Vietnamese Chicken Porridge (Chao Ga) – Vicky Pham

what will you need

Chicken — For this particular recipe, I make a homemade broth using a whole free-range chicken. However, you can use any type of chicken you like, or a combination of different cuts of chicken.

Free range chickens are the best and most authentic for this dish. The meat is firmer than your regular American chicken and gives the smooth mash a nice contrasting texture.

rice — To keep it simple, I use regular long-grain jasmine rice. It’s the same rice I use for steamed rice in my rice cooker. You can also use sweet rice, also known as sticky rice, or broken rice, known as cơm tấm. Broken rice is great for a more pasty consistency.

Most Vietnamese households tend to use Thai rice as Vietnamese rice is not available and Thai rice is the closest thing to rice at home in Vietnam.

One of my favorite Thai rice varieties is Ông Địa by Sun Lee. It is the stamp with the image of Buddha (shirtless, bald, fat man with drooping earlobes). Another popular long-grain Thai jasmine rice is Ba Cô Gái (Three Ladies’ brand). It is the bag with three ladies in traditional Thai and Vietnamese dress on the front.

Both brands have regular jasmine rice, sweet rice, and broken rice, so look carefully at the packaging to see what type of rice you’re getting.

aromatics — I use ginger, shallots and a whole coriander plant with the roots and all. The roots have great flavor and I have a garden full of cilantro to use up. If you don’t have a whole cilantro plant, just use a typical grocery store bunch. You can substitute yellow onions for shallots instead.

Spices — To flavor the porridge, I use salt, sugar and chicken bouillon powder. Chicken Bouillon Powder is the big Southeast Asian cooking cheat. If you don’t have chicken bouillon powder, no problem. Just replace it with salt.

Side Dishes & Vegetables — To make it pretty, garnish with thinly sliced ​​cilantro and/or spring onions. You can also use thinly sliced ​​yellow/white onions. To make it more authentic, serve Cháo Gà with Vietnamese coriander (Rau Răm) or bean sprouts (Giá).

dipping sauce — The dipping sauce is used to dip the chicken pieces. It is a mixture of lime juice (can also use lemon juice), salt and ground black pepper. This dipping sauce is a must or the dish is incomplete!

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