The simple and classic dish of khao man kai is one of my personal favourites. Usually eaten in the morning or at lunchtime, khao man kai is a dish of Hainanese origin that has established itself as an all-time Thai classic.
The chicken is boiled and the chicken stock is then reserved to be used in the cooking of the steamed rice that accompanies the dish. When the food is served, the sliced layers of chicken are placed over the top of the rice. A small bowl of chicken broth is also served as part of the meal. What makes this dish so enjoyable is the sauce which is presented in a separate small bowl so that it can be added to the rice and chicken as desired. This sauce is a dark brown colour and is made from a mixture of soybean paste, soy sauce, ginger, garlic and chillies. It is the sauce that gives the rice and chicken the extra kick that is synonymous with Thai food. The dish is garnished with cucumbers which help to cleanse the palate after eating. Coriander may also be added to the serving and sometimes a small piece of chicken blood tofu may also be included. Expect to pay an average of 30 Baht for a serving of khao man kai at a simple roadside restaurant or from a street vendor.
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