Made In London Cook Book By Leah Hyslop
Uyen Luu's Beef Pho Recipe

From Tudor oyster pedlars and Victorian pie and mash shops, to the supper clubs and street food scene flourishing today, Britain’s capital has always been a tantalising draw for those who live to eat.
In Made in London, Londoner Leah Hyslop offers a joyful celebration of the city and its food, past and present. The book features recipes invented in the city; such as the 18th century treat Chelsea buns (a favourite of King George II) and Omelette Arnold Bennett, created for the famous writer while staying at the Savoy Hotel. Alongside these are new, exciting dishes, inspired by the Leah’s eating adventures around the capital: such as a mouthwatering Pimm’s and lemon curd trifle, an unusual goat’s cheese and cherry tart and an easy twist on Indian restaurant Dishoom’s iconic bacon naan, one of the best brunches in London.
Interspersed with the recipes are short, entertaining histories and profiles about London’s food scene, including the tale of the 18th century ‘gin craze’; a profile of the East End’s most beloved greasy spoon; and why Scotch eggs might have actually been invented in a London department store! Short shopping guides, lifting the lid on such pressing gastronomic questions as where to buy cheese, the city’s most delicious chocolate shops, or the best cocktail bars for a nightcap (or two.) are also featured.
Beautifully illustrated with contemporary photographs of London, alongside vintage images sourced from historic archives, this is a book for anyone who has ever lived in, visited or simply dreamt of sipping a cocktail while watching red buses trundle by in the world’s greatest city.

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Six of the best children’s meals
The Guardian Feast April 2018
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Desert Island Dishes Podcast

She runs supper clubs and the UK’s only dedicated Vietnamese cooking classes in her Hackney studio.  She writes and blogs about food, recipes and travel. She’s worked with a whole host of amazing people including Raymond Blanc and Jamie Oliver to name just a few. Her cookbook, My Vietnamese Kitchen was a roaring success and you know her food is incredible when there is a tweet from Ottolenghi declaring himself to be the luckiest person alive as he was about to eat her food.

We talk everything from escaping to London from war torn Vietnam, the delights of school lunches and spam fritters. We talk about starting a business straight out of school and all the good things that can come from that business not necessarily succeeding. We discuss the changing face of Hackney, pioneering a food movement and the poet who makes the best crème caramel in Vietnam.

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Six of the best pho recipes
The Guardian Feast March 2018

From the traditional beef soup to a dry vegan version, these Vietnamese noodle dishes bring deep and rich flavours enlivened by the brightness of fresh, crisp garnishes

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Six of the best winter salads
The Guardian Feast Feb 2018

Chicken salad with radish and cashew nuts

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Uyen Luu’s Weekend Feast Waitrose Magazine

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The National Geographic Traveller
Vietnam: in perfect harmony

Vietnamese cuisine is one of the most flavoursome, fresh and healthy in the world. Many of its basic principles involve satisfying every taste bud with the perfect balance of sweet, sour, salty, umami, bitter and hot flavours — then combining perfect textures, such as silky meat or fish with crunchy vegetables, herbs and noodles to satisfy the bite, and explode with flavour.

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Three child-friendly Vietnamese recipes
The Guardian Cook Cover Feature July 2017

Even fussy kids can be excited by a dish they have a hand in making. These Vietnamese-inspired ideas offer plenty of opportunities to get involved

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The Really Quite Good British Cook Book
Summer Rolls & Chicken Curry Recipes

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Good Things Magazine

Chef Uyen Luu is famous for bringing a slice of Vietnam to London via her sell-out pop-ups and cookbook; so we sent her to Banyan Tree’s Lăng Cô resort to reconnect with her roots – and give her baby daughter a taste of her heritage and luxury living.

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Momentum Magazine

In Vietnam, noodles are the thread of daily life. From flat rice noodles (bánh phở) in the morning to rice vermicelli (bún) in the afternoon, from rolled noodle sheets (bánh cuốn) as a quick street snack to thick, plump cylindrical noodles (bánh canh) at the end of the night, all kinds of noodles are enjoyed as a staple. But how they’re prepared and what they’re paired with varies greatly, and often depends on what’s available within the various regions of the S-shaped country.

