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Friday, October 9, 2009

Chicken Long Rice

On Jan. 3, 1852 the first group of Chinese immigrants arrived in Hawaii to fill labor shortages on sugar plantations. With them they brought the dish we now know today as Chicken Long Rice. Though Cantonese in origin, Chicken Long Rice has be come a staple in Hawaiian Cuisine. It is impossible not to find Chicken Long Rice on the menu at Hawaiian Restaurants or your typical Hawaiian Luau.

The ingredients of Chicken Long Rice are easy to find with the exception of bean-thread noodles, aka cellophane noodles, aka "long rice". Long rice can be found in the Asian food stores or the Asian section of your supermarket. As far as this dish goes, there is no substituting of long rice. Long rice is transparent and has a unique texture that cannot be duplicated. The long rice noodle is also extremely important because it really absorbs the flavor of the dish. Chicken Long Rice won’t be Chicken Long Rice without long rice noodles so if you can’t get your hands on these unique noodles don’t bother. On a final note, make sure to not overcook the noodles.

2 1/2 lb chicken thighs
3 quarts water
1 tablespoon salt
1 1/2 tablespoons minced ginger root
1 large onion, finely chopped
5 chicken bouillon cubes
8 oz long rice
3 green onions, chopped

Put chicken into a five quart saucepan. Add two quarts of the water, the salt and ginger. Bring to a boil, skim, lower heat, and simmer for forty minutes. Remove from heat and drain, saving broth. Remove meat from chicken, discarding bones. Shred meat and set aside. Put broth, onion, bouillon cubes and the remaining one quart water into saucepan. Bring to a boil. Add long rice, then lower heat and cook, covered for 5 minutes. Turn off heat and let stand about 30 minutes. With kitchen shears, cut long rice into approximately 3- or 4- inch lengths. Stir in chicken and heat briefly, if desired, before serving. Sprinkle with green onions. Makes 6 to 8 servings.

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