Cơm Gà Ngũ Vị Chicken Strips With Salad – 326 of 365

Cơm Gà Ngũ Vị

Vietnam is so much more than just rice, rice, and more rice as my latest and greatest lunch proves.  Well, let me clarify that a little bit since a heap of rice did arrive on the side with this one.  But you get what I mean…this one wasn’t based on rice somehow as in noodle soups, spring rolls, or vermicelli.

As always, I am on the hunt for the latest and greatest no matter what the food’s threats to my waist line.  Yes, food can be a dangerous minefield, especially when it spawns in a fast food joint’s deep fryer.  And what better place to sample such greasy delights none other than that all-American shrine to artery clogging, gut busting, diet crashing goodness, KFC.

Cơm gà ngũ vị is what happens when Colonel Sanders meets Vietnam in this most American of chicken joints.  I wonder if Vietnamese people even know that strange looking caricature watching over them is the Colonel.  And I wonder even more if the Colonel even knows basic Vietnamese since this dish loosely means rice and five spice chicken.  The chicken clucking on my plate was anything but five spice.  Indeed, it was a rather pedestrian chicken strip cut into small pieces barely able to fill my western sized appetite.

Strange “Vegetable”

No matter what the Colonel is trying to foist on the masses, how could I not be tempted?  A plate of greasy, breaded chicken strips, rice and assorted odds and ends for only a buck fifty?  This may not be some weird grilled chicken ass or exotic stir fry crickets from the street, but still it’s something probably not found back home.

Of course the pictures on the menu enticed me with so much more vibrancy than the actual food.  What arrived was definitely quite a bit more muted and lower in appeal.  The tacky plate with the Colonel’s likeness telling us this is “finger lickin’ good” in both English and Vietnamese more than made up for this.  I wonder if people take the message literally and lick the hell out of the food.

In the end the plate proved more interesting than this supposed five spice chicken nonsense.  I love chicken strips and these satisfied that craving that pops up every now and then.  The salad like stuff resting underneath the chicken had a nice vinegary dressing, but even that acid could do little to neutralize the whacky texture of some vegetable interspersed in lettuce and sliced hot peppers.  I have never before seen this one and it looked like that waxy sea grass that washes up on the beach.  Even the taste was somewhat reminiscent of how I’d imagine the outcome of both ocean and a boiled potato mating.

I can’t say I licked my fingers as the Colonel told me to do, but for a lunchtime adventure this was a nice change from the same ole, same ole bursting forth from Saigon’s sidewalks.  Besides, I am moving back to the US soon and it’s probably a wise idea to slowly reintroduce this sort of fast food crap into my diet so I don’t overwhelm my body the first time I eat Taco Bell or McDonalds back home.

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Categories: Vietnamese Food

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