Thursday, October 29, 2009

chao babe...

nope. that isn't a typo in the heading...i'm not referring to the italian greeting (ciao)....i'm referring to the vietnamese rice porridge, chao. folks may also know this as congee or jook. there are many names for this rice porridge, yet i'm going to refer to it as chao. just as there are many names....there are many ways to make chao. yet, i'll share with you the most common way i had it when i was a neophyte foodie hunter.

this morning, i started out with some rice and a large clove of garlic.


when i was a neophyte, sometimes the chao would be made with a slice of ginger, some chopped yellow onion, sometimes with chicken broth, or sometimes it would just be rice and water. yet, making chao with the clove of garlic was the most common i had growing up and it is the one i turn to when i am looking for some serious comfort.

i put the rice and garlic in a pot with a whole lot of water (i filled it up about half way). yes, i realize that this isn't a recipe. yes, i know this is one of the more annoying things about my blog, but i'm providing you with a very realistic peek into how i cook. so i turned up the heat on high and let that sit at a rolling boil for a while....



then turned it down once i started to see the starch/rice really begin to break down....


and then had periodic taste tests to see if the texture of the chao was where i wanted it to be...






i like the texture to be really thick so that it thoroughly coats the tongue....and i also like that it when there is no toothiness to the rice at all.

then i turned my attention to the accompaniments.

these too, may vary depending on what i have in my fridge and pantry. so today, my accompaniments were chopped green onion, dried shrimp,

and a preserved cucumber pickle with a dollop of chili garlic paste.

the accompaniments are served on the side as one decides how much to add as you eat....


you know, you toss in a single or combination of your accompaniments ....



eat it.....then toss in some more.....

until you are done and then you decide if you want to go back for seconds.

i love eating like this....starting with a simple base and then adding the different textures and flavors. i also adore soup. soup makes me feel taken care of. comforted. a warm blanket for the soul.

just me and my little bowl of goodiness.

to mix things up a bit, i decided to have different accompaniments for my second bowl of chao. i decided to add a dash or two of nuoc mam, a half of a boiled egg....since i'm really loving this batch of pasture raised eggs from riverdog farm...and then topped it with some chili garlic paste.


this too was very lovely as well. hmmmm, this is just what i needed for brunch today.

2 comments:

Victoria said...

Mmmmm..... that was good last weekend. Yay for chao.

foodie hunter said...

yup, it is yummy...