Sticky Rice With Chicken And Sausage
The varied Asian traditions of what is commonly known as street food are as intricate and richly unique as the cultures form which they come. In many cases, many of the most humble yet beloved dishes are elevated to the realms of refined cuisine, but one would be missing something in the context if they only ever enjoyed it in the cushioned surroundings of fine dining establishments. Below, we’ll explore the origins of xoi, its importance as a food category within the Vietnamese culture, and offer one of our favourite, filling xoi recipe adaptations for your own kitchen.
Sweet or Savoury, It’s Fast Fare
Xoi is a category, not a single dish. Variants may be sweet or savoury, but are traditionally eaten as the main dish at breakfast or wrapped in paper on the go. Street vendors sell it in every town and city, and those in the know have their favourite carts or brazier stands that they visit regularly. The central component of any xoi dish is sticky rice. The most popular variants incorporate fermented or dried and steamed black beans, mung beans, peanuts, coconut and sesame seeds, and the sweet juices of the gac fruit. The savoury types may also have chicken or vegetables, corn, and ground lotus seeds.
Why It’s Great
There’s no hard and fast rule for what must go into a xoi dish, except the sticky rice. Types are generally dictated by what flavour is culturally favoured. It’s a food idea more than a single, rigidly defined recipe. That makes it perfect for those interest in expanding their cooking repertoires and incorporating other cultural concepts of food preparation without requiring the purchase of expensive hardware or exotic ingredients.
You will want to plan ahead for this dish, simply because the rice needs to be soaked overnight to attain the best consistency. The dried shrimp our recipe calls for will also want a nice soaking for at least thirty minutes. Of course, unless your local market carries Asian foods as a matter of policy, a visit to an Asian specialty market is advised. There, you can obtain the pork floss and the Chinese sausage. While both of these ingredients are Chinese in origin, the Vietnamese make good use of them in their cooking. The dish, called Xoi Man is served with a spicy sauce known as Nuoc Cham, for which we’ve included a simple recipe.
650g chicken thigh, boned and skinned (purchase pre-dressed fillets to save time and effort)
2 tbsp light soy sauce
3 tsps dark soy sauce
4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
2 tbsp fish sauce
4 cups white sticky rice, soaked
3 tbsp cooking oil of your choice
2 small onions, finely chopped
½ cup dried shrimp, soaked
5 Chinese sausages, finely sliced
1.5 tbsp caster sugar
3 scallions, finely sliced
Garnish with pork floss and fried shallots
(For the sauce)
1/3 cup fish sauce
3 tbsp clear rice vinegar
2 tbsp sugar
1/3 cup lime juice
¼ cup water
1 small carrot julienned
2 birds-eye chillies, finely sliced
At least 30 minutes prior to your serious cooking, place chicken thigh fillets in a large bowl with the garlic, soy sauces, and fish sauce. Toss it thoroughly and cover it tightly with plastic wrap. Refrigerate this for 30 minutes or until you’re ready to begin preparation.
Drain the rice thoroughly, transferring it to a steamer basket you’ve line with cheese cloth or a tea towel, making sure the rice is evenly distributed. Suspend it over boiling water, covered with a tight lid. Cook the rice for 20 minutes or until it’s tender. Set aside.
Drain the chicken well, but reserve the liquid. In your wok, heat the oil over medium high heat. First, cook the onion for two minutes before adding the chicken. Cook this, stirring constantly for four minutes, and then add the sausage. The chicken will be partially cooked, which means it will cook evenly with the sausage. Drain the dried shrimps and add them along with the liquid saved from the chicken marinade. Toss in the sugar and scallions, stirring or tossing the mixture to combine it thoroughly. Add the steamed rice, breaking it up and mixing it well with the other ingredients. Cook this for three minutes, tossing or stirring constantly.
To prepare the nuoc cham sauce, incorporate all ingredients in a small bowl, making sure the sugar is dissolved.
Serve with the pork floss and fried shallots, spooning the nuoc cham around or over the rice, as you prefer.