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The Meal That Made Me A Cook
The Observer Food Monthly Aug 2016

One of the downsides of having a parent who’s a perfectionist in the kitchen is that it can be a struggle to start cooking for yourself as an adult. This is what happened to the food writer Uyen Luu, who runs a popular Vietnamese supper club in Hackney. Her mother wouldn’t allow her to help in the kitchen at home, and when she went abroad aged 20 and started pining for home-cooked food, she hadn’t the faintest idea how to make it.

Luu had left her film and video course at Central St Martin’s in the middle of term, travelling to New York with three friends to seek work experience on movie sets. They were on a tight budget and, she says, “there was only so many bagels with cream cheese I could eat. I missed Mum’s cooking so much – until then I’d taken it for granted.” Unable to produce caramelised sardines or tomato soup with sea bass in their tiny East Village apartment, Luu phoned home. READ MORE

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Olive Magazine Fridge Raider
The East London Food Book by Hoxton Mini Press
Full Feature by Rosie Birkett

East London has become the most exciting place to eat in the UK. Home to a vibrant and diverse community, it has attracted a wave of fresh gastronomic talent, including top chefs, young producers and bold entrepreneurs. This book follows forty people at the heart of a culinary phenomenon from Michelin-starred chefs and specialist butchers to wild foragers and urban beekeepers. With in-depth interviews and lavish photography, EAST LONDON FOOD guides you on where to go, what to eat and how to cook it at home.

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My Foodie Life On Instagram
Homemade By You


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Meet Uyen Luu, Who Turned Her Home Into a Supper Club


Guests flocked to her open kitchen, which she filled with mismatched tables and chairs, for dishes like pork belly and perilla summer rolls, lemongrass sirloin steak, coconut and beer crêpes, udon noodles with lime fish cakes, and banana fritters with coconut custard. “I always wanted to have the supper club at home,” Uyen told us. “I wanted to be able to do it on my time, without the binds of overheads and admin. It was a case of comfort.

Uyen was born in Saigon but moved to London in the early ‘80s, after the Vietnam War pushed the country into extreme poverty. “It was really tough. As refugees you turn up with what you’ve got on your back. It was hard to learn the language and get work. But it was better than being in Vietnam.”

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Suitcase Magazine


If Vietnamese is fast becoming one of London’s favourite cuisines, it’s safe to say that Uyen Luu had something to do with it. With her first supperclubs back in 2009, Uyen offset a dining trend that has since taken the nation by storm. Cooking dishes from her native Vietnam and serving to guests in her Hackney home, Uyen has single-handedly heightened our understanding of what true Vietnamese home cooking is.

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The Saturday Telegraph
The Saturday Telegragh


Uyen Luu’s wildly successful Vietnamese supper club in her East London flat has won praise from Jamie Oliver, no less. Here, she tells us how she came to set it up

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Men’s Health- Lunch Al Desko
How to Enjoy a Salad: Make Vietnamese Summer Rolls
My first post in Huffington Post



Create Your Own
Essentially, you can put anything in a summer roll like you can make a sarnie out of anything that tickles your taste buds. Its bread-less and gluten-free. Use tamari or fish sauce if you want to make a gluten-free dipping sauce. If you balance the flavours of sweet (use sugar, honey, maple syrup), sour (use lime, lemon, vinegar), salty (use hoi sin, soy sauce, good quality fish sauce) and hot (use fresh chillies or chilli sauce, tabasco) you can achieve the most perfect, healthy and delicious snack or meal.

Its great with omelette, left over roast beef, roast chicken, grilled fish fillets, salmon sashimi, fish cakes, tofu… the roll is your oyster!

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Fare Healthy


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20 Vietnamese Foods You Need To Try Now


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The Observer Food Monthly Newsletter


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The Observer Food Monthly


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Yotam Ottolenghi Tweets


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Guardian Cook
The Guardian


Chicken salad with onion pickle

A Vietnamese dish full of vibrant, punchy flavours that are lifted and brightened by the onion pickle.

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Olive Magazine


The best Vietnamese supper club in London

Delicious fusion food and fascinating acquaintances made at Uyen Luu’s Vietnamese supper club in central London.

Supper clubs are the best way to taste what Londoners are cooking, whether they’re British, European or from further afield.  This communal dining experience is usually reserved for East Londoners, but we were delighted when Uyen Luu, author of The Vietnamese Kitchen, decided to host her Vietnamese supper club at Carousel in Marylebone in Central London.

