Friday, November 25, 2016

Chicken and Rice Paddy Herbs Salad (Gà Xé Phay Với Ngò Ôm)

In Vietnamese it's called Gà Xé Phay, to translate to English, it's a chicken salad. It consists of a lot of shredded chicken, a few imperative herbs that have to go with this dish, sliced onion, toasted peanuts, lime juice, salt, and black pepper. That's it. Very simple but yet delicious.  Despite to that fact that I personally do not like this dish as much because it has too much meat in it, I gave this dish a try the other day with a unique and new way to execute this dish, which I learned the tip from this clip And that tip is to toss some of the Rice Paddy Herbs in this dish, which it's a little out of an ordinary.  I love the rice paddy herbs, and super curious to find out how this dish would turn out with this herbs.
As you scroll down to view all the images, you will notice that I have also tried to make this dish with a sauce that is somewhat similar to an authentic Vietnamese diluted fish sauce, which consists of salt, pepper, garlic, Thai chili peppers, fish sauce, and lime juice as well. I have noticed the difference between the two taste, and I have to say that keep it simple, guys. Just go with lime juice, salt, peppers for this dish. Your dish will taste amazingly delicious and earthy. This salad can be served as an appetizer with fried shrimp chips, or you can also eat this salad with some chicken porridge.

-4 chicken drumsticks **Cooked, and shredded. See pictures and notes below to see how I cooked them and obtained beautiful and delicious chicken broth, which you can use it to make the chicken porridge.
-2/3 cup of Rice Paddy Herbs (wash them thoroughly, dried-spin, and coarsely chopped them into one inch thick.)
-1/2 cup of Vietnamese Coriander, in Vietnamese it's called Rau Ram (wash them thoroughly, dried-spin, and coarsely chopped them into one inch thick.)
-Fresh-squeezed lime juice
-1/3 cup of the sliced onion of any types ( I used red onion. To dilute the sharp taste and smell in the onion, after you sliced them into thin slices, place them in a container of water that has some apple cider vinegar, sugar, and a lot of ice cubes.  Leave them in there for a good 15 - 20 minutes.  Take them out to drain well before mixing them in your salad.  No need to wash them out this bath.
-White sugar
-Toasted and Crushed Peanuts
-Some Fried Shallots
-White or Black Ground Pepper **To enhance the flavor of your salt and pepper, in a dried skillet, place some white or black pepper (as whole) in a skillet.  Toast it around until fragrant under a low heat. Add in some white salt or sea salt in, and continue to toast for another few minutes. Turn off the heat, wait until it's completely cool down. Grind them into fine grains with your coffee grinder.  I normally grind them twice to get the fineness in the grains. Keep this salt and pepper in a jar with tight lid. You can use this to marinate your meat, a salad like this or simply toss them on some of the fruits.
-In a large and clean mixing bowl, place in 2 cups of shredded chicken drumsticks, sprinkle a little of the salt and pepper (1/2 teaspoon) and about 1 teaspoon of fresh-squeezed lemon juice. Toss them well with your cleaned hand.
-Next, add in the sliced onion, chopped rice paddy herbs, Vietnamese coriander herbs, toss them together.
-Sprinkle a pinch of white sugar, again, toss them well. Taste some for taste testing. It's supposed to taste a little sour, a little salty. Use your judgment to add more of the above seasonings to your liking.
-When you are satisfied with the taste, toss in some toasted and crushed peanuts. Toss them gently and place the salad on a plate.  Top the salad with some deep fried shallot.
***Deep Fried Shallot:
-Thinly cut the shallot into thin slices. Place them in a small pot. I normally use a very small pot so that I won't have to use a lot of the cooking oil. Pour the cooking oil in the pot, it has to cover the amount of the shallot.
-Bring it to a boil. low the heat and let it cook. This will take a while, turn around with the chopsticks to get all the shallot fried evenly. When it's done it would taste and look like shallot chips.
-When the shallot turns into light golden brown color, fish them all out at once. Let's it cool. Keep them in a jar and store it in the fridge for later use.

this is the rice paddy herbs
Vietnamese coriander herbs (Rau Ram)
wash them both thoroughly
Purchase your chicken drum sticks from a trusted worthy market. Take them out of the Styrofoam. In a hot, clean and dried pot on the stove, drizzle in just a little of cooking oil. Slowly place your chicken drum sticks in. Still at a high heat, turn  the drumsticks when it's brown. When both side of the drumsticks are brown, take them out. Drain out the chicken fat, clean off the fat with some clean napkins if it's necessary.
Place back the chicken drumsticks, with it you will add some chopped sweet onion or any type of onions that you might have at home, 1/2 of peeled and chopped carrot, some dried bay leaves. Season it with some salt or sea salt. Then add enough cold water to cover the drumsticks.  Bring it to a boiling point, skim out the foam, cover the lids, let's it simmer for about 25 minutes under a medium heat. Take out the drumsticks cover with saran wrap to prevent it from dryness. Fish out the rest of the vegetables, drain well, there you would have delicious and healthy consommé. I use this consommé to make my chicken rice porridge. If you do not have the needs to use it right away, keep it in a tight lid jar and freeze it for later use.

Almost ready to mix the salad

Instead of using the fried shrimp chips, I use this. It's a rice and black sesame crackers.  Yeah, it's healthier all right, but it did not taste as yummy as the fried shrimp chips, guys. With this crackers, I simply place it on a plate, pop it in a microwave for a few minutes, flipping them around is necessary to get them evenly cook.
fresh-squeezed lemon juice
this is the process that I did when I tried with the authentic fish sauce, this time I added some salt and pepper. And like I had already mentioned that it did not taste as good as the simple way which is just salt, pepper and lemon juice.
soaking the onion slices in the ice bath with sugar and vinegar
getting things ready

mixing the salad
this is my salt and pepper jar. 
And this was the time when I had this salad with chicken rice porridge. So Yummmmmmmmmy.

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