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Sep 3, 2014 12:21 PM

Khao Mun Gai

I am looking for Khao Mun Gai that tastes like the ones I had in Thailand. Even at Hawker Fare and Kin Khao, the rice isn't very chickeny. I looked up several recipes online and they all call for cooking the rice in the broth form poaching a whole chicken. I suspect that part of the issue is that these restaurant are using only chicken breast for their Khao Mun Gai, and the broth isn't as deeply flavored? At Kin Khao it tasted like they merely tossed some steamed jasmine rice in rendered (flavorless) chicken fat. My friend and I agreed it just wasn't right....

Anyone found the real dish in the Bay Area? Malaysian or Singaporean versions work too...

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  1. Could be in Thailand they use old hens, which are hard to get here. The broth from an old bird is much more intense.

    2 Replies
    1. re: Robert Lauriston

      My wife finds old hens (frozen) in a Chinese market in Chinatown, but they aren't suitable for this dish because they require long stewing, not poaching.

      1. re: soupçon

        I'd make the old hen broth first, then poach a young chicken in it.

    2. Ran Kanom seems to me to have a more homey style to their cooking. See what they can do. I really like cross cultural definitions: "First, a definition: Kao mun gai is a Thai chicken and rice dish made with gently poached chicken and schmaltz-slicked, broth infused-rice."

      3 Replies
      1. re: wolfe

        Is it the same as Hainanese chicken?

        1. re: wolfe

          What a good idea—her food is the closest to Thailand I have yet had in the Bay Area...

        2. I actually had the Khao Mun Gai from Hawker Fare the night before your post and I was going to agree with you. But, I had an extra order of the chicken fat rice that I didn't eat until last night -- it seemed much more intense than what was included in the original dish (maybe from sitting for a while? from not having to complete with other intense flavors of the meal?). Overall, I really like the flavor of the chicken in Hawker Fare's version, although I agree that I haven't found the intense ideal of what I enjoyed in Singapore.

          1. May also be the chickens they use too, the "Chinese" chickens are more gamey.

            You should try a couple of Vietnamese places. E.g. Pho Ao Sen in Oakland. Many serve a chicken rice and almost always I've found them to be the most chicken-y in terms of the rice. They typically will serve only a ginger-garlic sauce rather than the Thai bean sauce.

            I used to like it at Sawooei Thai in El Cerrito but I don't think they make it anymore. It wasn't super chicken-y but it also included some warm spice aromas that were very nice.

            Recently I visited the "famous" Savoy Kitchen in the San Gabriel Valley (LA County) and would love to know a similar place around here.