Munchery is excited to offer signature dishes from renowned San Francisco restaurant, The Slanted Door! Learn more about the story behind each dish, from origins steeped in rich Vietnamese culinary traditions, to executive chef and owner Charles Phan’s fresh interpretations, to insider tips on eating and cooking the authentic Vietnamese way.
The Slanted Door’s Chicken Pho – At Your Door via Munchery
San Francisco Bay Area denizens rejoice! You can now enjoy The Slanted Door’s Chicken Pho at home with delivery exclusively through Munchery. Chicken from Mary’s Free Range Chicken brings lightness to this traditional Vietnamese dish, suffusing the broth with a deep, soulful flavor. Mix in the accompanying chili and hoisin sauce for added flavor. Customary garnishes of fresh green onion, Thai basil, and jalapeños give each spoonful a burst of herb and spice.
A Delicious History of the Dish
What started 100 years ago in northern Vietnam as a simple soup of beef, noodles, and broth is now a well-loved, often-iterated classic available in restaurants across the US. Early variations, like chicken pho, were products of necessity—beef was not sold at the markets on Mondays or Fridays in Vietnam during the early part of the 20th century, forcing cooks to look elsewhere for protein.
America’s appetite for pho has grown thanks to Vietnamese immigrants—just like Charles Phan—who brought the dish with them to their adopted homeland in the aftermath of the Vietnam War. By the 1990’s, Vietnamese restaurants like The Slanted Door began cropping up in larger states like Texas and California, popularizing what is now considered Vietnam’s national soup.
In the words of Phan, “Bowls of pho are the hamburgers of Vietnam: incredibly popular, eaten every day by a majority of the population, young and old. In the mornings in Ho Chi Minh City, you see commuters sitting astride their parked mopeds, slurping down a bowl before they continue on to work.”
Chef Phan’s Inspiration
There was never any question whether pho would be on the menu at The Slanted Door. For Charles Phan, pho means home:
“I eat pho—chicken or beef—almost every morning at the restaurant. It’s also the first thing I eat when I go back to Vietnam. My family left Vietnam when I was twelve years old, and eighteen years passed before I returned.
On my first trip back, I landed in Ho Chi Minh City in the morning from an overnight flight. It was disorienting to disembark from the plane into the humid day, stepping into a country that was both intensely familiar and also a distant memory. I went straight to a coffee shop, a noisy shoebox of a space where men were talking over coffee and the owner was dispensing bowl after bowl of pho. I was back in Vietnam.”
Your Go-To Pro Tip
Vietnamese restaurants typically serve the soup with a plate of garnishes: Rau ram (Vietnamese coriander), fresh mint, Thai basil, slices of jalapeño chile, mung bean sprouts, lime wedges, and sometimes fried shallots or Chinese doughnuts. Though many Americans simply toss in their toppings all at once, the authentic Vietnamese approach is to add a little bit of each topping over time as you eat your way through the bowl.
The reason? Pho is all about freshness, aroma, and texture—you want the herbs to maintain their fragrance, the bean sprouts to stay crisp and crunchy. If you add too much too soon, the heat of the broth will leave you with a bowlful of withered herbs and wilted sprouts.