Charles Phan

Lemongrass is the classic seasoning for Vietnamese-style grilled pork or chicken, but chef Charles Phan likes to use fragrant Chinese five-spice powder instead. If you have fermented red bean curd, use it instead of miso for a funkier flavor. Slideshow:  Southeast Asian Recipes 
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Although Charles Phan says you can use any leafy green in this spicy main-course salad, he suggests watercress because it adds another subtle, peppery layer of heat to the dish. He also says it's fine to partially cook the shallots ahead of time (even the night before) until they are golden, then let them cool; when you refry them before serving, they'll become extra crispy. Plus:  More Beef Recipes and Tips 
Vietnamese Stir-fry Sauce
Rating: Unrated
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Charles Phan uses this unbelievably simple, three-ingredient sauce in almost every stir-fry. Its key ingredient is a fish sauce that lends a faintly nutty, richly pungent and quintessentially Vietnamese character to the dish.
Charles Phan, the chef and owner of San Francisco's The Slanted Door, models his pork burgers topped with pickled carrots and cilantro on the classic French-Vietnamese sandwich called banh mi. All-Time Favorite Burgers
Charles Phan prefers tender baby bok choy but if you can only find mature heads, separate the leaves from the stems, cut the stems into 1 1/2-inch pieces and stir-fry them separately so the leaves don't overcook.Plus: More Vegetable Recipes and Tips
Spicy Lemongrass Chicken
Rating: Unrated
5
Charles Phan has firm opinions about the right and wrong way to stir-fry. "A wok isn't like a salad bowl with a flame under it. You don't want to throw everything in at once and toss. You need to layer flavors by adding ingredients in the right order." That's why he stir-fries the chicken here by itself until it is deeply golden and juicy before he transfers it to a plate; after he finishes cooking the other ingredients, he returns the chicken to the wok so all the flavors meld. Quick Chicken Recipes
At school in Vietnam, Charles Phan and his classmates would buy these chewy rice-paper rolls, filled with crunchy jicama and sweet shrimp, from enterprising street vendors who set up their stalls in the playground at dismissal time. Phan loves the neatness of including the sauce in the roll rather than serving it alongside, but he often makes extra for those who insist on dipping.Plus: More Seafood Recipes
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Shaking Beef
Rating: Unrated
2
Chef Way Charles Phan of the Slanted Door in San Francisco serves this sweet and vinegary Vietnamese dish with a tart dipping sauce of lime juice, salt and pepper. Easy Way Serve the beef with fresh lime wedges instead of a dipping sauce. Chef Coverage from F&W Editors
Charles Phan recalls eating numerous versions of this slightly sweet and pleasantly tangy fish soup while growing up in Vietnam. Some included only chopped tomato while others were made with a colorful mix of vegetables. Here, he adds freshly squeezed lime juice for a hit of sourness instead of the more traditional tamarind pulp. He adds bean sprouts to the soup for a refreshing crunch.Plus: More Soup Recipes and Tips
At school in Vietnam, Charles Phan and his classmates would buy these chewy rice-paper rolls, filled with crunchy jicama and sweet shrimp, from enterprising street vendors who set up their stalls in the playground at dismissal time. Phan loves the neatness of including the sauce in the roll rather than serving it alongside, but he often makes extra for those who insist on dipping.Plus: More Seafood Recipes
Shaking Beef
Rating: Unrated
2
Chef Way Charles Phan of the Slanted Door in San Francisco serves this sweet and vinegary Vietnamese dish with a tart dipping sauce of lime juice, salt and pepper. Easy Way Serve the beef with fresh lime wedges instead of a dipping sauce. Chef Coverage from F&W Editors
Charles Phan recalls eating numerous versions of this slightly sweet and pleasantly tangy fish soup while growing up in Vietnam. Some included only chopped tomato while others were made with a colorful mix of vegetables. Here, he adds freshly squeezed lime juice for a hit of sourness instead of the more traditional tamarind pulp. He adds bean sprouts to the soup for a refreshing crunch.Plus: More Soup Recipes and Tips
Charles Phan created this quick wok-braised dish by chance when he ran out of cooking space on his restaurant grill. Adding unsweetened coconut milk (a staple in southern Vietnam) to the eggplant after it's stir-fried keeps the texture silky.Plus: More Vegetable Recipes and Tips
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This pork is deliciously spicy, sweet and sticky. Charles Phan serves it with rice vermicelli and plenty of fresh garnishes, like bean sprouts, mint and chopped peanuts.More Fast Asian Recipes
Charles Phan thinks these French-Vietnamese sandwiches, banh mi, "are fusion food at its best." This particular recipe is inspired by a tiny sandwich shop Phan happened upon in Hoi An, Vietnam, that stays open until 4 a.m. Not only does the owner of the shop make his own pâté, he also soaks his pork overnight in a garlicky brine before roasting it, as Phan does here.Plus: More Pork Recipes and Tips
When Charles Phan, the chef and owner of San Francisco's Slanted Door, samples banh xeo (a.k.a. "happy pancakes") at other Vietnamese restaurants, he often finds that they aren't crisp enough. Phan thinks the perfect crêpe should be lacy thin and crackly crisp. After years of obsessive experimentation, he recommends refrigerating the batter overnight, so the starches have time to relax, then cooking the crêpes in a nonstick pan. Cocktail Party Recipes
At his San Francisco restaurant, the Slanted Door, Charles Phan stir-fries green beans and meaty mushrooms in peanut oil for customers who want a satisfying vegetarian dish. But he actually prefers the version here, which in typical Vietnamese fashion uses a small amount of rich and tender pork belly to imbue the beans with succulent flavor.Plus: More Pork Recipes and Tips
Chili-Peanut Sauce
Rating: Unrated
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This recipe makes just enough creamy, spicy sauce to fill the Shrimp and Jicama Rolls. Double the recipe if you want extra sauce to serve on the side for dipping. More Thai Recipes
Chicken Pho
Rating: Unrated
5
Charles Phan and his children adore this soup, called pho, which has an intense chicken flavor accented by aromatic roasted onion and ginger—they eat it for breakfast or lunch at least four times a week. Like his mom, Phan adds a large pinch of sugar to the broth to balance the pungent fish sauce.Plus: More Soup Recipes and Tips
In 2018, Food & Wine named this recipe one of our 40 best: Working with chefs and their recipes has always been inspiring, from the most challenging dishes to the simple ones that become instant home classics. We asked Charles Phan, executive chef and owner of The Slanted Door in San Francisco, what he liked to cook at home, and he shared this take on caramelized black pepper chicken, a sweet and hot Vietnamese dish. It's intensely sweet and savory and comes together in just minutes.
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