When looking at a menu, I find a steamed dish is about as desirable as bare feet in a dog park. Steaming implies under-seasoned and fat-free food which is meant to be good for for you. And how often do you crave something that’s good for you?
Well, I officially declare that I am converted, not only is it possible to serve delicious food which is steamed, but it may induce desires for more of it. Fragrant is one way to describe this Vietnamese steamed chicken recipe. Melted is another. The tomatoes and ginger dissolve into a sauce that will have you unfolding the parchment and creating an origami bowl to pour it back into your mouth.
Ga Hap Cha is a Vietnamese Chicken dish which is traditionally either stewed or steamed. Frequently the steamed chicken is served alongside the tomatoes which are kept whole. By combining everything, the tomatoes, ginger and scallions melt together to form a sauce that can be served alongside the chicken and on top noodles or rice.
Vietnamese Chicken with Tomatoes and Fish Sauce (Ga Hap Ca)(serves 2)
Preheat oven to 450F. Cut the chicken into chunks. Sprinkle and rub the chunks with salt, pepper and the oil. In a bowl combine the tomatoes, ginger, onion, fish sauce and sugar and then toss with the chicken. Prepare two large pieces of parchment by folding in half width wise. Divide the chicken mixture in half. Place half the chicken mixture in the middle of one side of the parchment. Fold the other side of the parchment over, and working your way around the edges seal it into a little package (en papillote). Repeat with the other package. Place packages on a sheet pan.
Bake for 15 minutes, allow to sit for another 5, open package and check that chicken is cooked. Serve over rice or noodles and top with fresh cilantro.