(Fake) Pho Ga (Vietnamese Rice Noodles with Chicken)

There’s a place in town that serves really yummy Pho Ga, but they have very odd hours (at least for the average working-person). Their hours are 9am-4pm daily, but are also open from 12am-4am (yup) Friday/Saturday. Sometimes, we would crave Pho Ga for dinner, but would have no access to it. So, I decided to make up my own. 😛
This is the cheater version of (what I believe is) the real thing. Since, I’m not Vietnamese, nor did I learn this recipe from a Vietnamese person, this is probably the fakest Pho Ga possible, but I think this is delicious! 🙂
This is my style of comfort food…add a little chili oil…and my belly is happy! 🙂
(Fake) Pho Ga (Serves 4)
1 Whole Garlic, peeled
1/2 onion (quartered)
5-6 1-inch pieces of Ginger
4-5 small pieces of Star Anise
5-6 cups chicken broth/stock
1/8 cup sugar
1/8 cup chicken bouillon
1/8 cup fish sauce
3/4-1 tsp salt
350-400g chicken, visible fat removed
12 oz fresh pho noodles
1. Soak noodles in a large bowl of very warm water until softened.
2. Heat garlic, onion, ginger, and star anise in a dry, nonstick saucepan over high heat until browned and fragrant.

3. Add in the everything else except the chicken, and bring to a boil.
4. Add in the chicken, lower heat and let simmer until chicken is fully cooked.
5. Remove chicken from broth and tear into bite-sized strips (you may need/want to let it cool a bit).

6. Place some noodles and chicken in a medium bowl and top it off with some broth and serve!

Teriyaki Chicken with Fried Rice

Steven was sick for the last two weeks (not including this week), so I’ve been eating (sort of) bland food with him. Sometime by the end of last week, I REALLY wanted food with some substance! I wanted chicken…Chicken…CHICKEN!!! So…when we went to Happy Valley…I ordered their Garlic Chicken Filet. It was alright…=_=…but what I REALLY wanted was MY Teriyaki Chicken. So…this past Sunday…when Steven told me he was feeling better…guess what I made…my Teriyaki Chicken!! 😀

This is pretty easy to make. I make the chicken the same way I do as the Stovetop Roast Chicken with Lemon-Garlic-Herb Sauce. Then I make the Teriyaki Sauce and drizzle it all over the place…on the chicken…on the rice…on any veggies you make on the side…etc etc…

Teriyaki Sauce (adapted from Cook’s Illustrated)

1/2 cup Soy Sauce
1/2 cup Sugar
1/2 bulb Garlic (original recipe calls for 1 clove…I usually multiply that by a million…:D…)
2-3 Tbsp Mirin
1/2 tsp corn starch
1/4 cup of the leftover chicken broth with fat removed

1. Mix together all ingredients. Cook over medium heat, stirring often, until thickened. (I usually cook this in the pan the chicken was made in…and incorporate all the food bits from the chicken…yumyum.)

It’s THAT easy!

Fried Rice (adapted from 蘇 Good)

8 cups Cooked Rice
8-10 eggs (I think an egg per cup of rice is good)
1 Tbsp Fish Sauce
2 Tbsp Soy Sauce

1. Whisk eggs and fish sauce together until egg whites and egg yolks become one. Heat 2 Tbsp oil.
2. Pour 1/2 of the egg mixture into the pan and scramble until almost done.
3. Pour in rice and stir fry a bit. Pour in the rest of the eggs and stir fry VIGOROUSLY until the rice no longer looks wet. If you do a good job, each individual grain of rice should be coated with egg…I didn’t do a good job…:P
4. Push the rice mixture into the center of the pan and pour in the soy sauce from the edge of the pan (so that it’ll slide down and “run into” the rice. Stir fry until the rice is dry. (Good fried rice should “bounce” from the pan…I don’t think mine did.)

Stovetop Roast Chicken with Lemon-Garlic-Herb Sauce & Pepper Garlic Broccoli

Steven’s mommy defrosted some chicken thighs yesterday but didn’t cook it so I cooked with it tonight!

I searched for easy recipes to use the chicken thighs with and I came across Cook’s Illustrated’s Stovetop Roast Chicken with Lemon-Herb Sauce. We used the chicken thighs in place of the “chicken parts.” And we didn’t have shallots, so I had to alter the sauce a bit.

