Tuesday, 10 May 2011

Chicken in a Bowl?

Yup! That is what it is called! In certain Chinese restaurants in Malaysia, they have a dish where it is served with a plate and an overturned bowl. In that bowl, it has got a portion of a certain dish and rice. Usually quite saucy, the dish is immensely flavourful as it tends to seep into the rice making the dish an all round delight! I remember being taken to one such restaurant in Brickfields, Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia by my parents and along with my siblings with have this dish quite a few times. So to reminisce, I decided to cook this:

1 medium sized chicken breast or any cuts of the chicken if you prefer to have bones (should be about 200gm)
6 - 7 leaves of gem lettuce or any green vegetable you prefer
1 stalk of red chilli - jullienned or sliced side ways
1/2 cup chicken stock or 1/2 cube chicken stock cube mixed in hot water
2 cloves of garlic - minced
1 tsp soy sauce
1 tsp cornstarch mixed with 1 tbsp water
pepper to taste
Pre-cooked white rice of your choice

  1. First, slice the chicken breast thinly into bite size pieces. Marinade with the soy sauce. Set aside.
  2. Heat up the wok and add some vegetable oil. Once the oil is hot, toss in the minced garlic and stirfry until fragrant. Then add the chillies before adding in the marinated chicken and stir quickly. Once it is half cooked (slightly pinkish in the middle), then add in the chicken stock. Bring to a boil. 
  3. Bring to a simmering state and add in the vegetables. Stir slowly to allow the vegetables to cook in the broth before adding in the cornstarch mixture. The broth will thicken. Add in pepper to taste. If it is not salty enough then add a dash of soy sauce.
  4. To assemble, place a medium sized bowl next to the wok. Scoop the chicken into the bowl til half full. Then add in the rice and cover it up to the brim of the bowl. Smoothen the rice surface. Next place a plate on top of the bowl. Using two hands, one holding the bowl, the other holding the plate, putting pressure in the middle of the plate, overturn it quickly. Take the bowl off and you have a nicely formed bowl of rice and chicken.
  5. Serve with bowl or without is up to you. But it would be a nice surprise for guests!
The chicken is of course the most neutral of meats. You can opt for beef, pork, turkey, fish, seafood or just plain vegetables too. Want to make it spicier? Then before adding in the chicken, fry some chilli paste with the minced garlic. You can also use chilli flakes instead if you rather a less chilli like consistency.

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