Recipe: Mum’s khao man gai

Recipe: Mum's khao man gai

Khao Mun Gai, translated from Thai means chicken fat rice, or otherwise more commonly known as Hainanese chicken rice. The dish is a common street food found in Thailand and Singapore. For those familiar with the dish, it is a household comfort food.

The main difference between the Thai and Singaporean version is the sauce, and we all know for a fact that sauce can really make a dish.

This recipe is from mum, and there are three main elements to the dish: Chicken, rice, and sauce. However, for those who are time poor, purchasing a whole soy sauce chicken at a Chinese barbecue house is a great cheat’s version, and tastes just as authentic.

Serves 4

CHICKEN
4 chicken maryland
8 tablespoons of salt

Rub the salt evenly on each piece of chicken. Set aside for 40 minutes.

Rinse the chicken under running water to wash off the salt. In large pot, bring to the boil enough water to immerse the chicken. Place the chicken in the pot, and let simmer for 35 minutes, or until chicken is firm.

In a bowl of ice water, transfer cooked chicken and leave in there until chicken has completely cooled. Remove from ice water, and let the chicken dry.

RICE
10 garlic cloves, finely chopped
2 cups uncooked jasmine rice, washed
2½ cups chicken stock
2½ teaspoons chicken salt

Fill a large heavy-based frying pan or wok 1cm deep with oil. Heat over medium heat. Working in patches, fry the finely chopped garlic until golden brown, and remove.

Using the same pan and the same oil, turn heat to medium-high heat and add in jasmine rice. Pan-fry rice for 10-15 minutes, until it is coated in the oil and the moisture of the rice is no longer there.

Transfer rice into a rice cooker or pot. Pour in chicken stock, bring rice to the boil, cover, and reduce heat to low, simmer for 15 minutes. When rice is cooked, mix in fried garlic.

SAUCE
3 garlic cloves
4 thumb-sized ginger piece, peeled and roughly chopped
4 bird’s eye red chillies
1 teaspoon dark soy sauce
2 tablespoons light soy sauce
2 tablespoons fermented soybeans (you can find this at any Asian grocer)
1 tablespoon white vinegar
3 teaspoons sugar

Combine garlic, ginger, two chillies, and remaining ingredients in a food processor or blender. Pulse until liquefied, but not smooth in texture. If the consistency is too thick, add 150 ml of water. Chop the two remaining chillies and add to the sauce.

GARNISH
Fresh coriander, roughly chopped
Spring onion, finely sliced
Cucumber, sliced

To serve, place chicken over rice, serve sauce on the side, and garnish with coriander, spring onion, and cucumber.

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