken bone broth was quite tasty, truth be told. I need to start heading out in the city more because I need to find a vendor who has chicken feet (I love the gelatinous texture they impart to broths) and the like. I've also made my peace with overpriced skin-on chicken. So yes, heading out on my on is of utmost importance. Since it's easy to cook chicken breast, I made the Roast Chicken with Honey, Black Pepper, and Fish Sauce.

Swapnil brought the Caramelized Braised Pork Belly which was a delight to eat. The recipe is quite a keeper.

The book is by Anh Vu and Van Tran and was published in 2014 by Running Press Book Publishers

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