A collection of contemporary, extra-special Vietnamese recipes, from beloved classics like Hanoi-Style Vermicelli with Grilled Pork and three variations of phở, to dishes with a New Orleans twist, like Southeast Asian Jambalaya and Sticky Fried Shrimp Bánh Mì—from Top Chef contestant and acclaimed chef Nini Nguyen
In Vietnamese culture, to be đặc biệt is to be special and luxurious, or, as chef and cooking instructor Nini Nguyen puts it, it means adding something a little extra, like salty caviar on top of squid-stuffed pork, a surprise note of ginger and lime in a dipping sauce, or sautéing shaking beef in farm-fresh butter for a creamy, delectable experience. Born and raised in New Orleans by Vietnamese immigrants, here Nini gives us recipes that fuse the best of Vietnamese and New Orleans cooking and clear directions on how to prepare and arrange them, making for a flavorful, unforgettable experience that proves that being a little extra is easy and just right.
Đặc Biệt includes one hundred delicious and vibrant recipes that celebrate the essential flavors of Vietnam—salty, sour, bitter, spicy, and sweet—and the bright and perfectly balanced dishes they create. Here are recipes for:
*Charbroiled Oysters in Chili Butter * Viet-Cajun Seafood Boil * Phở with Everything * Crispy Fish Sauce–Caramel Chicken Wings * Broken Rice with Pork Chops and Eggs * Crispy Noodles Covered in a Saucy Stir-Fry * BBQ Pork Ribs Glazed with Roasted Nước Mắm Sauce *Coconut Crispy Rice Crepes * and many more
“Nini Nguyen fills this debut cookbook with her signature exuberance and soul, shining light on her New Orleans community and delicious Vietnamese American experiences.” — Andrea Nguyen, James Beard Award-winning author of The Pho Cookbook and Ever-Green Vietnamese
“The love shines brightly in all aspects of Nini Nguyen’s Dac Biet: from the heartfelt stories of her Asian American upbringing, to the detailed explanations behind each ingredient choice to the delicious and easy to follow recipes themselves. This is a must-have cookbook for any serious home or professional cook!” — Anita Lo, James Beard Award-nominated chef and author of Solo
“Having Nini share with me her perspective on cooking has been one of the great privileges of my cooking career. She’s taught me some of the coolest stuff I know! Her food is grandma-inspired Vietnamese food dialed up to ten, from the perspective of a true New Orleans original. A book with all her recipes in one place just may be the greatest thing that has ever happened.” — Mason Hereford, chef and New York Times bestselling author of Turkey and the Wolf
“This brilliant, beautiful book celebrates Vietnamese culture through food and showcases Nini’s compelling story, from her upbringing in New Orleans to her career in New York City. But most importantly for home cooks, Nini—who is one of the best teachers I know—has produced an invaluable guide to the fundamentals of Vietnamese cooking.”— Chef Mei Lin