Beginner’s Choice: Cháo gà ( chicken porridge) and gỏi gà (chicken salad)

By Cecille

Vy Nguyen, a Vietnamese friend, came to the house and taught me how to cook Vietnamese chicken porridge and to prepare Vietnamese chicken salad. “It’s your  birthday present”, she said. These two dishes are usually eaten together.

She brought the chicken (kampong chicken) from her province, Dong Nai, two hours away from Saigon by motorbike, because she claimed that the chicken raised in her hometown taste different, so I assume it is like kampong chicken.

It was a delightful experience cooking intensely for two hours side-by-side.

Vietnamese porridge:

Ingredients
: chicken, rice, onion, garlic, lemon, scallion, purple onion, cilantro (ngò rí), chili pepper, pepper, salt, sugar, cabbage, persicaria odorata (rau răm), mint leaves (húng lủi), carrot.

How to cook:
1. Wash the ingredients

2. Boil the chicken in a pot, put a spoon of salt into the water. Wait until the chicken becomes soft and is without blood (check it with a chopstick). Then, take the chicken you want to use for salad out. After that, add a half bowl of rice (you can stir the rice in a pan before cooking it to make the taste more delicious) and simmer the congee for about 1 hour or until it is thickened and creamy. Add salt to taste.

3. Chicken: Tear the chicken for the salad into small pieces. Add a little salt and pepper and mix.

4. Cabbage: Chop the cabbage into thin and long pieces.

5. Chop carrot (3cm) and onion into thin and long pieces, put them in separate bowls. Then add lemon juice, sugar and a little salt, mix the ingredients (taste it to see if it is sour and sweet, as you wish) and put the carrots into the fridge. Before making the salad, pour out the water in the bowls.

6. Persicaria odorata, mint leaves, scallion, cilantro: Chop into tiny pieces.

7. Salad: Mix the cabbage, chicken, carrot, onion, persicaria odorata, mint leaves together. Add lemon juice, sugar, salt.

8. Purple onion: Slice into thin pieces and fry with cooking oil until it turns yellow. Add some on salad and porridge when serving.

9. Add scallion, cilantro and fried onion into the porridge. You can also add sliced ginger.

10. Fish sauce: Put 4 spoons of sugar in a small bowl and add some warm water. Blend the mixture until sugar is dissolved. Then, add 2 or 3 spoons of lemon juice, 2 spoons of fish sauce, sliced garlic, chili pepper. Taste and add more ingredients till you are satisfied with the sauce.

For Vietnamese dishes, special attention goes into the sauce…that goes with each dish…

Note from the Editor: I have to confess that I forgot Cecille’s birthday. I have been asking her for Vietnamese recipes for some time. She has been sending photos of her cooking from the time I started this blog. I can’t wait to try this recipe, because I am a fan of any kind of porridge.

Val, of Val’s Amazing Lunch Boxes series, also celebrated her birthday. Elena , our regular contributor to the blog, made the most amazing lemon-blueberry cake for the occasion. It was a great end to a celebration meal of satay and gado-gado.

Lemon-blueberry Cake

Have a great week ahead.

Posted by Chayo, HomSkil’s Editor 1, 24 April 2022

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