So, last weekend, Mama tried a Vietnamese recipe she obtained from her friend (the lady owns the laundromat in the suburb). Mama tried to stay true to the recipe and did very little improvisation. Well, I haven’t tasted the authentic version but must say I like this dish, although I think Mama should lessen or omit the fish sauce. As a true blue feline, I love fish (canned or fresh) but fish sauce I can do without. However, we can’t call it authentic Vietnamese if it doesn’t have fish sauce in it, right?
It’s hot! hot! hot! Mama exceeds the fiery scale by adding whole bird eye's chili in the dish.
Anyway, here’s the recipe for Ga Xao Sa Ot (Chicken with Lemongrass & Chili)
Ingredients: (serves 4)
450g skinless thigh fillets, cut into bite-size pieces
2 tbsp fish sauce (cut down to half or omit if you don’t fancy this pungent stuff)
1 tsp ground turmeric
2 stalks fresh lemongrass, finely chopped
2 big cloves garlic, minced
4 bird’s eye chilies, minced (Mama substituted this with 2 tsp chili paste and then put in 5 bird’s eye chilies [whole] at the same time as the spring onions)
1-inch piece of fresh ginger, minced
2 shallots, thinly sliced
Additional sea salt to taste
2 to 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 tbsp brown sugar
2 stalks spring onions, sliced (reserve green part for garnish)
Fresh coriander leaves to garnish
1. Marinate chicken with all ingredients except the oil, spring onions, coriander and sugar. Cover and refrigerate for at least an hour. (Mama marinated this for two hours.)
2. Place a non-stick wok over high heat and add a generous amount of oil to fully coat the bottom. When oil is really hot, sprinkle sugar into the oil and swirl skillet around to make sure the sugar has dissolved.
3. When you no longer see the individual granules of sugar, throw chicken in and make sure each piece touches the skillet. Leave it alone for a while to allow the chicken to caramelize and then toss quickly to let the other side to cook.
4. At this point, you can make some room in the wok for the spring onions to fry (and the whole bird’s eye chilies, if using).
5. When all the pieces of chicken have caramelized to a beautiful golden brown, transfer to a plate and garnish with the fried spring onions.
6. Sprinkle the green part of the spring onions on top and place a generous amount of fresh coriander leaves around the chicken.
7. Serve with plain rice.
Our spring onion bush enjoys the city skyline everyday.
Our bird eye’s chili – we have a bountiful harvest this season. This type would cost at least $25/kg at the shops.
Our ginger clump - – nothing beats home grown herbs and spices.
Mama serves a vegetable side dish too – it’s stir-fried pumpkin with snowpeas and capsicum. Yummmm….
That's me having a siesta in the garden after a hearty meal. Burp! Errr….excuse me.
Oh, sorry I didn't invite anyone to lunch. It was kinda impromptu. purrr....meow!