Chinese Chicken Rice

Most nights I usually cook myself something to eat. I don’t really do this to save money as it is quite often cheaper to eat outside. That is as long as you know where to eat. Take this dish as an example. It is called khao mun gai ( ข้าวมันไก่ ) which is basically chicken on rice. A normal plate like this, around the corner from me, costs only 20 baht (about 50 cents). For an extra 5 baht, called “piset” in Thai, you get some extra chicken. Not bad for a meal.

On the other hand, if you go to KFC, which a lot of Thai people do, a plate of Spicy Chicken Rice would set you back 49 baht. A Zinger burger would cost you 55 baht. Three pieces of chicken cost 87 baht. See what I mean? You are better off eating by the side of the road. Who cares about the secret recipe they have at KFC. If you like fried chicken, like they have at KFC, all you have to ask for is “khao mun gai tod” which is the same price! They even give you some cucumber and a bowl of soup!

Chinese Chicken Rice is quite easy to prepare. All you have to do is place the chicken in a pot, add water, salt and coriander roots, and cook over a low heat until done. Skim off any froth to get the clear broth. Remove the chicken, de-bone and cut into slices. Strain the broth and set aside. Then wash the rice, drain and set aside. Heat some oil in a wok, fry the garlic over medium heat until fragrant and golden. Add the rice, stirring well and cook for 3 minutes. Transfer to an electric rice cooker, pour two cups of chicken broth over the rice and cook until the rice is done. Spoon the rice onto a serving dish, arrange the chicken slices on top, garnish with sliced cucumber.

Source: “Popular Thai Cuisine” published by Sangdad Books

The above picture shows you the two different dips available for this dish. Actually, for the first timer it can be very confusing about which sauce or dip (known as “nam jim” in Thai) that should be used for each dish. If you go to a restaurant, it is quite normal to have a half dozen dips put on saucers on your table. Believe me, it takes a while to get used to which one is meant for which dish. This kind of thing is not taken lightly by the Thais. Remember I told you a few months back about my experience at one of the local “pork on a hot plate” places. Here you can eat as much as you can cook yourself for only 69 baht. These places are really popular and there must be at least a dozen within a 10 minute radius of my house. What makes or breaks these places is their secret recipe for their “nam jim”. Forget about the ambience or range of meats on offer. Thai people are only interested in the dips!

Anyway, back to “khao mun gai” and “khao mun gai tod”. The dip on the left is for the former and the one on the right is for the latter! The brown looking one is made from soybean sauce, chili, ginger, sugar, vinegar and dark soy sauce. The red one is much sweeter. It is made up of sugar, red chili, garlic, vinegar and salt. I do like this one and have a large bottle in my kitchen cupboard. You use it for dips for food like fried chicken or fried shrimps.

8 responses to “Chinese Chicken Rice

  1. So the brown looking dip called khao mun gai? I have never tried or seen it, always eat the sweet red chilli which is very famous here in Indonesia called as “Sambal Bangkok” or Bangkok’s chilli.
    Can I find and buy this brown dip in supermarkets in Thailand? or only can find it on the street/restaurants?

  2. I love kao man gai, but somehow it taste very different from Hainanese Chicken Rice.

    Perhaps, the Hainanese in Thailand incorporate lots of Thai elements (ahem, ingredients) into their kao man gai.

  3. Khao mun gai is so delicious. I absolutely love it. Though Khao moo dang (rice with bar b que pork) is close. If I am extremely hungry, I will have a small serving of both. Who am I kidding? These dishes are just staples of Thai food. Forget about that pad Thai, and everything else. Its food that one can eat when you are young and picky. Its like what peanut butter and jelly sandwiches are to a lot of farang.

  4. Oops… I was typing the wrong name for the dip, it supposely be “Nam Jim”…

  5. im from Singapore and i would say that hainanese chicken rice or Khao mun gai as what it is call in Thailand is really a big thing here. the main thing for Khao mun gai is actually not the chicken but the ‘khao’ which need to have a very strong but pleasant chicken favour. the secret is that the rice grains are stir-fly in herbs and chicken fat before cooking with all those stuff in it. a funny incident is that when im in bkk, i was at a roadside stall that sell Khao mun gai and also ‘pork in dark sauce rice’. with my really limited thai, i presume and ask for ‘khao mun MOO’ which sound logical to me. then from the nice lady, i was told there is no dish call ‘khao mun MOO’ thats a good laugh.

  6. I love eating khao man gai too. I especially love eating Spicy Chicken rice because of the taste and the spices. Here in America they don’t have that obviously. Soon I will be in Thailand to enjoy some heavenly food.

  7. I remember seeing a photo of Gor eating KFC on this web site, I wonder if it was the same KFC I had a meal at on the ground floor of Seacon Square. I have only had KFC once in Thailand and it was the Hot and spicy type at my girlfriends request, and I found the food was a bit substandard to an Australian KFC so I never went back. I decided to go to KFC that day because, I got fed up with my girlfriend wanting to go to MK Restraint or as my girlfriend would call it (Hot Pot) as that was her first request, because I think she would always order the most expensive things at Hot Pot and the bill was always a bit over the top, but I must admit, I do like the Food at (Hot Pot) not so spicy, I’m not into spice. I have had a lot of Thai food in cheap restraints and stalls around Paknam and found the food very good and the prices so much more reasonable than KFC and MK Restraint.

  8. I am a Canadian living in Thailand.I would like to get the recipe for the dark dip for khao mun gai.