Vietnamese supper club congeeWonderful host staff, long wooden tables with no fussy frills, and fascinating company made this supper club a great evening.

The food was exceptional and full of fragrance with such attention to detail. The congee, a rice soup destined for the sick and young babies in Vietnam, was given a grown-up twist with delicate toppings such as sprout top and pork floss – so many textures in one tiny bowl!

The highlight for me was the seared tuna with crushed salty chips and wasabi mayo. This dish epitomised the Vietnamese-British fusion cooking of Uyeen Luu, giving us an Asian upgrade to classic fish and chips. Beautiful tuna that melted in the mouth and some of the best chips I have ever eaten, like the best part of a crispy golden roast potato.

Vietnamese supper club Uyen LuuDessert was intriguing… my neighbours and I all tried the avocado and coconut ice cream cake reluctantly. It took us until the very last mouthful to decide that we did like it,  the lime curd setting the dish off perfectly. We agreed that it would be refreshing on a really hot day.

When going out for Vietnamese food I am used to summer rolls and pho, but Uyen Luu’s supper club, with its clever twists and delicate details, gave us an insight into an innovative take on traditional Vietnamese cuisine. Book now to share your table with famous chefs, film industry legends and more; you never know who you may meet at a Vietnamese supper club…

This supper club at Carousel (£35 for 5 courses) runs until 10th January 2015, book here. Uyen Luu also hosts regular supper clubs in her home in Hackney, book here.


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Harpers Bazaar

The pop-up: Carousel

On Friday I went to a fantastic pop up: Marylebone’s Carousel – a curated space by the team behind the Mile High concept, where a roster of talented guest chefs are cooking. Last week, food stylist and chef Uyen Luu put together a dynamic Vietnamese tasting menu, introducing many to a world beyond pho (and spotted supping on chicken congee, and pandan cake were Yotam Ottolenghi and Melissa Hemsley among the well-heeled crowd, a telling testimony if ever I saw one). Next to feature are chefs Henrik Norén and Magnus Villnow from Stockholm restaurant Gro, and St John Bread and Wine’s Tom Ryalls.
Carousel, 71 Blandford Street, W1, 020 7487 5564, email [email protected]

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Jamie Oliver’s Instagram

“I had a fantastic Vietnamese meal last night at a cute hidden away supper club in East London thank you @loveleluu great job to you and the family and the dog. the sea bass Congee with kale and ginger wow , great noodles, amazing exciting shredded salads with lovely spicy vinegar and nut dressings and Saigon summer rolls to name but a few!!! Of the 9 healthy courses and I Had a good giggle with a few friendly faces you might know the loverly @elliegoulding bless ya heart her boy @idougahole good man and that filthy scallywag that we all love @dexfletch you remember baby face or spike in press gang …… Good times jamie xxx”

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Olive Magazine
The Observer Food Monthly
Jamie Oliver

“what a beautiful book thank u !! big love jamie”

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Delicious Magazine May 2014
Stella Magazine

Tomato, Tofu  & Fish Sauce recipe

Vietnamese Recipes: Stir-Fried Udon Noodles And Veggies, Caramelized Sardines in Coconut Water And Avocado Ice Cream
Huffington Post

Stir-Fried Udon Noodles and Vegetablesstirfried noodle veg

Caramelized Sardines in Coconut Watercaramelized sardines

Avocado Ice Cream avocado ice cream


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J’aime London
Alain Ducasse

4-page feature in Alain Ducasse’s culinary guide to London amongst award winning restaurants and classic London destinations

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Uyen Luu: ‘Vietnamese food is about emotional wellbeing’
The Observer Food Monthly March 2014

The author of My Vietnamese Kitchen on her extraordinary journey from refugee to cookbook author

Uyen Luu photographed at home in Hackney, London

When Uyen Luu – cook, blogger and supper club founder – invites you for lunch, you go on an empty stomach. As we climb the stairs to her kitchen, the smell of herbs and bubbling broth grows stronger. “I wanted to give you an idea of what proper Vietnamese cooking is about.

