Uyen Luu’s easy Vietnamese weekday dinners

These vibrant, flavour-packed dishes from food writer and cook Uyen Luu will power up your weekday dinners in no time.

Uyen LuuChicken salad with sugar snap peas, coriander and shallots

This classic salad is seen at all celebrations, but don’t let that stop you from enjoying it on a weeknight. You can also use up leftovers from a roast chicken or buy a rotisserie chicken.

chicken salad
Uyen Luu

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Tofu pillows, tomatoes and broccoli in fish sauce

When tofu is cooked properly, it is soft, pillowy and smooth – like bouncing on a cloud.

tofu pillows
Uyen Luu

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Lemongrass ribeye steak noodle salad

True to a Vietnamese-style salad, adding rice noodles makes this a complete meal balanced with lots of exciting summer flavours.

steak noodle salad
Uyen Luu

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Sticky mustard marmalade ribs

Ribs make a great meal and this easy storecupboard recipe hits the spot. You can make this spicier by adding chilli sauce or chilli flakes.

marmalade ribs
Uyen Luu

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Sea bass parcels with ginger and kimchi

I love opening this at the table when you have a guest or two and hearing the ooohs and ahhhs as though a gift is being unwrapped. For dinner parties, wrap more parcels and bake together, increasing the cooking time.

sea bass
Uyen Luu

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Hot and fiery greens

You can use a variety of vegetables or just one kind; the garlic, ginger and anchovies will lift them to another level. It will become a household favourite, making great additions to many meals. You can use water or chicken stock instead of wine.

hot greens
Uyen Luu

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Ginger chicken

You can substitute the ginger with two stalks of finely chopped lemongrass or lime leaves. You can also use whole drumsticks and thighs, just cook them for a bit longer.

ginger chicken
Uyen Luu

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Savoy cabbage, roasted cauliflower and cashew chilli noodles

There is something so moreish and savoury about butter and fish sauce which turns this midweek dinner into a real treat. Get everything prepped beforehand and stir-fry at the last minute before serving.

cabbage chilli noodles
Uyen Luu

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For a fresh, healthy cuppa…

I don’t waste any leftover ginger, lemongrass, limes or lemons when I’m cooking. Instead I use them to make infusions to keep me hydrated throughout the day. Simply pour boiling water over the aromatics, then either drink hot as tea, or allow to cool completely. Once cool, I chill the infusions and keep in a flask.

GINGER Revitalise your senses with a cup of refreshing tea made with freshly peeled and sliced ginger. A whole thumb is adequate for two in a teapot. This infusion helps aid digestion and can be enjoyed with meals. It will perk you up when you’re feeling under the weather, too.

LEMONGRASS Re-root the ends of lemongrass in a glass of water and you’ll find shoots that regrow quickly. You can infuse these in boiling water, or bash half a stalk of lemongrass with the back of a knife. It also pairs well with fresh ginger.

LIME OR LEMON Hot lemon or lime juice with or without honey is universal goodness. Infuse with strips of zest for an extra boost of citrus.

simple Vietnamese food to cook at homeThe recipes and infusions are from Vietnamese: Simple Vietnamese Food to Cook at Home by Uyen Luu, published by Hardie Grant, price £22. To order a copy for £18.70 until 9 August, go to mailshop.co.uk/books or call 020 3308 9193. Free UK delivery on orders over £20.