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 Green Papaya Salad – At Your Door via Munchery
Slanted Door regulars are familiar with the light and delicious flavors of the restaurant’s Green Papaya Salad – now available for home delivery exclusively through Munchery. Crisp, julienned green papaya mixes with celery, carrots, and cucumbers in a traditional Vietnamese dressing of fish sauce, vinegar, garlic, and spicy Thai chili. This refreshing salad is topped with fried shallots and roasted peanuts.
A Delicious History of the Dish
Combining sour, sweet, hot, and salty elements, the classic green papaya has a dynamic flavor profile unlike anything else. The dish originated in Laos and parts of Thailand, but because of their similar climates and culinary influences, almost every country in Southeast Asia has their own version.
Like many other equatorial countries, Vietnam is an ideal habitat for lush tropical fruit trees, including the papaya. Most Americans know papayas as the sweet orange treats with black seeds they find in their local supermarkets, but in Vietnam papayas are frequently harvested while still unripe. These firm, green papayas are treated like vegetables, providing a delightful crispness to savory dishes and salads.
Chef Phan’s Inspiration
“[Green papaya salad] is so common in Vietnam that you can buy all of the ingredients for it, prepped and ready to toss together at thome, at the market: shredded green (unripe) papaya, small plastic bags of dressing, and fried shallots… [The Slanted Door’s] addition of fried tofu, celery, and cucumber aren’t traditional, but I like the flavor and texture they add.”
Your Go-To Pro Tip
To add new flavor and texture, consider adding fried tofu, celery, and cucumber. Chef Phan also likes including rau răm, a common Vietnamese green herb with a flavor somewhere between cilantro and mint. If you can’t find it, a mixture of spearmint and cilantro is a fine substitute. For a stellar finish, top with shredded beef jerky.