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Southeast Asia Flava #2

May 6, 2010

A quick housekeeping note:  the Mouse House Kitchen blog recently surpassed 5,000 hits!  Thank you all so much for reading, and hopefully we’ll see you at 10,000 soon!

Now – on to today’s recipe.  You might notice a similar theme from the last recipe posted here; please don’t get the wrong idea.  This site is not developing into a Vietnamese cooking blog.  But the cookbook I have recently come across is producing incredible food, and I must share it with you.  This recipe is very simple, very basic – chicken and rice.  It was so good that I wish I had made more – the only reason I didn’t finish my wife’s leftovers was so that I could bring it to work for lunch and make my co-workers jealous (mission accomplished, by the way).  The rice is so flavorful with fried garlic and ginger, and cooking it in chicken stock makes it joyfully moist and delicious.  The original recipe calls for making your own stock and then using that chicken to top the rice, but the store-bought stock and a rotisserie chicken work just fine here too.  And the ginger sauce (nuoc cham gung) is absolutely terrific.  This would obviously work quite well with tofu and vegetable broth, if you’re of the vegetarian persuasion.  Enjoy!

 Com Ga (Ginger and Garlic Rice with Chicken)

(serves 2-3) 

 Nuoc cham gung:

1 tablespoons fish sauce

1 tsp. sugar

Juice of 1 lime

2 garlic cloves, crushed

1 serrano pepper, seeded and minced

1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger

1 scallion, minced

Com Ga:

2 cups long-grain rice, preferably Jasmine
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
2 cloves garlic, crushed, peeled, and finely chopped
1 ounce fresh ginger, peeled and minced
3 cups chicken stock
1 bunch cilantro, stems trimmed

1 whole chicken, cooked

Make the ginger sauce.  Whisk the fish sauce, lime juice and sugar until sugar is dissolved.  Add the garlic, ginger, pepper and scallion and mix.  Let sit for about 30 minutes.

Heat the oil in a heavy-bottomed pot over medium heat. Add the garlic and ginger and stir-fry until golden and crisp, about 5 minutes. Add the rice and stir with a wooden spoon until lightly golden, 3 to 5 minutes. Add the chicken stock and stir to level the rice. Scatter the cilantro across the top, cover, and cook until the rice has absorbed all the stock, about 20-25 minutes. Turn the heat off and, with a wooden spoon, stir the rice a few times, thoroughly mixing in the cilantro. Allow to rest, covered, for 10 minutes before serving.  Butcher the chicken into 4 equal servings.  Divide the rice on to 4 plates, top with chicken and nuoc cham gung.  Eat!

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