Sunday, April 22, 2012

Hainam chicken (Vietnamese style)

     Another favorite dish of my hubby. He found this Chinese dish at some restaurant in LA area and brouhgt it home for me to try. I'm not a big fan of boiled chicken since they are seem a little bland to me. But to make him happy and also to turn it into a dish that i could also enjoy, I twisted a little with some Vietnamese touch and... Voila... It taste to me a hundred times better than this Chinese version. The best part my hubby loves it too!

    In the Chinese version, the boiled chicken was chopped into chunky pieces and served over rice with some scallion, ginger sauce and soy sauce. Don't you think it is a rather boring dish? So to make it looks more interesting I boiled the chicken, shredded it, mixed it with some pickled onion in vinaigrette dressing. I used some of the stock to cook the rice and the left over broth was reserved to make soup with mustard greens. As for the sauce I made the Vietnamese fish sauce with ginger. I kept the scallion/ginger sauce version and made some fried shallot to add in the flavor. I served it with the Vietnamese herb called "rau râm" mixed with shredded scallion on the side. It tastes so... yummy! Just writing about it makes me hungry now, so let's start cooking everyone!

1. 1 medium cleaned chicken 
2. 4 cups of white jasmine rice (rinse well)
3. a bunch of mustard greens (washed chopped into 1 inch pieces)
4. 1 medium onion (sliced thinly) and a small whole onion 
5. 1 small and 1 large piece of ginger (peel and clean both pieces, mince the large piece and reserve the small piece whole)
6. 5-6 shallots (thinly sliced)
7. 3 shallots (minced) and 3-4 gloves of minced garlic
8. a bunch of green onion (green part shredded, white part pulse well in food processor with 1/2 of minced ginger)
9. Vietnamese herb (rau ram), shredded green onion
10. Salt, pepper, sugar and vietnamese seasoning (bot nem)
11. 4 tbsp of fish sauce, 1 tbsp of vinegar, 8 tbsp of sugar, minced red chili pepper and minced ginger and 5 tbsp of water for the sauce

    In a large stock pot, add cold water and chicken in the pot. Boil at  high heat, add a cleaned small piece of ginger and a small onion in the broth along with some salt, sugar. Once it's boiled, bring the heat down to medium and simmer for about 30-45 min. Remove the chicken from the pot and dunk it in a large bowl of cold water and let it soak until cool.

   In another pot, add some cooking oil and add in minced garlics and shallots. Stir until fragrant then add the rinsed rice, mix well and add in some salt, sugar, pepper and vietnamese seasoning (bot nem). Stir for a 2-3 min then transfer the rice into a rice cooker, add in some of the reserved broth (the water level should be about 1/2 inch above the rice surface). Cook until done and fluff it up with a pair of chopstick or fork. The rice should be fluffy and not soggy at all.
   For the reserved broth, put it back on the stove, once it's boiled again add in the cleaned chopped mustard greens and turn off the heat. Make fried shallots with cooking oil and fry it just right until it turns golden brown and crispy, remove from the oil and set aside. 

  Mix sugar, minced chili pepper, 1/2 of minced ginger, vinegar and fish sauce in a separate bowl and stir well till all the sugar dissolved. It should taste a little sweet, salty and a sour at the same time, adjust the ingredient to your taste. In a small pot add some oil and place the other 1/2 of minced ginger mixture with the white part of green onion and stir for a 5min, season with some salt and set aside.

   Shred the chicken when it cool enough to touch. Mix some water with vinegar, sugar, some salt and the sliced onion to make the instant pickled onion. It should taste sweet and a bit salty as well as sour. Let it sits for at least 30min then add the pickled onion that was soaked in the dressing to the shredded chicken, add some fried shallots and mix well.

   To assemble the plate, press rice down in a small bowl and flip it up side down onto the serving plate. Add some ginger/green onion mixture on top of the rice along with some fried shallot. Place the prepared chicken on the plate next to the rice, top with some ginger/green onion mixture and fried shallots. Place the mixture of rau ram and shredded green onion next. Serve with fish sauce and the mustard green soup as you see in the picture. Bon appetit!

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