I’ve never tried making Haw Moke Gai or Chicken Steamed in Banana Leaf before, and it is something that my Mom cooked for us whilst I was growing up, so this is something that I’m familiar with. I saw a post at mscinda’s blog of her Moke Gai, and wanted to give it a try, but my version is slightly different from hers, my version is closest to my Mom’s recipe. I used the chicken thigh instead of breast because it has some fat, and won’t be too dry after cooked. My ingredients to make 6 Haw Moke Gai are,
1.50 lbs Boneless chicken thighs
2 Chili peppers
2 Garlic cloves, roughly chopped
1 Asian Shallots, roughly chopped
4 Cilantro roots, roughly chopped
1 Lemon grass stalk
½ inch piece of Galangal, finely chopped
½ inch piece of Ginger, finely chopped
5 Kaffir lime leaves, finely sliced
1 table spoon of Shrimp paste
¼ teaspoon of Salt
¼ teaspoon of Brown sugar
4 grinds of black pepper (about ¼ teaspoon)
First I made the curry paste or mixing by using a Lao pestle and mortal, I added the chilies, garlic, cilantro roots, lemon grass, galangal, ginger, kaffir lime leaves, shrimp paste, salt, brown sugar, and black pepper, then pounded until the mixture forms a curry paste.
In a mixing bowl, I combined the curry paste, chicken, shallots, keep stirring in the same direction until all the ingredients are mixed together.
I added Dill last, then covered and refrigerated for about 10-15 minutes to set slightly.
I bought my banana leaves in the frozen section of the Asian Market, make sure you wipe them clean, I had to do it twice. And to soften the banana leaves and prevent them from splitting, put them in a hot over for about 30 seconds.
I used 2 leaves, one on top of another so that it’d not break while the haw moke are cooking. I placed one piece with the fiber running lengthways, and another the fiber running across.
I used toothpicks to pin the ends to close the haw moke (pocket).
I filled a steamer pan with water, bring it to a boiling point with high heat, then placed the 6 Haw Moks on the plate, and cover the steamer lid, cook for about 25 minutes.
After 10 minutes of cooking, check the steamer to see if you need to add more water.
My Haw Moke Gai, I’m happy with the outcome, smells and tastes very much like my Mom’s Haw Moke Gai.