chao ga

Rogue Yogi Recipe: Chicken Porridge (Cháo Gà)

Lately, the "Mongorrian" (the nickname our friend calls the hubby because of his thick beard) and I have been cooking some more dishes at home. We somehow began to dine out more often and realized how much money we would be saving if we just cooked at home! San Francisco has so many options for restaurants that I don't even think we'll be able to cover them all in a lifetime! We also are getting ready for our Wedding Reception, which we didn't really have when we eloped to the SF City Hall! It's a gorgeous city hall if you've never been. There's lots of Asian tourists that stand by observing everyone getting married, applauding and snapping pics of this special moment for many people. Not wanting to hire a wedding planner, caterer, DJ or anyone else that requires hiring, we decided to make our own food and MacGyver this whole thing. (Does anyone know who MacGyver is? This probably gives my age away!)

We can't reveal what we're cooking, but we can once we make the big announcement next week. Some of you Rogue Yogis already know. So, shhhhhh! It's a really exciting thing, really huge. (No, it's not a baby!)

In the midst of test-cooking our wedding BBQ/Reception/Picnic, we've been making more Hot Pot/Shabu Shabu/Vietnamese Lau in the den. It's been a great way to take a break from our busy lives, and it's also been sort of meditative! We swish some veggies in boiling water, swish some meat, some fish balls, and it all makes for a nice broth at the end. So much broth that we couldn't slurp it all down in one sitting!

We didn't want to just have broth for breakfast the next day. Tossing it was also out of the question. What was something we could do to make the most out of this broth without it being boring?

Porridge! Rice porridge! Excitement grew out of this simple yet efficient idea. So, I stopped by our local Asian grocery store (Manila Oriental Market for those of you in SF), picked up some ingredients. Here's the full list:

-1 small Yellow Onion, cut in half, then slice into very thin wedges

-1 bunch of Vietnamese Coriander (Rau Răm), 2 tbsp minced

-1 Scallion, sliced into thin rings

-Less than 1 lb of boneless Chicken Breast, diced into bite-sized cubes or shredded by fork/hand (Vegan Option: Seitan)

-3/4 cup White Rice

-3 qt Chicken Broth (Vegan Option: Vegetable Broth)

-Optional: Ginger

-Optional: Lime, sliced into wedges

Scallions, Yellow Onions, Vietnamese Coriander, Rau Ram, White Rice, Chicken Porridge, Chao Ga, Easy Recipe, Healthy Recipe

Since we already had 1 qt of the leftover hot pot broth, we only used 2 qt of the chicken broth. Took a 5-quart pot, mixed them together, added 3/4 cup of rinsed white rice (pre-rinse the white rice twice in a separate bowl so you get rid of a majority of the starch), brought the porridge to a boil for about 30 mins. You'll know the porridge is good when the grains of rice fluff, split and curl.

Put the pot of porridge aside, take a pan, add some canola or vegetable oil, sautée the thinly sliced onions for 2 minutes, then add in the diced chicken until there's little pink left and the onions are brown and caramelized.

Add all of the cooked chicken, onions and the resulting juices to the porridge pot. Bring to a simmer to finish cooking the chicken breast without overcooking.

Ladle the porridge into a big bowl. Sprinkle black pepper or freshly cracked black pepper with the minced Vietnamese Coriander and the sliced scallion. Option to squeeze a lime wedge for a nice zest. Option to add your favorite hot sauce (Sriracha, Chili-garlic Oil, Chili-garlic sauce) for a fun spicy kick.

Let me know what variation you made, or how you enjoyed this recipe!


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