Thursday, December 16, 2010

Goi Ga - Shredded Chicken and Cabbage Salad

Goi Gai is one of my favorite salad, it only comes in a close second to Goi Vit(Vietnamese Duck Salad). I always have to have some when I'm back in Vietnam. Vietnamese chicken, often refer as walking chicken, is so much better than chicken from the States. The meat is firm and more fragrance. The skin, my favorite part, is chewy not mushy. My mom would buy live chicken around the holidays, slaughtering them is a hassle but so worth it. Whenever I visit home, I would turn the outside freezer inside out hoping there is still some left. You can also use Cornish hen at the American supermarket, there is some firmness to their meat. They are quite small so you might have to use two. Goi ga is often made with shredded cabbage but be creative. I like to add lotus roots and shredded banana blossom if I have some lying around. The herb is especially important for this salad, it's just not the same to me if I did not use Vietnamese coriander. Each bite should have a tang from the lime, the aroma of the ground pepper, and finally the spiciness of the coriander leaves. Every single ingredients makes a difference!


1 Cornish hen
1/2 head of cabbage
1 medium sweet onion
Vietnamese coriander
fresh chili
sea salt
ground pepper
fish sauce

1. Shred the cabbage into thin stripes.

2. Combine 1/2 cup of sugar and 1/4 cup of vinegar and then pour over cabbage. Let it soak in the fridge.
3. Boil the chicken in a pot of water. When chicken is fully cooked, remove and cool. You can use the broth to make soup.
4. Thinly sliced the onions, set aside for later use.
5. Rinse the coriander, and let dry. Once dry, rough chop and set aside.

6. Once the chicken has cooled, begin to shred the meat and skin. You want to have a good size bite so don't over shred. Don't strip the bones clean, leave some meat. The bones goes in the salad as well.

7. Drain the excess liquid from the cabbage. You don't have to squeeze it so it stays crispy.
8. Combine cabbage, chicken, and onions in a mixing bowl. Add a couple dash of fish sauce, 1 teaspoon of sea salt, 1/2 teaspoon of ground pepper, and the juice of 1 lime. Mix thoroughly and then taste. Add more lime juice if needed as well as salt or pepper.
9. Minced some fresh chili and add to the salad.
10. When the salad is to your liking, add the chopped coriander leaves.

Serve and enjoy!

Mi Xao Xa Xiu - BBQ Pork Lo Mein

I had some leftover ingredients from making Mi Ga last weekend, half a bag of bean sprouts and a bunch of Chinese chives. I marinaded some xa xiu last night so it will be ready for lunch today. I ate something similar to this at a Cantonese restaurant I used to go to except they used chow fun noodles. It was extremely greasy but so so good. The spiciness of the chives really go well with the crunchy bean sprouts. Such an easy lunch to put together, I must do this more often!


1 bag of egg noodles
a handful of bean sprots
a small bunch of Chinese chives
1/2 sweet onion sliced
xa xiu (BBQ Pork)
minced garlic
soy sauce
fish sauce
oyster sauce
cooking oil

1. Prepare xa xiu like in my earlier recipe, sliced thinly.
2. Boil the noodles until it slightly cooked, you will finish the cooking process later on. Rinse with cold water, drain, and let dry in colander.
3. Cut chives into 1-2 inch section.
4. Combine 1 tablespoon of oyster sauce, 1/2 tablespoon of soy sauce, a couple squirt of fish sauce and 1/2 tablespoon of sugar to make a sauce.
5. Heat up a good amount of cooking oil in a wok or pot. Add garlic to oil and stir until fragrance.
6. Add the noodles, stir fry the noodle making sure the noodle is coated with the oil.
7. Add the sauce to the noodle and make sure it evenly distributed.
8. Add the xa xiu and slice onions.
9. Add the green sprouts and chives at the very end so yo don't over cook them.

Serve and enjoy!

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Bi - Shredded Pork Skin

If you ever ordered a Broken Rice Platter at a Vietnamese restaurant you may have come across Bi. It looks like a pile of noodles but it's actually pork. It is a mixture of shredded pork skin and pork meat coated with roasted rice powder. Whenever my mom makes this at home she has to guard it with her life or else I will snack on this stuff like it's dried squid. Bi is great with rice or noodle, just add some prepared fish sauce. You can roll it up into a spring roll or stuff some in a baguette. If you are like me, Bi by itself is more than sufficient!

You can buy fresh pre-shredded pork skin usually in the frozen section of the Viet market. I have also seen dehydrated pork skin but I have never used or eaten those before. If you want to be able to control how thin or thick your shredded pork will be you can use a slab of pork belly and cutting everything up yourself. We usually just stick with the frozen kind. Bi is not all skin, but a combination of pork skin and meat. If you use pork belly you can make use of everything except the fatty part. For the meat portion I usually just pan fried a piece of boneless pork chop.


1 package of frozen shredded pork skin
1-2 boneless pork chops
1 package of roasted rice powder
fish sauce
1 tablespoon of minced garlic

1. Place frozen shredded pork in cool water with plenty of salt. I change the water 4-5 times to make sure it is clean.
2. Marinade the pork chops with a couple squirt of fish sauce and let it marinade.
3. Drain the water from the shredded pork skin and let air dry.
4. Cook the pork chops by pan frying.
5. Cut the pork chops into thin strips.
6. This step is optional. My mom likes to spread out the pork skin in a plastic colander. Put it in the microwave on 1010 second intervals until it's soft. Don't over due this step because pork skin will melt together into clumps. Let the pork skin air dry again.
7. Combine pork skin, shredded pork meat, minced garlic, and a couple squirt of fish sauce. Mix everything together. Add the roasted rice powder and make sure all the ingredients are evenly coated.
8. Enjoy!