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Monday, September 20, 2010

Com Ga ~ Vietnamese Chicken & Rice

Com ga

today i want to talk about everyday childhood food. the foods that showed up at the dinner table on a regular Tuesday night, simple and maybe even plain, overlooked grub that you consumed on the quick so you could get back to your homework or to watch some tv before it was your bedtime; dishes that when eaten now brings back a strong wave of nostalgia. com ga is that dish for me. i've only seen two restaurants serve this home-y dish, & tho they were certainly good, it was almost a waste to order at an establishment because the whole point of going out to dinner is to get something you normally don't eat at home, right?

right. and wrong. i don't live at home anymore. i don't even consider it home anymore (um. did i ever?) and this dish, tho it is simple and rather bland looking, it's anything but. you gotta boil the chicken. the entire chicken. (don't judge me, i was nervous.) you gotta make the rice a smidge differently than normal. and the sauce. it's really all about the sauce. i texted Aunt Mymy for the recipe and in normal asian fashion, no exact measurements, just a list of ingredients & the mantra: just taste it. so, this home-y meal made an appearance recently, i had such a strong hankering for it. i made two different sauces for it, cus tho i was trying to go for the pedestrian vibe of this everday meal, i like having choices & it really came down to my everyday meals now.

for the chicken and sauce #1 (ginger & scallion in oil), i used chuck's Chinese White Cut Chicken method & recipe, tho cut back on the salt to 1 tsp.

for sauce #2 (ginger & lime nuoc mam), i used Aunt Mymy's "recipe" but Wandering Chopsticks' Ginger Fish Sauce recipe is a good reference. (btw, she steams her chicken)

for the rice: (uh, no exact measurements uh-gain. sorry.)

rice (probably about a cup or so)
an inch knob of ginger, chopped
1 glove garlic, minced
chicken stock from the boiled chicken
veggie oil

in a wok or large enough frying pan, heat up the oil. sautee the garlic and ginger, stirring often to prevent burning. def don't burn the stuff, or it'll be bitter & you gotta start over, no joke. when they're sufficiently golden and fragrant smelling, add in the rice, ensuring the oil coats every grain and the garlic/ginger mixture is thoroughly mixed thru. use your judgement, don't burn the rice but fry it up until golden. transfer to rice cooker and add chicken stock according to how you usually make white rice in a cooker.

i realize that's a rather lazy (and inauthentic) approach to making rice but hey, like i said, it's my everyday food now.

currently jamming to The Avett Brothers

9/21/2010 - {edit}
Anh of A Food Lover's Journey kindly asked me to participate in a monthly food event called Delicious Vietnam and submit this post for it. she, along with Ravenous Couple, came up with this event last spring to highlight vietnamese cuisine. Javaholic is this month's host.


  1. I only blogged the steamed chicken because I can't give out the actual family recipe for the chicken. We have another trick with the rice too. I can make it for you when I come! But it won't be anywhere near, or as good, as my mom's version.

  2. is com ga have any relation to pho ga?! That might be a dumb question... Either way, this looks scrumptious- such pretty colors in your photos!

  3. Chi WC, i'm jealous of your steamer. and yes, please make com ga when you visit. it's one of my fave home cooked dishes and i'm very sure it'll be great!

    Claire, it's not a dumb question at all. Com Ga is Chicken & Rice. Ga = chicken, Com = Rice. Pho Ga is Chicken Noodle soup. Pho is the name of the type of noodles used in the soup and as you know, ga means chicken.

  4. So delicious!! I love com ga cooked this way. It's not part of my childhood, but it tastes good.

    Also, it would be my pleasure if you can participate in Delicious Vietnam #6 with this recipe! Detail here:

  5. Oh, thank you for clarifying... I guess the moral of the story is, I LOVE GA! Haha, it is pretty much in all of my foods!

  6. Com ga is Vietnamese comfort food at it's finest. This is one of those dishes that tastes better at home than in a restaurant. Beautiful post. Thanks for participating in Delicious Vietnam.

  7. Lan, this is making me so hungry - thank you for sharing the recipe. I can't wait to try it!

  8. anh, thanks for the invite, i have editted the post to include it for this month's Delicious Vietnam.

    claire, i love chicken too! :)

    sijeleng, thanks for hosting!

    amy, it's one of those easy dishes that just warms the soul, pls do let me know how it turns out for you.

    vyzie, thanks for visiting. for some reason i can't comment on your posts? re your new camera post, what camera did you get? and how did you like woodbery kitchen? i used work across the street and only went ONCE! love it there...good luck with college next week!