In Thailand, there is a dish called Khao Mun Gai. The name is simply translated as rice cooked in chicken fat. The dish is a Thai take on the famous Hainanese Chicken which is introduced in the country by Chinese immigrants.
Khao Mun Gai can be served as breakfast, lunch or dinner. It’s a wholesome that can be eaten anytime of the day. You will be surprised to see many morning markets in Thailand sell this delicious rice as early as 4 o’clock in the morning and the same dishes are popular in the night markets that runs after midnight as well.
A plate of Hainanese consists of succulent soft chicken that might be proached or steamed to perfection, rice cooked in chicken broth and fat, piping hot broth and dipping sauce on the side. You can also throw in some sliced cucumber and fresh coriander, too.
There are a few style of cooking Hainanese Chicken Rice that I know of. My favorite way of doing this is steaming the chicken and let it cook slowly while the fat melt and dripping into the broth. The broth is then used to cook rice until soft and fluffy. The yellow bean paste dipping sauce is pungent and spicy. I always make Hainanese Chicken Rice in monsoon and winter. It’s a warm and comforting dish that will make your family and friends fall in love with simple food and cozy weather.
Khao Mun Gai, Thai Version of Hainanese Chicken Rice (Steaming Version)
1 Whole Chicken (about 1.8kg)
1 tbsp minced garlic
2 tbsp minced fresh ginger
3 fresh coriander roots- minced
1 stalks lemon grass- finely chopped
2 tbsp light soy sauce
1 tbsp soy sauce
1 tsp ground white pepper
2 cups rice
3 cups reserved chicken broth from steaming chicken
½ tsp sesame oil
For Dipping Sauce
1 tbsp yellow bean paste
¼ cups vinegar
¼ cup sugar
2 fresh chilis- chopped
1 tbsp minced ginger
1 tbsp minced garlic
½ tbsp oil
Clean the whole chicken by rubbing sea salt all over it and rinse it well with water. Wipe off excess moisture with clean towel. (In this post, I decided to cut my chicken into big pieces because it can’t fit inside my steamer, but I recommend you to steam the whole chicken if you can.)
In a small bowl, combine minced ginger, garlic, coriander roots, lemon grass, light soy sauce and soy sauce. Apply the marinade all over the chicken and let it rest for 10 minutes.
Prepare your steamer. When it’s hot and the steam is rising, add the chicken and steam for 1- 1 ½ hours or until the chicken is super tender.
Remove the chicken from the heat and keep aside.
Use 3 cups of chicken broth from the bottom pot of the steamer to cook rice, bring to boil, add sesame oil and simmer for 10 minutes or until the rice is cooked and fluffy.
For the dipping sauce, sauté garlic, ginger and chili in a little oil until aromatic. Add yellow bean paste, vinegar and salt. Cook further for 1 minute and remove from the heat.
To serve, plate chicken and rice together and add a bowl of soup along with it. You can serve sauce on the side or pour it over the chicken. If you prefer, you can garnish the dish with some fresh cucumber and fresh coriander.