The other day my flatmate said he'd found a great new dish called Chao Vit and I had to try it.
I love trying new things so thought why not!
We cycled out to the street stall and placed our order. Sitting down on the customarily tiny stools I asked exactly what it was we were eating.
"Duck porridge"! He exclaimed with a grin on his face.
"That sounds nice," I said. Oh, wait. What?! "That sounds horrible!!"
Now don't get me wrong. I'm a porridge fan. But the idea of a duck version conjured up images of a glupey, lumpy meat broth.
Needless to say, I wasn't particularly excited. And neither was my stomach.
I Was Pleasantly Surprised!
But when it turned up I was impressed!
The mental images of lumpy duck brains disappeared as I was presented with something that was pretty good.
It wasn't going to win any awards for presentation, but the taste was far better than I had imagined!
What's In It?
This Vietnamese favourite is a pretty awesome meal. Instead of being made with oats, Asian porridge is made from rice.
Turns out there are lots of different versions of Chao, but Chao Vit is made with duck and seems to be the most popular.
It's served up from a huge vat and spooned into a bowl, making it a truly authentic experience!
I ended up quite enjoying my duck porridge and looked into what was in it. So if you're interested, here's what it's made from.
1 (3-½-pound) whole duck
2 Chicken carcasses
3 Tablespoons cilantro, finely chopped
1 Carrot, trimmed and peeled
4 Teaspoons seasoning salt
2 Tablespoons canola oil
2 Cups thai jasmine rice
2 Tablespoons green onions, sliced thinly
1 Daikon radish, trimmed and peeled
1 and a half black pepper, freshly cracked
1 (3-inch) chunk fresh ginger
2 Teaspoons granulated sugar
How To Cook It
If you're looking to prepare this meal for yourself, I've come across two great resources that'll help you to recreate this dark horse of a dish!
Pham Fatale - Duck Noodle Soup Recipe
Vietnamese Food - Vietnamese Duck Porridge Chao
Alternatively, you can watch an expert at work here!
Image Credit Flickr Creative Commons - Manhhai