|Oh, this was absolutely wonderful!|
|I need much more of this in my life.|
The main dish I made today was Samoan-style chicken and coconut rice. I used bone-in chicken thighs and seasoned them with a little salt, pepper, and paprika. In a large skillet, I browned my chicken in a little oil and then removed them and placed them on a plate. In the leftover oil, I sautéed some onions and garlic before adding my chicken back into the skillet. Then I poured in some soy sauce and vinegar (I used red wine vinegar instead of the apple cider vinegar), and enough water to mostly cover the chicken. After about 20 minutes, I took the chicken out again; this time I added in some ground ginger and 4 Tbsp of cornstarch, constantly stirring for several minutes until it started to thicken up. Then I returned my chicken back into the skillet, letting it simmer for a few minutes more. In the meantime, I made my coconut rice: I made steamed rice like I normally do (except with a pinch of salt) but then when it was cooked, I poured the coconut milk on top and let it soak in. To serve this, I poured out the coconut rice and placed the chicken on top, garnishing it with some chopped scallions. I really enjoyed this. I think everyone on the family liked it, except my son was mad that chickens have bones. The sauce was excellent, although I wished I had twice as much chicken because we didn’t have any leftovers, and there was soooo much sauce leftover.
|This. Right. Here. Is. The. Best. Soup. Ever.|
The only dish I made the second day was a Samoan noodle soup called Saimin. I started with making the broth: 8 c of water and some salt. When it came to a boil, I added in 8 oz of noodles (I used 2 bundles of Japanese udon). Once my noodles were cooked to al dente, I added in about 4 c of chicken broth (1 box?) along with all of my toppings and seasonings: 2 Tbsp of soy sauce, about 1 tsp pepper, about 1 tsp ground ginger, shredded carrots, chopped bok choy, sliced mixed mushrooms, diced scallions, egg (stirred in like egg drop soup), and small cooked shrimp. You can actually add whatever you want really. I let everything simmer for about 20-30 minutes to really mesh all the flavors. This was amazing and everyone loved it. And I mean everyone! I will definitely do this again. In fact, we decided we’d rather have this instead of chicken noodle soup.
|What's not to love?|
So, as I was doing this, I did think about the movie Moana. I found a BuzzFeed article that I read years ago where the author interviewed other Polynesian friends and asked about their opinions of the movie. Overall, most were pleased that Polynesian culture was represented, even though they wanted to make sure people knew it was more or less a mash-up of a variety of cultures in the film. But it was well-researched and represented the cultures well. Many of them were just excited that there was a now dolls they could buy their kids who looked like them. And I think that’s all anyone wants: to be seen and acknowledged for who they are.
Up next: San Marino