Luu describes herself as a “typical cook and feeder” – and when she tells you about the importance of food in her family, you understand why. Her cookbook, My Vietnamese Kitchen, is part autobiography. Luu grew up in Hackney after arriving with her mother and younger brother from Saigon in 1983 as refugees from the Communist regime. “People were starving because of the trade embargo,” she says. Up to 1.5 million tried to escape but many, if caught, were sent to “re-education camps”.

She has no memory of the camps, but does remember her grandmother on her father’s side, who opened up her front room as a small restaurant serving an “extraordinary noodle soup” to provide for her family. After her father, one of the “boat people”, was rescued by the British, he sent for them. But he had fallen in love with another woman at sea, leaving Luu’s mother to provide for her children. “Hackney in the 80s was tough,” explains Luu. “My mother sewed blouses that ended up in C&A in an East End sweatshop for 10p per shirt. But she cooked wonderful food on a budget, shopping for the best deals at Ridley Road and Brick Lane markets.”

After studying film and fine art at Central St Martins, Luu started her own small fashion company, juggling designing clothes with running a shop in central London. In 2009, she was forced to close as it proved too stressful. “The overheads were too high and I’d got myself into debt,” she explains, while dropping freshly made vegetable spring rolls into hot oil.

She worked, briefly, as a fundraiser for the Jamie Oliver Foundation and Oliver’s website; Luu even found herself teaching Oliver how to make perfect summer rolls for his TV show. At the same time, she was cooking for friends. “They’d all turn up here and I’d cook. They all said I should try getting into the food industry.”

Luu never intended to turn food into a career. It’s hard to believe, as she expertly mixes delicate dipping sauces, that she couldn’t cook her native cuisine until six years ago. “In 2009 I was cooking a lot of Italian because my mum never allowed me in the kitchen [growing up].” Luu then convinced her mum to teach her and began hosting what was then the only Vietnamese supper club in London. “Once you know the principles: how to balance salty, sweet and sour, and adding heat to that, it’s quite easy to master,” she says. “It’ll always feel like I’m trying to achieve mum’s standard – that’s where the bar is set.”

The rising popularity of Vietnamese food in the UK is not lost on Luu – “although my bugbear is when it’s done incorrectly”. Vietnamese cooking is very precise, she explains, while chopping spring onions so fast that I have to look away. “When I notice corners have been cut – the wrong type of noodles or herbs with the wrong soup – it drives me mad.”

Luu teaches me how to make summer rolls. Hers are expertly filled and rolled within seconds, while mine look like they’ve been through a hot wash. She looks a little disappointed. “Try again! I want you to master it!”

As I give it a go, Luu explains how she believes food affects mood. Vietnamese cuisine, she says, “doesn’t bring you down, it’s light” – in Vietnamese culture, eating is about emotional wellbeing, too. She continues: “Cooking is very emotional for me, it’s tied up into my family’s story” – she thinks for a moment – “and it brings people together.”

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Rocket & Squash
Rocket & Squash

“I’m still yet to taste a better pho in London than Uyen Luu’s. I remember sitting with Raymond Blanc in her little Hackney kitchen as he slurped the product of two hours of cooking and filming. For the first time in those two hours he stopped trying to show that he knew more than everyone in the room and fell silent (briefly, though it blissfully felt like forever) and, effectively, in love with Uyen’s soup.

It is key that the five taste elements are there (sweet, sour, salty, bitter, umami) but also that those qualities are balanced. There should be a real, meaty depth to the stock – which is thin, though the odd trotter or bone will provide just the tiniest bit of viscosity.

Having read Uyen’s book as well sat with her a couple of times as she prepared the broth, it seems odd to me that her standard is not met elsewhere. No offence, but it’s not rocket science. I guess in more commercial environments, corners are cut or ingredients and time gradually whittled down to the bare minimum. Love and care are probably important but unwritten and often forgotten seasonings.”

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Uyen Luu’s Tenderstem® and Chicken Vietnamese Noodle Soup

I have written a recipe for Tenderstem

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The Observer Food Monthly
The Observer

Out on Sunday 16th March 2014

The Best Pancakes In The World
The Guardian: Word Of Mouth

Asia arguably rivals Europe as the continent with the best pancakes, especially in terms of diversity. Vietnamese banh xeo are not only delicious, but a boon to those with allergies or intolerances as they’re made without eggs, and with gluten-free rice flour and coconut milk.Uyen Luu has a good recipe for these golden, crispy crepes stuffed with pork and prawns in My Vietnamese Kitchen.

