Doctor's Review: Medicine on the Move

September 23, 2021
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Vietnamese Home Cooking

Charles Phan’s first big meal was Thanksgiving dinner in 1978. He was 15 years old, and he and his family of 10 had been in San Francisco for 11 months after arriving from Guam where they’d lived for two years after leaving Vietnam. The menu — turkey, stuffing, sweet potatoes, green beans, apple pie, and gravy and cranberry sauce too — was from Gourmet magazine. His family’s response: “we’d rather eat Chinese food any day.”

Phan went on to learn American classics like “chocolate cake and pancakes,” but his 18-year-old San Fran resto, The Slanted Door, embraces Asian home cooking that can be made in an American kitchen — which is where Phan has cooked his entire life. With his first cookbook, Vietnamese Home Cooking, published last fall by Ten Speed Press, he hopes to inspire others to do the same. Here are three recipes that inspired us.

Recipes from the book