Monday, December 21, 2009

Khao Mun Kai, Chinese Chicken

Khao Mun Kai is one of our favorite lunch options in Bangkok, so learning how to make it (and discovering how easy it is) was a big treat. Simply a boiled chicken, it is served with steamed rice and a small bowl of chicken broth. But what makes the whole dish worth your search for the stall is the extraordinary sweet - sour - salty - spicy sauce. Yikes.

To make the chicken and rice just boil 2 cups of water with 1/4 tsp. salt and 1/4 tsp. sugar. When the water starts to boil add one chicken breast with skin and let cook for 15 minutes. That's it. The chicken is done, but leave the remaining stock as it will be used for the rice.

For the rice, first saute 1 tbsp. chopped garlic in 1 tbsp. vegetable oil. Then add 1 cup of long grain rice mixed with 1/4 cup of sticky round rice and continue to saute for a few more minutes. Add 1 1/4 cups of the remaining chicken stock and cover on low heat for 15 minutes or until done.

The broth is minimal. Two coriander roots, a garlic head, 1/4 tsp. salt, 1/4 tsp. of white pepper and chicken neck and bones boiled in 3 cups of water for 15 minutes over low heat. Make sure to skim the fat off the top while cooking.

And now for the sauce:
In a wok over low heat, pour 3 tsp. of sweet black soy sauce, 4 tsp. white vinegar and 1 1/2 tsp. soy bean paste. Mash the soybeans while stirring. When it comes to a boil, remove from the wok and into a small bowl.
Add 2 birds eye chilies (one red and one green), 1 clove of garlic and 1 1/2 tbsp. ginger, all finely chopped. Then add 1 tbsp. of lime juice and mix. Add more ginger and sugar to taste.

To serve the dish cut thin slices of chicken breast and spread them a little with the knife.

Pour the sauce and serve with the rice, sliced cucumber and chicken broth.

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