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James Martin: Home Comforts

“Childhood Favourites”

James shares the recipes that remind him of his Yorkshire childhood, including his grandmother’s roast shoulder of pork and her indulgent bacon sandwiches. Historian Gerard Baker delves into the history of childhood favourite gingerbread, and Vietnamese cook Uyen Luu explains how memories of her native grandmother’s beef noodle soup have inspired her to start a supper club business in her London home.

BBC One iPlayer link here


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A Chapter In: “For The Love Of Cooking”
Published By Callwey

By German photographer Charlotte Schreiber & writer, Yvonne Niewerth who kindly gave me a chapter in their wonderful book, Aus Liebe Zum Kochen which translates as, For The Love Of Cooking, published by Callwey.

The book gives insights to worldwide chefs, authors, critics, bloggers and restaurant owners’ passion for life and their deep attachment to eating. Its about their indulgence of good food and the enjoyment of being together.

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‘My Vietnamese Kitchen’
Stripped Health Magazine

When Uyen welcomes us into her home in Hackney, our senses immediately are hit by delicious, mouth-watering scents: she and her team (her mother and a friend) are preparing some food for a later event. ‘We have an launch party for my new book ‘My Vietnamese kitchen’ tonight,’ she explains. There are vegetables, herbs and baguettes everywhere.

I am intrigued by the fact that someone with a background in the arts may end up writing a book about Vietnamese cuisine: it’s very clear to me, as soon as I start interviewing Uyen, that she lives on the cusp of two cultures. On one side, she comes across as very much a Westerner, in lifestyle, surroundings and mannerism; however it’s very clear that she is also fiercely loyal to her origins, and it occurs to me that this may be a way to pay tribute to the country where she was born.

Hackney  is indeed a hub for Vietnamese outlets, restaurants and culture. Walking through the area, I spot two Vietnamese shops, three restaurants and even a Vietnamese business centre.  After the war in Vietnam in 1975 the UK started taking refugees from Hong Kong, a British colony at the time. They were mainly relocated to Lewisham, Southwark and Hackney:  Uyen’s family is from Saigon and they moved to the UK when she was five.

‘My inspiration was my mother’, Uyen says  without any hesitation, and with a glint of pride, when I ask how it all started: and it’s going well, with a published book and  a thriving dining club in her home…

Written by Journalist Elena Francesca Barbiero

Read FULL interview in the Premier issue of STRIPPED! out soon 2014

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A Weekend of Feasting with Uyen Luu’s My Vietnamese Kitchen
Kavey Eats

Pete and I and a couple of friends spent the weekend feasting with Uyen Luu. And she wasn’t even there!

Instead, we cooked up a storm from her beautiful cookery book, My Vietnamese Kitchen. Over the weekend we made a dessert for our first dinner, another recipe for breakfast, one more for the next dinner and yet another for Sunday lunch. While the rain and wind lashed outside, we stayed warm and busy cooking and eating – what better way to spend a weekend with dear friends?


Uyen Luu was born in Vietnam into a close-knit, food-loving family – her maternal grandmother opened a noodle soup shop in her front room to help make ends meet during the tough times following the Vietnam War, and some of Uyen’s earliest memories are of her grandmother making and serving her fragrant bún bò huế to customers. Times were very tough during that period and Uyen’s parents made the decision to emigrate to London. Here, her mother continued to raise her family on a traditional Vietnamese diet, as best she could with the ingredients available here.

I came to know Uyen’s story and her cooking via her food and travel blog, where she shares a mixture of old and new memories and tasty recipes, all beautifully illustrated by her creative photography and styling. Since moving to the UK, she has returned to Vietnam often, and her travel journal posts are a particular pleasure to read.

Uyen and I met in person several years ago via her supperclub – she is one of the pioneers of the UK supper club phenomenon – and I couldn’t fail to be captivated as much by her gentle and complex character as by her food; she’s shy but riotous (and occasionally fiery), vulnerable but strong, superbly creative but genuinely modest, a social butterfly but also quite private. I love to sit in her kitchen, following her instructions to stir the stock, chop some vegetables, rub salt and oil onto the meat, and talk about life, the universe and everything. She has a knack for bringing out a protective feeling in me, and I’m always so happy to learn of her successes and joys.

