i discovered this very informative food blog, "viet world kitchen," and it is filled with recipes, eating etiquette, encyclopedic information about many ingredients and techniques. (thanks, sweth!).
this primer on herbs commonly used in the vietnamese kitchen is excellent: http://vietworldkitchen.typepad.com/b...
the site also may help you understand the flavors in the mysterious delicious condiments on the table, for dipping or pho.
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