Tuesday, February 17, 2009

VietnameseChicken Rice Soup

I decided to cook Vietnamese Chicken Rice soup for Teacher’s appreciation lunch at my son’s middle school. The soup is called congee in English. I saw how Congee was made at Club bamboo at ACRS and loved the taste and thought it is perfect to add to Teacher’s lunch menu. I searched the congee recipe which uses the same ingredients, ginger, lemongrass and chicken. I found it in Allrecipes.com.
Please see the site: http://allrecipes.com/Recipe/Vietnamese-Chicken-and-Long-Grain-Rice-Congee/Detail.aspx
The recipe looks good. However, I had to think how to bring the soup to keep it warm for teachers during 3 lunch periods. I neither wanted to carry boiling hot soup in the car nor half-way heated soup. I got an idea. Here is how I prepared and served the soup safe, hot and delicious.
The day before the lunch I cooked the chicken soup stock as the recipe, and cool it down quickly in shallow pan surrounded with ice. I remove the bone and separate the chicken meat to cool quickly, and stored cooled soup and the meat in the refrigerator. At the day, I cooked a small amount of rice with the some of the chicken soup and cool the rice. I chopped cilantro, lime, and chives. I carried all of cooked ingredients and condiments into the cooler with ice. Slow cooker will require too much time to heat up the content so I brought a large pot and Chinese portable gas burner.
My method worked well. The burner heated up soup quickly and I added cooked rice and chicken.
The teachers were happy to have this warm unusual Asian soup in addition to tasty bagels, salad, lasagna, and sweets. I loved the compliment from some of the teachers about the soup. The recipe was great and produced the superior soup. I like to thank to the owner of the original congee recipe.

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