Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover. -Mark Twain

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Chicken Long Rice

This recipe, which I picked up when I was living in Hawai'i, originated in China and has been a staple in Hawaiian households for generations. A luau, whether commercially produced or a backyard get-together, would not be complete without it.

Kind of a chicken soup, chicken long rice can take some getting used to for some people, though I think it is probably the texture rather than the flavor that surprises unsuspecting palates. The long rice itself is actually noodles, also known as thread noodles, bean noodles or cellophane noodles, and they are slippery in your mouth. The flavor is very good, with the use of ginger and green onions giving it a definite Asian flair.

Some cooks make this pretty fancy with the addition of soy sauce, sesame oil and other ingredients, but I like the simpler recipe that is common throughout the islands. And when I'm sick, as I am today (poor me!) it's the perfect Hawaiian penicillin!

CHICKEN LONG RICE
Serves 6 to 8

Ingredients:
  • 3 pounds chicken parts
  • 2 Tbsp minced fresh ginger
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 1/2 tsp sugar
  • dash pepper
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • 6-8 oz. sliced mushrooms (shiitake are most authentic, but use what you've got)
  • 2-4 thinly sliced green onions, including some of the green part (for garnish
  • 10 oz. long rice (aka: thread noodles, bean noodles, cellophane noodles)
  • 3 quarts water
  • 5 chicken bouillon cubes

Directions:

Put chicken parts into a five quart saucepan with two quarts of the water, the salt, garlic and ginger. Bring to a boil, skim off the foam, lower heat, and simmer for 40-45 minutes. Remove from heat and remove chicken pieces to a platter, saving broth. When cool enough to handle, remove meat from chicken, discarding skin and bones. Shred meat and set aside.

Strain the broth, then combine it with the onion, mushrooms, bouillon cubes and the remaining one quart water in saucepan. Bring to a boil. Add long rice, then lower heat and cook, covered for 5 minutes. Turn off heat and let stand about 30 minutes, or until noodles are transparent. With kitchen shears, cut long rice into approximately 3- or 4- inch lengths. Stir in chicken and heat briefly, if desired, before serving. Garnish with green onions.

Sure, it isn't Mexican inspired but it's definitely broke da mouth ono kind grindz!

Buen provecho!

If you have a favorite recipe for a Mexican or Mexican-inspired dish, I'd love to add it to our recipe box! email lahuerita2@gmail.com (and put "recipe" in the subject box so I'll know what it's about)