Shredded Chicken Porridge (Cháo Gà Xé Phay) is a Vietnamese Street Food which sold by many hawkers, usually by those who also sell Pork Porridge. I understand that in the West, porridge refers more to soft food made by boiling oatmeal or other grains. Here, rice is used instead.
Anyway, back to our delicious Vietnamese Street Food. When I prepared this batch (which gave me about 5 rice bowl-full), I actually worked harder to get a stronger tasting porridge than usual. On that morning, I bought 3 legs of chicken and got it deboned. I boiled the bones for about 1 hour and used the stock to cook the porridge. I only used meat from 1 leg of chicken and kept the other 2 legs for other use. If you are not keen to spend the extra work boiling chicken stock, you can use plain water instead.
The usual condiments to this Vietnamese Street Food are ginger, chopped spring onions and fried shallots. Just sprinkle them liberally and add a drop or two of sesame oil and you will get a really nice and homely tasting porridge. By the way, if you prefer to have a smooth consistency, I would suggest that you first soak the rice for 15 minutes and drain before cooking it. Once cooked, and before adding anything else into the porridge, switch off the flame and allow the porridge to cool down for about 15 minutes. Then add some water and boil again whilst stirring. You should get really smooth porridge then.
Bring chicken stock to boil. Add leg of chicken and allow cooking until just done. Don’t over cook the chicken or the meat will become tough. Remove leg of chicken and set aside to cool. Shred the meat with finger tips.Place rice in pot. Add chicken stock and bring to boil. Once boiling, reduce heat to simmer and stir occasionally until rice grains are cooked (puffed up or broken). Switch off heat and close lid and allow standing for 15 minutes.Meanwhile, fry the shallots till golden brown and set aside the fried shallots.Reheat porridge and add some water whilst stirring. Bring to boil until you get a smooth consistency. Add light soya sauce and salt to taste.Pour onto serving bowls, top up with white pepper powder, sesame oil, some shredded chicken, ginger, spring onions and fried shallots.
This Vietnamese Street Food is served better when it still hot. Moreover, you can easily find this dish on streets in Vietnam. Its price around $1 – $2. Really cheap, right? Make sure you will not miss this dish when visit my country. Good Luck to your trip.
From EZ Vietnamese Cuisine Team.