Stovetop Roast Chicken with Lemon-Garlic-Herb Sauce
1 Tbsp Vegetable Oil
11 Skin-on, Bone-in Chicken Thighs
2 tsp Salt
1 tsp Black Pepper
1 14 oz can Low-Sodium Chicken Broth
1 tsp Vegetable Oil
3 Tbsp Chopped Garlic
1 tsp All-Purpose Flour
2 tsp Dried Parsley Flakes
2 tsp Dried Chives
1 Tbsp Lemon Juice
1 Tbsp Cold Butter

1. FOR THE CHICKEN: Pat chicken dry and season with salt and pepper. Heat 2 teaspoons oil in 12-inch nonstick skillet over medium-high heat until shimmering. Add chicken pieces skin-side down and cook without moving until golden brown, 5 to 8 minutes.
2. Using tongs, flip chicken pieces skin-side up. Reduce heat to medium-low, add 1 cup broth to skillet, cover, and cook until instant-read thermometer inserted into thickest part of chicken registers 155 degrees for breasts and 170 degrees for legs and thighs, 10 to 16 minutes (smaller pieces may cook faster than larger pieces). Transfer chicken to plate, skin-side up.
Pour off liquid from skillet into 2-cup measuring cup and reserve. Using tongs, wipe skillet with paper towels. Add remaining teaspoon oil to skillet and heat over medium-high heat until oil is shimmering. Return chicken pieces skin-side down and cook undisturbed until skin is deep golden brown and crisp and it reaches 160 degrees for breasts and 175 degrees for legs and thighs, 4 to 7 minutes. Transfer to serving platter and tent loosely with foil. Using spoon, skim fat from reserved cooking liquid and add rest of the broth.
Heat oil in now-empty skillet over low heat. Add garlic and cook, stirring frequently, until softened, about 1 minute. Add flour and cook, stirring constantly, 30 seconds. Add parsley flakes and chives, mix well. Increase heat to medium-high, add reserved cooking liquid, and bring to simmer, scraping skillet bottom with wooden spoon to loosen browned bits. Simmer rapidly until reduced to 1/2 cup, 2 to 3 minutes. Stir in any accumulated juices from resting chicken; return to simmer and cook 30 seconds. Off heat, whisk in lemon juice and butter; season with salt and pepper. Pour sauce around chicken and serve immediately.

Pepper Garlic Broccoli
1 Tbsp Vegetable Oil
1 Tbsp Chopped Garlic
1 14 oz can Low-Sodium Chicken Broth
4 Crowns Broccoli
2 tsp Salt
1 tsp Black Pepper
Sprinkle of Red Pepper Flakes
1 tsp All-Purpose Flour
1 Tbsp Butter

1. In a 12-inch skillet, heat vegetable oil to a simmer on medium-high heat. Add chopped garlic and heat for 1 minute.
2. Add chicken broth and heat until simmering.
3. Add brocolli, salt, black pepper, and red pepper flakes.
4. Cover and cook for 8 minutes, stirring occasionally.
5. Transfer broccoli to a plate with a slotted spoon, leaving the liquid in the skillet.
6. In a small bowl, mix flour with a little water. Add flour mixture to broth in skillet, stirring quickly.
7. Turn off heat when broth reaches the desired thickness. Add butter and stir until melted.
8. Pour sauce on the broccoli and serve hot.

!~!~!~!~! Happy Cinco de Mayo !~!~!~!~!

Happy Cinco de Mayo!!!

At the end of my work day, I suddenly felt really festive and wanted to celebrate Cinco de Mayo a little bit. I went on AllRecipes.com and found these recipes:
Mexican Rice II
Quick and Easy Mexican Chicken

Polvorones de Canele

So, after work, I went to Trader Joe’s and bought some tortillas, a tub of sour cream, and a jar of ground cumin. I got home, and I first made the chicken. Instead of the chicken breasts, we used chicken thighs. I first pan fried the thighs, and set that aside to cool. I then used the chicken juices to cook my Mexican Rice. It gave my rice WONDERFUL flavor!! While the rice was cooking, I shredded the thighs into pieces and then followed the rest of the recipe. It was pretty good, considering it was a last minute decision. 😛 Steven thought that the chicken+rice in tortilla as a whole wasn’t salty enough. So next time, I think I’d flavor the chicken a bit more.

Then I wanted to make Mexican dessert to end Cinco de Mayo 2009, but Steven said “NO!!” Unfortunately, he has good reasonings.

  • I have to get to work earlier than normal tomorrow.
  • It was already 10pm, which means I probably won’t be done baking and cleaning up until 12am.
  • I haven’t been getting enough sleep all week.

So, we will continue the fiesta tomorrow when I bake my Mexican Cinnamon Cookies. 🙂