Chao Ga (Rice Porridge with Chicken)

chao gaBeing sick sucks!  The one thing I always want when I’m not feeling well is my MOM and a big bowl of chao ga (chow gah), also known as congee with chicken <3  I guess chao is the equilvalent of chicken noodle soup for ailing asians . . .  having to go into work and continue a social life while managing a runny nose, itchy throat, and hagging cough is not as easy as I make it look šŸ˜‰

 

 I’m fortunate to have a “somebody” who is willing to hang out with you while you look and feel like crap!  Thanks Josh šŸ™‚ you rock my socks off!

Most of the women in my family are gifted when it comes to cooking chao.  Not only is it the #1 desired meal for sickies, it is the aromatic, ginger-y smell in the air at the end of a long night of playing cards with family after Thanksgiving dinner or a family wedding, or Christmas or a Saturday night when Cuc is in town to vist šŸ™‚

I have to give the title of best Chao to my cousin, Yen Lam.  Hands down, she makes the best soup in the family!  Well here is MY recipe.  It’s really simple, only a few ingredients.  I hope you’ll give it a try!

BUY:

  • a whole chicken
  • ginger
  • 1 cup of jasmine rice
  • 1 whole onion
  • cracked black pepper
  • minced garlic
  • fish sauce
  • bean sprouts, cilantro, green onion, fried onions, and fried garlic for garnish (all of these items are optional, but definitely makes it all the yummier)

PREP:

  • Thoroughly wash the chicken and place in a large stockot
  • Add enough water to cover the chicken, bring to boil
  • Peel and chop half of the ginger root into big 2-inch chunks; julienne the other half into fine smaller pieces.  Add the chunks to the pot.  The other half of the ginger needs to be added later. *the more ginger the better
  • Peel the whole onion and add to the pot
  • Clean and rinse the cup of rice and set aside

CUC:

  • In a separate saute pan, add a tsp of sesame oil, a couple of drops of olive oil, minced garlic and the cleaned and rinsed rice.  *Here is my secret CUCing strategy.  I add the julienned ginger at this point because I’ve found that when ginger is heated like this, the smell and flavor is enhanced*  In most of my Asian stir fry recipes that call for ginger, I always add the ginger in the beginning when sauteeing the garlic with oil!
  • Saute until rice turns really white and starts to pop in the pan, this is a sign that its ready to go in the stockpot with the chicken
  • Once the rice has been added, turn the heat down to a med-low until the chicken is cooked (25-30 minutes total time in the pot)
  • Add the julienned ginger, a tsp of cracked black pepper, a few dashes of onion powder, garlic powder, 2-3 tbsp of fish sauce and cover.  Stir every so often but keep the pot covered.
  • Use a fork to pierce the chicken to check for done-ness.  Fork should pierce easily through the meat and no blood should be present in the juices.  Once it is cooked, remove the chicken from the pot and turn the heat to LOW immediately.  Cover to let the rice continue to break down. 
  • Once the chicken has cooled, shred the chicken.  I like to shred into small bite size pieces and add back to the pot; some people like to chop the chicken into bigger pieces bone and all and serve alongside the chao.
  • Season the chao to your liking. I tend to add more black pepper and a few drops of fish sauce it is not flavorful enough at this point.
  • The chao will need to cook about 20-30 more minutes to break down to the consistency that I prefer.  It’s a rice porridge, so it should be just the right thickness when ready.

When serving, lay a few bean sprouts on the bottom of the bowl before you spoon the chao in, sprinkle some cilantro, green onions, fried onions, and a dash of cracked black pepper

*Here is another CUC trick:  In a small saucepan, saute a little of the fried garlic with sesame oil/olive oil.  Just get this hot.  A few drops of this into your bowl of chao makes a world of difference*

Chao Ga (Rice Porridge or Congee with Chicken)
Vietnamese Rice soup with chicken, ginger and spices
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Cook Time
1 hr
Cook Time
1 hr
Ingredients
  1. a whole chicken
  2. ginger
  3. 1 cup of jasmine rice
  4. 1 whole onion
  5. cracked black pepper
  6. minced garlic
  7. fish sauce
  8. bean sprouts, cilantro, green onion, fried onions, and fried garlic for garnish (all of these items are optional, but definitely makes it all the yummier)
PREP
  1. Thoroughly wash the chicken and place in a large stockot
  2. Add enough water to cover the chicken, bring to boil
  3. Peel and chop half of the ginger root into big 2-inch chunks; julienne the other half into fine smaller pieces. Add the chunks to the pot. The other half of the ginger needs to be added later. *the more ginger the better
  4. Peel the whole onion and add to the pot
  5. Clean and rinse the cup of rice and set aside
CUC
  1. In a separate saute pan, add a tsp of sesame oil, a couple of drops of olive oil, minced garlic and the cleaned and rinsed rice. *Here is my secret CUCing strategy. I add the julienned ginger at this point because I've found that when ginger is heated like this, the smell and flavor is enhanced* In most of my Asian stir fry recipes that call for ginger, I always add the ginger in the beginning when sauteeing the garlic with oil!
  2. Saute until rice turns really white and starts to pop in the pan, this is a sign that its ready to go in the stockpot with the chicken
  3. Once the rice has been added, turn the heat down to a med-low until the chicken is cooked (25-30 minutes total time in the pot)
  4. Add the julienned ginger, a tsp of cracked black pepper, a few dashes of onion powder, garlic powder, 2-3 tbsp of fish sauce and cover. Stir every so often but keep the pot covered.
  5. Use a fork to pierce the chicken to check for done-ness. Fork should pierce easily through the meat and no blood should be present in the juices. Once it is cooked, remove the chicken from the pot and turn the heat to LOW immediately. Cover to let the rice continue to break down.
  6. Once the chicken has cooled, shred the chicken. I like to shred into small bite size pieces and add back to the pot; some people like to chop the chicken into bigger pieces bone and all and serve alongside the chao.
  7. Season the chao to your liking. I tend to add more black pepper and a few drops of fish sauce it is not flavorful enough at this point.
  8. The chao will need to cook about 20-30 more minutes to break down to the consistency that I prefer. It's a rice porridge, so it should be just the right thickness when ready.
Notes
  1. When serving, lay a few bean sprouts on the bottom of the bowl before you spoon the chao in, sprinkle some cilantro, green onions, fried onions, and a dash of cracked black pepper
Just Cuc It! http://justcucit.com/
Feel better soon!

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