So I was delighted when she announced her book deal, which resulted in this truly beautiful book. Her food is authentic, delicious and achievable and she’s taught many, many people how to make it during the cookery classes she also runs out of her East London home. Those numbers include greats like Raymond Blanc and Jamie Oliver, who are quick to acknowledge not only her skill with flavours but also her ability to teach those skills to others.

I was one of the many friends who helped Uyen with recipe testing when she was still writing the book, and when I saw the finished book, I felt very proud to have played a (very very tiny) part in it.

As I always knew it would be, the book is a visual feast. The team she worked with to style and photograph the book have captured Uyen’s very personal and quirky style amazingly well. First and foremost, the images showcase the food itself, but they also create a very warm and rich tapestry that tells Uyen’s story beautifully.

My Vietnamese Kitchen starts with an introduction to key ingredients. The recipe chapters are then divided into Breakfast, Soups, Snacks, Noodles, Lunch & Dinner and Sweets. Many of the recipes need only what you can find in a well-stocked UK supermarket, but of course there are some that require specialist ingredients. In this era of online shopping, these are no longer difficult to source.

Read more on Kavey Eats

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New Cook Book
The Kitchn/ Apartment Therapy

What’s the view out your window look like? Dreary and grey? Then take a step inside Uyen Luu’s kitchen. Breathe in the aromas of spices and chiles frying in oil and fragrant beef skewers roasting over flames. Fall into the lush and vibrant rooms of Uyen’s Saigon. This is a cookbook that inspires, transports, and leaves you aching for just one little taste of something bright and spicy — all at once.

Quick Facts

• Who wrote it: Uyen Luu

• Who published it: Ryland Peters & Small

• Recipes for right now: Omelette Banh Mi, Beef Noodle Pho, Sticky Rice with Chinese Sausage, Udon Noodle Soup with Fish Cakes, Fish Congee with Ginger, Sizzling Crepes with Pork and Prawns, BBQ Pork Belly Skewers, Tofu and Tomatoes in Fish Sauce, Avocado Ice Cream

• Major Takeaways: Authentic recipes, some of which will be familiar (pho and banh mi!) and some of which might take you by surprise (fried frogs legs and caramelized sardines!). Don’t expect to find all the ingredients at your local chain grocery store, but it should be easy enough to source everything at a well-stocked Asian market.

• Who would enjoy this book? People of Vietnamese heritage looking for a taste of home, world travelers suffering from Vietnamese street food withdrawal, adventurous cooks who want to a taste of Vietnamese cuisine not found in restaurants.

Find the book at your local library, independent bookstore, or Amazon:My Vietnamese Kitchen by Uyen Luu

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Food Books To Buy This Christmas

Books for fans of Vietnamese cooking:
My Vietnamese Kitchen by Uyen Luu (Ryland, Peters)
This is possibly the prettiest book of the year. Uyen Luu, a supper club hostess of Vietnamese origin, came here as a boat refugee and settled in Hackney where her supper club is located. Interesting, detailed recipes and a vivid insight into Vietnamese culture and family. She styled the photos in this book so she is multi-talented. Props also to photographer Clare Winfield. RRP: £16.99
Things I’d like to cook:
Mustard greens and tofu broth
Fresh rolls with mackerel ceviche

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A Sweet Sour Sea Bass Soup With Loyd Grossman

In Round 1 of the Food Blogger Challenge, Uyen Luu shows us how to cook her warming hot and sour soup with sea bass. This Vietnamese feast uses a mix of wonderful herbs and pineapple to give it its distinctive flavor combination with a delicious poached sea bass, making it perfect for a cold winter’s evening. Join Loyd Grossman in this Grokker Premium Video as he tries Uyen’s original dish, in the first round of Grokker’s Food Blogger Challenge. Remember to love this video below, if you would like to see Uyen in the next round

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Cooking at Chateau Mango with ‘My Vietnamese Kitchen’
Expat Diary: Vietnam

There is some major kitchen love going on at Chateau Mango for the cookbook ‘My Vietnamese Kitchen’ by Uyen Luu. I recently discovered the book in Artbook, a local shop in Saigon and have not been able to put it down since. Uyen Luu is based in London, having moved to the UK from Vietnam with her family when she was a young girl. This cookbook is thoughtfully written for those who may be attempting Vietnamese cooking for the first time as well as those who are looking to expand their Vietnamese repertoire.  Uyen explains everything there is to know about working with Vietnamese ingredients. If you have trouble finding a few, she has great tips for alternative ingredients. Before you start cooking you are well versed on herbs, spices, condiments, rice and noodles…the Vietnamese essentials.

