These vibrant, flavour-packed dishes from food writer and cook Uyen Luu will power up your weekday dinners in no time.
Chicken 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.
Tofu pillows, tomatoes and broccoli in fish sauce
When tofu is cooked properly, it is soft, pillowy and smooth – like bouncing on a cloud.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
The 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.