Eric and Sophie Banh make it easy to cook great Vietnamese dishes at home
Photo by Thomas J. Story
The Banhs excel at stir-fries, a tradition they picked up from their Chinese father’s family and from growing up in Vietnam.
- Prep ahead. Have everything ready next to your pan before you start, since the cooking goes fast.
- Avoid nonstick. Nonstick pans don’t encourage browning and are easily damaged by scraping and high heat. You don’t need a pricey wok or skillet, either; even a cheap steel pan will develop its own nonstick coating with age.
- Get it dry. Make sure your ingredients are very dry, so they brown rather than steam.
- Preheat. To avoid soggy food, heat your empty pan over high heat before adding ingredients.
- Keep it moving. At this heat, food will burn if it sits still too long. Shake the pan, or use two large spoons, forks, or tongs to toss the ingredients—like a salad.
- Serve quickly. Stir-fries should be served right away, before they lose their fresh flavor and crisp snap.