Secrets of the Red Lantern: Stories and Vietnamese Recipes from the Heart *
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In my family, food is our language. Food enables us to communicate the things we find so hard to say.” -Pauline Nguyen
Overflowing with sumptuous but simply prepared dishes that have been passed down through generations of the Nguyen family, Secrets of the Red Lantern is part Vietnamese cookbook and part family memoir.
More than 275 traditional Vietnamese recipes are presented alongside a visual narrative of food and family photographs that follows the family’s escape from war torn Vietnam to the successful founding of the Red Lantern restaurant.
At the heart of each recipe is the power of food to elevate and transform. From a recipe of cari de that sparks a memory to the distinctly bitter melon soup that says, “I’m sorry,” Secrets of the Red Lantern shares the rich culinary heritage of the Nguyen family and their personal story of reconciliation and success.
Recipes like Bun Rieu (Crab and Tomato Soup with Vermicelli Noodles), Goi Du Du (Green Papaya Salad with Prawns and Pork), and Che Khoai Mon (Black Sticky Rice with Taro), unlock the family’s secrets and see the family persevere through homesickness, heartache, and the upheavals of change to finally experience growth and celebration. The result is a beautiful journey through Vietnamese history, culture, and tradition.