Every time coming to Hoi An, I must try two very authentic local foods here: Com Ga (chicken rice) and Banh My (Vietnamese sandwiches).
There are quite many local restaurant selling Com Ga in Hoi An, and they can be easy seen in many streets in this charming ancient town. The name of the restaurants normally are names of the owner like Com Ga Ba Nga, Com Ga Ba Buoi, Com Ga Ba Ty…. or can be the address where restaurants located. They are not exactly the same in the way of cooking and serving and my most favorite Hoi An Chicken Rice is Com Ga Ba Nga (Cơm gà bà Nga) .
There are three main ingredients for Com Ga: the chicken, the rice and the vegetable. For the chicken, they just take the local chicken in medium size then boil it. The broth will be used for cooking the rice then. After boiling, they will take the chicken meat with skin out of the bone, slide it and save it for then rice later.
The rice was soaking in the water for about 2 to 3 hours, then take it out of water to dry before cooking in the chicken broth with some turmeric for beautiful color and a spoon of chicken fat for the good taste. The rice after cooking needs to be little bit dry, beautiful in light yellow color and tasty.
The vegetable include the slide onion, Vietnamese mint and specially the thin slide green papaya that soaked in iced water to be crunchy and fresh when serving with rice.
The chicken rice will be served with rice on one side of the plate, the vegetable on the other side. Chicken will be on top of the rice with the sauce and some chili sauce. Then you just need to mix it up and serve. The fresh vegetable will be very good balance with the taste of chicken and the rice.
In Com Ga Ba Nga, they also serve the side dish, but it is the best in Hoi An: the chicken salad. They use the same chicken for Com Ga, mix it with the same vegetable they use for Com Ga but adding shallots, lime juice and salt. That can be perfect starter before having Com Ga in the restaurant. Let’s try Hoi An Chicken Rice during your stay in Hoi An !