first, this here space was nominated for best food blog over at the Baltimore Sun. it would tickle me pink if you'd mosey over and vote for me and everyday until it's over. it is a pain in the ass having to register, i know. i have no platform, lately i haven't been feeling up to blogging, but i won't tax you or infest your tv viewing with jackass commercials. that'd be assclownery personified. to make it easier, there is a button on my right side bar. just click on it. thanks, it'll do wonders for my self-esteem.
when wandering chopsticks was in town two weekends ago we talked a great deal about food; not only what restaurants to hit up, but also the preparation of it on a daily basis, what we grew up eating, it was pure Food Gossip. you'd think we'd be tired of all that food talk but no, i personally wasn't. i happened to mention a blog post Leela of SheSimmers wrote some time ago about the "State of Thai Cuisine" and how some dishes have lost its authenticity, as well as how we don't know the history behind their identity. it was an interesting read.
the gist of the convo was that thai food and cambodian food are quite similar, and there are some vietnamese dishes that are identical to cambodian food. it's the region, as well as due to the french influence way back in the day on the latter two countries. (fyi, Thailand is the only country in southeast asia who was not colonized by an outside power). look, i'm not an expert on food history, it's a burgeoning interest for me, i'm about consuming the food and learning about it is secondary. (tho, i bet if there'd been a such thing as AP Food History, i would've been up on it.)
i made this cambodian chicken rice soup sunday. if you can't tell, i'm on a soup kick right now. (rest assured, i'll be going into bake-mode shortly.) this particular dish reminded me of vietnamese chao, or rice porridge but the sourness of the lemon (forgive me, i had no limes in the house) and the sharpness of the lemongrass reminded me of thailand. heaven in a bowl.
from the Complete Vietnamese Cookbook by Ghillie Başan (yeah, i laughed at the title too, it's actually cuisine from Indo-China)
1 small chicken or 2 meaty chicken legs
1 onion, quartered
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 oz fresh root ginger, sliced
2 lemongrass stalks, cut in half lengthwise and bruised
2 dried red chillies (i used two fresh green chillies, i'm a rebel)
2 TBL fish sauce (i ixnayed this step)
after Stock has been made:
2 lemongrass stalks, cut and bruised
fish sauce, to taste
1/3 cup short grain rice, rinsed (i used 2/3 cup, i like my rice)
lime wedge (or in my case, lemon. i know, i know!)
1 red or green chili, seeded and cut into thin strips
cilantro, rough chopped
ground black pepper
put chicken into deep pot. add all the stock ingredients and pour in 2Litres/3.5pints/7 3/4 cup water. bring to a boil for about 5 minutes, then lower heat and simmer gently with lid on for about 2 hours.
skim off any fat, strain and reserve stock. remove the skin from the chicken and shred meat. set aside.
meanwhile, pour the stock back into the pot and bring to a boil. lower the heat and stir in the lemongrass stalks and fish sauce. stir in the rice, simmer uncovered for about 40 minutes.
to serve, ladle the soup in bowl, and add the chicken on top. garnish with the cilantro and lime wedges.