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Wednesday, 23 December 2015

Hainanese Chicken Rice - 'khao man gai' - ข้าวมันไก่







This dish is celebrated as an 'Up Town' dish, and is not always easy to find, although there are some particular food carts on, and around Sukhumwit, in Bangkok, which always seem to have it. It is done in a Hainanese-style, and is very widely eaten in Asia - especially in Vietnam. I love it, and always had it, weekly, at home. I also, always enjoyed it in Hat Yai, when I had lunch after my Visa-run to the border at Pedang Besar. There was a great restaurant inside Robinson's Department store in Hat Yai, not far from the railway. Mmmm, please, take me back!

It is essentially a complex dish, though easy to make, and uses Boiled Chicken, rather than fried. Many times I have found it with skin on, though I prefer it off.The complexity comes mainly in the composition and balance of the sauce and accompanying soup ...


Serves: - 2 - 4 people


Preparation: - around 1 hour


Ingredients:


For Cooking the Chicken:

  • 1 x med. to lge. chicken
  • 2 x tspns salt
  • 1.65ltrs (3.5 pints) x water




For the accompanying salad:

  • 1 x Cucumber
  • 1 x sml bunch Spring Onions
  • 4 x Hard Boiled Eggs




For the Soup:

  • 2½ ltrs (5 pints) x Water
  • 2 tspns x Pepper
  • 3 tbspns x Light Soy Sauce
  • 3 or 4 x Chinese Green Spring Onions
  • Bunch x Parsley
  • 500gms x Ash (Waxy) Gourd - Winter Squash - 'Fak Kiaow '


For the Sauce:

  • ¼ cup x chopped Garlic
  • ½ cup x Soy Beans sauce (or preferably, Yellow Bean sauce)
  • ¼ cup x chopped fresh Ginger
  • ½ cup x Light Soy Sauce
  • ¼ cup x Dark Soy Sauce
  • ½ cup x grated Palm Sugar
  • 6 x chopped Chilies - with, or without seeds



For the Rice:

  • 2-3 cups x Rice - (Jasmine is best)
  • 2-3 cups x Stock, preferably Chicken - to depth of one finger knuckle above rice.
  • 1 tbspn x chopped Garlic
  • 2 tbspns x Canola Oil






Method:

Add the water, chicken and salt to a large-enough pot, and boil on a low heat until thoroughly cooked.

You can add some of the Ash Pumpkin during this process, if preferred. Drain well, and remove the skin. Some prefer to also remove wings and drumsticks, too. I prefer to break the chicken into smaller pieces, although it would be OK to cut it.

Wash the rice well, removing as much starch as possible. The Garlic should be lightly fried in the Canola oil until aromatic, then added and mixed with the rice. Cook like that until the rice starts to show signs of drying out. Then transfer it all to the rice cooker. Add the Chicken Stock and set to cook in your rice cooker. There should be enough stock in the rice cooker to be around ½" to ⅝" above the rice.

To make the soup, add the water to the pot you used for the Chicken, or Garlic and Rice, (getting some of that flavour, too), and boil it. You can also add some Ash Pumpkin to it. (I like to add a cube, or two, of Chicken Stock, as well). After 30 minutes, add the Pepper, and diced Spring onions. Just before serving, add the Parsley.

The accompanying Sauce is just a mixture of all the ingredients. If lazy, or you don't have all ingredients, you can also use a BBQ sauce.

To serve, I prefer separate bowls of choices. That way, I can pick and choose.




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