Wiki Wiki Chicken Long Rice

Long before there was Wikipedia, wiki meant "quickly" in Hawaiian.  I remember moving to Guam in the mid 70's.  My sister and I were fascinated by the new culture.  The hotel where we stayed (for weeks if I remember correctly) had "wiki wiki" service.  We were thrilled with the new foods--saimen bowls, our first non-Maruchan ramen experience, and the undeveloped jungle that surrounded the hotel.  I remember eating pickled green papaya, chicken keleguen, and lumpia.  Perhaps the seed for my life-long love of Asian food was sown at those "fiestas."

Fast forward to dinner last night.  I was thrilled to find green papaya at H-mart.  Som tam--green papaya salad-- was a wiki wiki way to consume it without having to wait for pickling.  Maddy bought a papaya at a the grocery store hoping to make some of her own.  Her text to me, "expletive, it's orange inside!" made me realize she had probably purchased a large, green-on-the-outside Mexican papaya.  If you are hoping to avoid this surprise, make sure the papaya you buy is specifically labelled "green papaya."  I have used underripe mangos in the past when I didn't live close to a good Asian grocery.

White Lady's Som Tam

2 tsp. minced red chili (I used a red serrano)

4 cloves garlic

2-3 TBS lime juice

2-3 TBS fish sauce

1/4 cup tamarind puree

2 TBS palm sugar mixed with 1 TBS warm water to make a syrup

1 medium green papaya, julienned (a julienne peeler is great for this)

1 cucumber, peeled and sliced

1 tomato, cut into 8 wedges

crushed peanuts

cilantro

Mash the pepper and garlic together using a mortar/pestle or just crush with flat side of a knife.  Mix fish sauce, lime juice, tamarind puree, and palm sugar with the pepper/garlic paste.  Taste and adjust seasonings.  This is a really mild version so Sophie would eat it.  Toss with papaya, top with cucumber/tomato/crushed peanuts and cilantro sprigs.

Unlike poi, chicken long rice is a luau favorite of Hawaiians and haoles alike.  Here is my weeknight version:

I used the chicken from half a rotisserie chicken--take off bone, remove skin and shred

5 cups chicken broth

3 TBS grated ginger

4 cloves garlic, minced

4 scallions, white and green parts sliced thinly

handful of cilantro + more for garnish

salt/pepper to taste

1 package bean thread noodles-soak for 10-15 min in hot water, drain and toss ith 1 TBS sesame oil

Put chicken broth, ginger, garlic, and green onions in a large sauce pan and bring to a simmer.  Simmer 20 min to establish flavor.  Add chicken and bring to a boil.  Add noodles and cilantro sprigs and simmer additional 2 min or until warm.  Serve with more cilantro.