Monday, December 28, 2009

Moke Gai

Moke Gai: Steamed Chicken in Banana Leaf
Boneless Chicken Breast
Chili Peppers
Kaffir Lime Leaves
Fish Sauce
Sweet Rice Flour
Banana Leaf

This was my first time attempting this childhood dish. My mom would make several small parcels of this dish and freeze them for future meals. She would take them out of the freezer, thaw, and then steam them. For it being my first time attempting moke gai, I was quite pleased with myself. I think I will have to adjust the amount of sweet rice flour and water next time.

The firs thing I do is take the kaffir lime leaves, lemon grass, shallots, and peppers and grind them in a mortar. It would be much easier in a food processor.

I cut up 5 boneless chicken breast. To it I added the mixture from the mortar, plus the chopped up dill, grated galangal, some salt, a little fish sauce, and some sweet rice powder that had been dissolved in some water.

Then I cleaned my banana leaves by running it under water. Then I cut it into the large enough pieces for my moke gai parcels. The 5 chicken breasts yielded 6 parcels. I didn't have an exact method to folding the banana leaf. I didn't use anything to secure it once folded. I wrapped foil around the banana leaf. Then I steamed them for 20-25 minutes.

(Raw chicken mixture)

(the parcels wrapped with foil)

This is how it turned out. It tasted amazing. Not bad for my first try. I haven't had this dish in almost 4 years. So my memory wasn't exact as how it should look. The flavors were spot on. And the chicken meat was not dry (my mom had suggested using thigh meat, but I prefer breast meat). I remember when my dad would cook moke gai, he would add chicken gizzards, Thai eggplants, or bok choy. I will have to try adding vegetables next time.