Cơm Gà Hội An Hoi An Chicken and Rice – 152 of 365

Hoi An Chicken and Rice

Against my better judgment I decided to try another dose of Vietnamese chicken.  By now you have figured out barnyard bird and I just do not get along in this country.   I yearn for my sanitized all white meat, boneless, skinless strips and breasts so readily available across the Pacific in the US.   The recent vegan chicken strips (#148) were jsut fine but in no way even close to the real deal, so what’s a guy to do when craving meat that used to cluck?

Well, KFCs littered throughout Saigon are one alternative I suppose but the food is nothing really unique.  I can get the same taste at a KFC in Macon, Georgia should I so desire.  Give me something Vietnamese through and through without the rubbery skin, marrow and guts attached, and now we’re talking.

 A small shop called Rosito’s at 254 Xo Viet Nghe Tinh in the Binh Thanh District advertising cơm gà Hội An was going to be that very place to provide an amazing chicken meal for once.   I had such high hopes as I placed my order in Vietnamese no less.  Hoi An is a city beloved by tourists in central Vietnam, and what makes chicken and rice Hoi An better than chicken and rice Saigon (and worthy of an entire restaurant) was still beyond me at that point.

Chicken Innards

The chicken and rice arrived and reminded me a lot of that similar dish in Buon Me Thuot (#126).  This begs the question…what do they do to chicken here to make it such a rubbery affair?  Are they boiling it into oblivion?  All I know is the stretchy yellow skin clings to the spongy tasteless meat as if it were Superglued on.   If the meat and fat are this hard to separate on a plate, I shudder to think of what the machine looks like that mechanically separates the chicken in a factory.  Forget that, what’s it doing to the machinery inside our bodies?

The yellow rice was good though with a nice flavor infusion much like Spanish rice in the US.  The thinly sliced onions marinated in tangy vinegar added a nice hit of acid as well, and the cilantro and other herbs scattered on the plate pair so well with chicken.  A small dish of soy sauce based liquid accompanies it all, but this isn’t just any sauce.  Dig down into it and chunks of what I believe to be liver or congealed blood swim around just below the surface.  The best surprise was the stringy grey intestinal like blob, and I can only imagine what it is.

Do you think Vietnamese people are shocked that I leave behind these most unappealing morsels?  They must think the average westerner is nuts pushing aside the gall bladder or whatever those chunks are.  Honestly I just prefer my meals to not look like tenth grade biology class where we dissected this and that.  I wonder if a parallel scene is playing out in Los Angeles right now with a Vietnamese guy staring at a chicken breast stripped of all its accoutrement.

Now that I think about it, maybe it’s just as well I just stick to the good old fashioned time honored exotic here, fat, bone and all.  After all, hacking a bird to bits and throwing it into a bowl is what makes eating in Vietnam such an interesting adventure and one I will forever savor.

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Categories: Vietnamese Food

2 Comments on “Cơm Gà Hội An Hoi An Chicken and Rice – 152 of 365”

  1. Chau
    May 16, 2012 at 7:00 am #

    “what do they do to chicken here to make it such a rubbery affair?”
    These chicken are full time free range chicken. Mass produced farm chickens are also available in Vietnam and they’re about 10-20% cheaper than the free range chicken. Vietnamese loathe these farm raised chicken. We call them “ga cong nghiep”, literally industrial chicken.

  2. May 16, 2012 at 11:43 pm #

    And those blobs are actually congealed blood… Better you didn’t try it. It’s funny that Asians prefer the much stringier free range (and older) chickens. They think the farmed chickens are pumped full of water… Better stick to KFC…

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