Growing up on Kauai, we were surrounded by incredible food. Fresh fish, tropical fruits, and all the best local kine’ grindz.
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In Hawaii, when something is really tasty, you say, “this is so ONO!”, and boy was there so much Ono food!!
The local fish markets served up all the kinds of Ahi Poke you could dream of. Aunty Lilikois made fresh lilikoi(passion fruit) jams and jellies for the house, and don’t get me started on the farmers markets!
Food trucks with Lomi Lomi salmon, rice, and poi- little cubes of salmon with onion and tomato, were served in styrofoam boxes, and my favorite “pie lady” as I called her, made fresh coconut and blueberry pies, sold by the slice. There was also the famous Huli-Huli chicken(served at any local restaurant), a saimin house, malasada stands, and oh man I am so hungry now!
A popular dish on the list of local eats was Chicken Long Rice. Often made by families at home, this aromatic broth soothes the soul and does wonders for a cold. When I make it at home, I feel like I’m right back on the Garden Isle!
Try our other Island favorites:
The recipe calls for chicken broth, and I highly advise you use it. [I make my own!] It’s the perfect base to start with before adding the flavors of fresh ginger, garlic, and shrooms. The end result will be a broth so rich, you’ll have to go for seconds!
I often use a mix of fresh mushrooms and dried shiitake- just make sure to soak the latter before using. When the long rice is finished cooking, you can serve it either as more of a soup, with a lot of broth, or with mainly chicken and noodles, and just a couple spoonfuls of liquid( liquid gold!!).
The funny thing about “Chicken Long Rice” is that there is no actual rice in the recipe. Not even the noodles are made of rice- they’re made of bean curd.
Speaking of noodles- be sure to pick up the right kind. The first time I tried this, I bought rice noodles(silly me) and the dish just wasn’t the same. Bean curd noodles- otherwise called Vermicelli, or glass noodles- will turn translucent when cooked through. They’re really fun to eat and my kids love slurping them up!
Killer Chicken Long Rice
- 2 large chicken thighs
- 6 cups chicken broth
- 5 pieces of ginger 1-inch
- 4 Garlic cloves
- 1/8 tsp Black pepper
- 1/8 tsp salt
- 1/3 cup Soy sauce
- 1 Tbs sugar
- 6-8 fresh mushrooms/dried shiitake thinly sliced
- Vermicelli noodles[bean curd] half a package- 100g
- 1/3 cup scallions thinly sliced
- Place chicken in a pot and cover with broth. Using a meat pounder [or the side of a knife], smash ginger and garlic pieces till they split open but don’t break apart. We want them to be large enough to easily remove from the pot before serving. Add to the broth along with the pepper, salt, shoyu, and sugar.
- *If using dried shiitake mushrooms, place in a bowl and cover with boiling water. Let sit for 20-3- minutes, until they have softened completely. Trim off stems and cut the caps into thin slices.
- Bring to a boil, lower heat and simmer until the chicken is cooked through. This will take about 30-45 minutes. During the cooking, skim off any impurities from the chicken that float to the top.
Shred Chicken and Finish
- When the chicken is cooked through, remove it and shred, discarding bones and skin. Return the shredded pieces to the pot of broth along with the mushrooms, vermicelli noodles, and scallions.
- Gently press the noodles down into the broth- as they soak up liquid they will soften and eventually turn translucent. This is how you know they are ready!
- Remove the pieces of ginger and garlic from the broth. Divide chicken, mushrooms, and noodles between serving bowls, and spoon over desired amount of broth. Garnish with thinly sliced scallions.
- [If you want a soup-like dish, serve with a lot of broth, as opposed to a couple spoonfuls for just chicken+noodles].
- Enjoy hot!