First, I am taking the liberty of posting this to the fast food news
spool as well as my usual groups because the subject is a common
"fast food" in Thailand.
Anybody who has spent any length of time in Thailand -- indeed who
has progressed beyond the International airport transfer lounge,
will be aware that Thailand is awash with streetside vendors who
serve everything from snacks and desserts to wholesome, nutritious
These basically fall into three groups:
1) Khao gaeng (literally curry and rice) stalls, sell a wide variety
of "single plate" meals
2) Kuaitiao (pronounced "gw-eye-tea-ow", and meaning "noodles") sell
a variety of noodle soups and stir fried noodle dishes
3) Khao man kai and mu daeng stalls, which sell chicken and rice and
"red pork" and rice (some stalls specialize in only one of these
To watch a khao man kai chef at work is often to be dazzled by the
virtuoso performance -- and nothing goes to waste. The chef takes a
steamed chicken and quickly cuts off the head and neck, then trims
off the wings, which are set aside to be deep fried (wings in a
tempura style batter sell for 1 baht each or perhaps 2 for 3 baht -
4 to six cents American each - throughout Thailand), and the legs
are chopped off and set aside (Thais in general don't relish dark
meat, but you can request a drumstick if you want - otherwise
they'll also be deep fried and sold for 5 baht each - 20 cents).
The chicken is quickly slit down the breast bone and the two breasts
are removed, and the carcass and neck tossed in the stock pan. The
breast is placed on a cutting board, smacked with the flat of the
cleaver blade, and quickly sliced into bite sized pieces, served on
a bed of rice that has been steamed in chicken broth, and delivered
to the customer with a cupful of chicken and pumpkin soup, and a
couple of little bags containing bean source and fresh ginger.
A local stall sells this meal for 15 baht a plate (60 cents), and 20
baht (80 cents) for a "jumbo" portion. Once a week, when we are
feeling lazy, my wife and I buy two jumbo portions and two deep
fried chicken breasts, for a total of 60 baht ($2.40).
Before you dismiss the prices on the basis that Thailand has a much
lower average wage than the US, bear in mind the Kentucky Fried
Chicken opened an outlet in town recently, and the KFC prices are
within one or two baht of the prices KFC charge in America.
So the process is continuous: bones are boiled to make stock, the
stock is used to cook the chickens and rice and to make soup, and
the bones from the chickens are used to make more stock, and so the
Since I am sure most of my readers are not contemplating continuous
production, you have two options--you can make it with water the
first time and then store stock in the fridge for future use, or you
can buy some bones and make some stock. Please do not use
commercial stock or stock cubes, as it almost all has rather a lot
of salt, and often MSG, in it, and the cooking of the rice will
certainly concentrate this to the point that it will be unpleasant
Finally in this preamble, let me say that the commercial sellers
nearly all sell simple yellow bean sauce, bought commercially, and
Thai purchasers may either eat it like that, or trick it up
themselves at home. I include the instructions for preparing a more
traditional (and tastier) sauce, below.
This recipe serves 2 hungry people or four people with more modest
THE FIRST STEP is, about a week before you want to eat the khao man
kai, finely slice some prik chi fa (red jalapenos) and discard the
seeds, then mix them with about twice their volume of rice vinegar,
and leave to marinade (you need at least a tablespoon of chillies).
When you are ready to cook, you need about 8 cups of unsalted
chicken stock, made by boiling chicken bones in water for about 15
minutes. If you don't have stock, use water.
Place the chicken in a large casserole, and cover with the stock.
Add a few slices of phak thong (winter squash), to the pot, and
simmer or poach over low heat until the chicken is thoroughly cooked
Remove and drain the chicken. Then when it is cool enough to
handle, cut off the wings and legs and reserve them for other
dishes, remove the two chicken breasts, and smack them with a
cleaver to dislodge the skin, which may be discarded if you are
watching you weight. Cut the breasts into strips about half an inch
wide, and cut the strips into bite sized pieces.
Place 1 1/2 cups of washed long grain rice in a saucepan, and add
2 1/2 cups of the chicken broth from cooking the chicken. Cook over
moderate heat until the liquor is absorbed, and the rice is cooked
(the finished rice should be slightly moist).
Serve the chicken on a bed of the chicken steamed rice, garnished
with coriander leaves, and accompanied by a good supply of sliced
cucumber, with a cup of the chicken broth, and a few pieces of
squash as an accompanying soup, garnished with coriander leaves.
This meal is accompanied by the following two sauces:
This is mixed and tasted. If required, you can add extra sugar and
some of the vinegar used to pickle the jalapenos for balance.
The second "sauce" consists of 1/2 cup of freshly ground ginger.
From: Colonel I. F. K. Philpott
Posted By: Cpt. S.Lefkowitz (S.S. Mein Kind)
Post Date: ???
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