Chao xa ga (Rice Porridge with Chicken and Lemon Grass)

9 cups chicken broth
2 stalks lemon grass, trimmed (outer leaves, tough green tops and root ends removed), cut into 1-inch pieces and lightly crushed
2 to 3 red bird’s eye or Thai chiles, stemmed
2 tablespoons fish sauce
1 cup jasmine rice (or similar rice)
2 cooked chicken legs, boned, skinned and shredded
Coarse sea salt
1/2 cup julienned saw (ngo gai) or cilantro leaves
Lemon wedges for serving


Chao xa ga (Rice Porridge with Chicken and Lemon Grass)
Servings: 4 to 6

9 cups chicken broth
2 stalks lemon grass, trimmed (outer leaves, tough green tops and root ends removed), cut into 1-inch pieces and lightly crushed
2 to 3 red bird’s eye or Thai chiles, stemmed
2 tablespoons fish sauce
1 cup jasmine rice (or similar rice)
2 cooked chicken legs, boned, skinned and shredded
Coarse sea salt
1/2 cup julienned saw (ngo gai) or cilantro leaves
Lemon wedges for serving

1. Pour the chicken broth into a pot and bring to a gentle boil over medium heat. Reduce the heat to medium-low, add the lemon grass, chiles and fish sauce and simmer for 30 minutes. Add the rice and cook, uncovered, for 45 minutes to an 1 hour.

2. Stir in the shredded chicken and season to taste with salt. Continue to cook until the chicken is heated through, about 15 minutes, or if the chicken is freshly cooked and still warm, just until combined. Divide the congee among 4 to 6 large soup bowls, garnish with the herb leaves and 1 wedge of lemon for each serving.