This week we made Lemongrass Beef in Betel Leaves also known as ‘bò là lốt’  Fortunately for us… we have a plentiful supply of betel leaves and lemongrass growing in our garden. We turned it into a meal and had enough left over for lunch the next day.  I loved the flavours in this dish… lemongrass, garlic, chilli, sesame oil, sesame seeds, honey, betel leaves, fish sauce, roasted peanuts, Thai sweet basil, cilantro, mint and perilla….you can find the recipe here.   Our woman about the house, Huyen, cooks for us amongst many other things. She is one of the memories I will cherish most about our time living in Vietnam. Huyen prefers to cook from cookbooks, something I am only to happy to oblige her with. When we cook Vietnamese, which is most often the case, I always ask her opinion first, for she knows best. This recipe received a big  thumbs up from Huyen.

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Fiona Beckett
Matching Food & Wine

One of the cuisines I’ve always wanted to get to grips with is Vietnamese, not least because we don’t have a good Vietnamese restaurant nearby so I welcomed Uyen Luu’s beautifully illustrated My Vietnamese Kitchen with open arms.

This is one of the simpler recipes, a version of the popular Bánh mi that would make a fantastic breakfast or brunch dish this weekend.

Uyen writes: Bánh mi is a Vietnamese baguette originally inspired by the French and now a staple in Vietnamese cuisine. As with most Vietnamese food the lightness of the ingredients you fill it with is vital – no-one relishes being weighed down. The dough in the centre of the baguette is removed so that you bite straight through the lovely crisp crust to the filling within.

For an extra dimension, drop the sliced chillies into a bowl of good soy sauce and bruise them with the back of a spoon – this releases the chillies’ flavour and heat. Drizzle over the baguette.


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Photography © Fay Elizabeth Harpham

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Creme Caramel
Sainsbury's Magazine

Guest Chef for Sainsbury’s Magazine

Click to view an adaptation of a recipe from My Vietnamese Vietnamese

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Vietnamese Chicken Curry
Sainsbury's Magazine

Guest Chef for Sainsbury’s Magazine

Click to view an adaptation of a recipe from My Vietnamese Vietnamese

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Roast Pork Belly Skewers

These roast pork belly skewers are soft and delicious making them a perfect weekend meal for someone special.

They have beautiful Asian flavours and a lovely sticky texture, these are definitely an MSK favourite.

See more

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Supper Club MasterClass For The Guardian

Uyen Luu is a writer, cook, photographer, food and prop stylist. She trained in fine art film and video at Central St Martins. She runs supper clubs and the UK’s only dedicated Vietnamese cooking classes in her Hackney home, and writes and blogs about food, recipes and travel. She writes for Time Out and her recipes have appeared in the Evening Standard. Uyen’s first cookbook ‘My Vietnamese Kitchen’ (Ryland, Peters & Small), published on the 10th October, will be available to buy.

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Recipe For The Weekend
Ryland Peters & Small

This week we have a recipe from a fascinating new book, My Vietnamese Kitchen by Uyen Luu. I say fascinating because this is not just a cookbook, but a window into the Vietnamese world through exciting stories and tasty food traditions. The recipes are truly delicious, so here’s one for you to try over the weekend. You can tweet us @rylandpeters with a photo of your results!



Stir-fried beef and fresh noodles


phở xào bò 


Phở noodles (also known as “ho fun” and used in phở soup) are fabulous for dry stir-fry dishes, as they are quick and easy to cook. You can use any vegetables you like in this dish and make it as simple or colourful as you wish. Prepare everything before starting so that nothing gets overcooked.

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Sizzling crepes with pork and prawns
Sainsbury's Magazine

Guest chef


Uyen is a London-based food blogger and supper-club host who also runs cookery lessons teaching Vietnamese cuisine. She is author of My Vietnamese Kitchen.

