Charles Phan, owner and executive chef of iconic San Francisco restaurant The Slanted Door, does his homework. For every dish on his menu, which tends towards Vietnamese flavors, he visits the region of the world where the dish is best-known, retreating to his test kitchen afterwards. He’ll cook and taste his own variations—incorporating top-notch Bay Area produce—and when they glimmer with deliciousness, they’ve earned their spot on the menu.
The chef opened the original Slanted Door in 1995 and is today winner of multiple awards. His restaurant—two miles from our own test kitchen—is one of our favorites in the city, with sweeping Bay views and fresh, modern Vietnamese cuisine.
We were thrilled to work with Phan and team to create incredible, pantry-ready sauces for some of his most popular dishes and cookbook favorites, and especially excited to have a sauce for his famous claypot chicken (a must-order when you visit).
The Lo Soi pork and Vietnamese French braise are both true slow-braising sauces that require around an hour and a half cooking. The chile caramel shrimp and claypot chicken are more quick-braise friendly, use more of a simmering technique, and will cook much faster.
We went through many rounds of testing with Chef Phan in our test kitchen to ensure the flavors had just the right balance of savory and sweet and felt fresh and unique. He’s signed off, and we’re so excited to bring them to your homes! Read on to learn which sauces are right for your next supper.
This fast-simmering, umami-rich sauce is a custom combination of brown sugar, ginger, garlic, chiles and shallots. It’s fabulous with chicken, yes, but just as incredible with pork or shrimp. This is the sauce Phan uses for his restaurant’s own signature claypot chicken dish.
2. Chile Caramel Quick-Braising Sauce
As much of a knockout with fish and seafood as it is with pork, here’s the secret to one of Phan’s most popular braises. This sauce is a custom combination of garlic, lemongrass, chiles, ginger and spices. It’s sweet and savory, bright and mouthwatering. And all you need to do is add it to a pan.
3. Lo Soi Pork Slow-Braising Sauce
Soy. Ginger. Chinese five-spice. Fish sauce. Beef stock. Got red meat like beef or pork? This is the stuff you want to be braising it in, for an hour or so while you do something else, making your home smell amazing. Go ahead; serve the resulting dinner to guests. No need to mention the jar!
4. Vietnamese French Slow-Braising Sauce
Anyone who has ever taken the time to caramelize onions knows just how much gorgeous depth of flavor they add to the base of a sauce. But to do it right, you have to stir frequently for 40 minutes or so. Skip it, and enjoy the labor Phan’s team did for you: Sweet onions nestle next to tomatoes, lemongrass, chiles and ginger. As is true of all these sauces, it’s equally good with red meat, chicken or seafood, but its beef stock base has us leaning towards beef.
Go ahead and enjoy having fewer dishes and delighted family or friends. Shop the Slanted Door collection now.
Please bring these back!