Nothing has us more inspired to try our hand at Vietnamese food than a meal at San Francisco’s famed Slanted Door. With a location inside one of our favorite spots in the city, the Ferry Building (neighboring Pressed Juicery, of course!), The Slanted Door has been a mainstay of the city’s dining scene since it first opened in The Mission in 1995. A trip to San Francisco is never complete without a much-anticipated meal here, as the award-winning chef Charles Phan captivates our palates with the exotic flavors of Vietnamese cuisine – dishes like Chef Phan’s daikon rice cakes and spicy broccoli with braised tofu, lion’s mane and mushroom have us embracing this exotic, new-to-us cuisine with open arms.
The Slanted Door: Modern Vietnamese Food is a love note to the genesis of the restaurant, the people who eat there, and the food that has transformed our perceptions of Vietnamese cuisine. All the restaurant’s all-stars are in there, so even if you never make it to the Bay, you can get a taste of the Vietnamese food we’re all going gaga over! Our favorite? This Roasted Mushroom and Yuba Salad by Chef Phan himself:
This vegan dish is a recent addition to The Slanted Door menu. The dressing utilizes hot oil that has been poured over aromatics, which infuses the oil with their flavor and cooks the ginger and shallots. You will have leftover oil, which you can use in other salads. We use yuba, which is also known as tofu skin, from Hodo Soy Beanery in Oakland. If you can’t find fresh yuba, many Asian markets sell it in sheets that are frozen or dried. Thaw or reconstitute the yuba according to the package directions, then proceed from there. Make sure to dress the yuba and the mushrooms separately. Otherwise, the mushrooms will soak up the oil and become too salty.
Roasted Mushroom and Yuba Salad
1 lb mushrooms, such as shiitake, king trumpet, or shimeji
1 1⁄4 cups canola oil
4 oz fresh yuba
1 shallot, thinly sliced into rings
1⁄2 cup peeled and finely julienned fresh ginger
1 1⁄2 Tbsp soy sauce
1⁄2 tsp sugar
1⁄2 cup coarsely chopped cilantro
Preheat the oven to 375°F. Coarsely chop the mushrooms and place in a mixing bowl. Add 1⁄4 cup of the oil and a pinch of salt and toss to coat. Spread the mushrooms in a single layer on two baking sheets and roast until medium brown in color, about 15 minutes.
Meanwhile, cut the yuba into 1⁄4-inch strips. Use your fingers to separate the layers and set aside.
Place the shallot and ginger in a small bowl. In a small saucepan, heat the remaining 1 cup of oil until it is shimmering. Remove from the heat and pour over the shallots and ginger; you should hear a sizzle as the oil contacts the aromatics. Let the oil infuse for at least 15 minutes. Strain, reserving both the infused oil and the ginger and shallot.
In a large bowl, combine the soy sauce, sugar and 2 tablespoons of the infused oil and stir to dissolve the sugar. Add the mushrooms, yuba, cilantro and reserved ginger and shallots and toss to combine.
Serve warm or at room temperature.
Reprinted with permission from The Slanted Door by Charles Phan, copyright (c) 2014. Published by Ten Speed Press, a division of Penguin Random House, Inc. Photography (c) 2014 by Ed Anderson.