December 09, 1996 12:00 PM

by Nicole Routhier

Vietnamese food borrows a pinch of this and a sprinkling of that from the cuisines of India, Thailand and other Asian countries—and adds a soupcon from France. Saigon-born chef Routhier displays the fragrant results with recipes from her prizewinning The Foods of Vietnam (1989) plus 20 new ones. Even if lemongrass and agar-agar (seaweed gelatin) aren’t locally available, you can still enjoy most of these wonders. (Stewart, Tabori & Chang, $22.50)

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