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What Is Vietnamese Pho?
BBC Food

Uyen Luu teaches people to make pho at a supper club in Hackney and has a recipe for beef pho in her new book My Vietnamese Kitchen.

She says: “The French brought a lot of ingredients over to Vietnam, including onions, garlic, carrots and potatoes.

“In the south, they use a lot of herbs and they have it slightly different than people from the north. But more or less, it’s a beef noodle soup, and it’s got special spices in it that makes it really unique.”

Pho is largely eaten as a breakfast dish in Vietnam, and while Uyen Luu says the British are not yet used to having a noodle soup for breakfast yet, she’s “sure it will take off very soon”.

“You can actually just have it anytime you want. But the reason you have it for breakfast is because it’s so spicy with all the fiery ingredients in it, it sort of wakes up the senses and it gives you a lot of energy for the day for your mind, your spirit and also your body.

“That’s why we have spicy things for breakfast.”

The Vietnamese prefer to eat pho out, and don’t make it much at home. But Uyen Luu says it is “actually quite easy to cook”.

“It’s a soup that really requires your attention, and how much love you give to it,” she says.

“You can have all the ingredients there and follow a recipe. But if you buy really good ingredients like good bones and cuts of beef or chicken then your stock’s going to be so much better… you have to sort of watch over it. It takes about four to five hours to make.”

But she warns, once addicted: “It could be like a lifetime’s work to master the broth.”

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Eat Is East
EasyJet By Rosie Birkett

The pop-up-preneur

Uyen Luu
Uyen Luu’s Vietnamese Supper Club 

The bohemian atmosphere and antique crockery might be a supper-club staple, but Uyen Luu has a few tricks up her sleeve.

Every Friday night in her flat, the Saigon-born chef, who’s lived in Hackney since the age of five, serves up some of London’s best Vietnamese fare. “East London today is very different from when I was growing up,” she says. “It was all a bit grungy. Now it’s a place you want to be.” Luu, whose first cookbook, My Vietnamese Kitchen, is published next month, started her club in 2009, inspired by the area’s well-established love affair with Vietnamese food. “It first happened here about 20 years ago, when the artists were starting to move in. They ate Vietnamese food because it was so affordable, then told all their friends about it. More places opened to cater for the demand and that’s how the word got out.”

on the menu
Supper Club
Traditional dishes like banh cuon – silky rice pancakes filled with black mushroom and pork, topped with crispy shallots – and chef Luu’s pho, which is based on her mother’s recipe.

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Lemongrass With Uyen Luu

We take a look at a super-hero of an ingredient and give you five simple ideas of how to use them. Here Uyen Luu shares her best lemongrass recipes.

Lemongrass is a versatile and common ingredient used in Vietnamese cooking. Its lemony fragrance and flavour adds a unique sweet zest to savoury and sweet dishes as well as being great for drinks and infusions. It is best to buy lemongrass with its leaves firm to the body, without bruising or dried layers. 

Bash… lemongrass with a rolling pin. It can also be charred to give a smoky flavour and then infused in noodle soup broths with beef, pork, chicken or fish for citrusy tones. After a slow simmer, add fresh lemongrass to the broth at the end to finish off. Garnish with mint, coriander, fresh chillies and a wedge of lime.

Chop… very finely, blitzed in a grinder or blender for curries and stews. It can also be cut into finger sized stalks, which can be removed at the end. Vibrant lemongrass flavours combines and balances very well with mellow coconut milk in curries which is then finished off with a squeeze of lime and enjoyed with a fresh baguette to dip in.

Mix… chopped lemongrass with sesame seeds, a touch of fish sauce or soy sauce, honey, garlic and chilli and use as a marinade for BBQ pork chops, thin slices of beef or chicken for banh mi, rice dishes and stir fries.

Infuse… lemongrass stalks in a sweet syrup (using rock sugar) with ginger and silkened tofu or poached in a sweet broth with fruits like peaches and a star anise. It is also a great ingredient to infuse for granitas and sorbets.

Slice… inches of a couple of lemongrass stalks into a teapot with boiling water (optional: with mint) for a lovely invigorating drink which is palate cleansing and refreshing.

My Vietnamese Kitchen by Uyen Luu, £16.99 published by Ryland Peters & Small.

– See more at:

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