question of the day

go to dance class or should i buy a whole chicken and make miến gà ?

in other word:

dancing – Pros 

dancing! it’s always nice!
get moving!
nice interaction with partner
boost self confidence + balance
get out of the house!

need to move again? i just done running!
i hungry!
i tired!
i want a quiet sunday evening at home!
miến gà–Pros 

noodle soups, yummmmm
noodle soups for the rest of the wk!

miến gà–cons 

need to buy a big pot NOW!
i starving!
i tired!

recipe for miến gà (chicken glass noodle soup)

from little sister

1 chicken (preferably fresh, else let defrosted for a couple of days in fridge)
3 brown onions
1 scallion bunch
1 cilantro bunch
fish sauce
1 bag of dry shitake mushroom
bean thread noodle (it’s very important to get the correct noodle here. packages look alike, but only 1 kind will give you the right stringy taste. all others will disintegrate and destroy the noodle soup!)


1) Fill water in BIG pot to 3/5 full, boil. Put ~ 1tbsp salt in.
2) Wash chicken + Peel 2 brown onions + soak about 10-15 mushrooms in a bucket of water.
3) When water is boiling, put chicken in gently, put 2 full uncut onions in.
4) After broth with chicken is boiling, lower the flame, but still let water boiling.
Scoop all foam floating at the top of water out.
5) Check when chicken is done by poking it with 1 chopstick.
If red (bloody) water flows out, continue to boil.
Try not to over cook the chicken. Breast done in ~1/2 hr.
When chicken is cooked, take it out and cut into pieces for eating later
6) Take soaked mushroom out of bucket, put in pot of boiling broth (should be gently boiling)
7) Marinate broth with fish sauce to *slightly* more salty than normal.

Slice 3rd onion into thin slices. Dice scallions and cilantro.
When ready to eat, use a smaller pot, take some broth in pot,
put 1 package of bean threads in, let boiling gently until bean threads
are no longer tough. Pour to large bowl. Add more broth as needed.
Put some warm chicken on top, some diced scallion and cilantro,
1-2 mushrooms, some thinly sliced brown onion.

If it’s not salty enough, put some fish sauce into a small bowl, and put in as needed.
Spicy sauce goes well with this. I prefer fresh chilly peppers.



About thả diều
writing-challenged opera-addict

24 Responses to question of the day

  1. Eyesometric says:

    Or …. both? 🙂

    • thả diều says:

      just had some food, i now more level-headed to assess the situation.
      actually the main problem is i thought i was in shape enough to jog and dance, but now after the jog (along that absolutely beautiful frozen river), i can barely walk… so wonder how i can even dance… or walk to the grocery store to get the chicken… 🙂

      • thả diều says:

        did end up dancing, with the most beautiful girl in the class today, not sure what happened to her partner (and for that matter, not sure vhat happened to “my” partner, havent seen her since the email exchange…) today was again very nice, not like last couple of times where i got a b*tching girl who insisted that i should push/pull her hands despite my refusal! she complained so much i had to ask the coach if i should be doing something. coach: whatever u’re doing looks good, i wouldn’t change 😀 . today, saw her yanking another guy’s arm (poor guy) until coach made announcement: “i don’t want to see any pushing or pulling, everyone should be on their own two feet dancing”. and that was that. oh, and on my way back, i saw right next door to my place argentine tango dancing! lesson! but got 10kilo of grocery on back so i skipped.
        did end up w/ a pot of soup too, but now legs are really like noodles, up in the air while i experiment w/ Kurtág’s music 🙂

  2. idlehouse says:

    i think the macy’s “tool of trade” pot will serve you well. itt’s the same one tram and chau have, pretty reasonable price, plus its presidents weekend sale

  3. OK, enough is enough, it’s time you shared your Pho recipe(s). Do you use store-bought stock or do you make your own? I have so many good pho recipes but they all call for either several hours of cooking of stock, or a store-bought stock (and they’re all full of sodium so I spend an hour reading labels, and the reduced-sodium stocks are always gone when I go to the store eccetera eccetera).

    So. Your Pho, madam, please.

    Go crazy. Thai basil, lemongrass, kaffir-lime leaves, out with it.

    (Oh, and don’t make skipping dance classes a habit, or you’ll lose the cute follower.)

    • thả diều says:

      ah, read above regarding follower. Pho recipe? not from me. am not capable. have seen them many many times, each as intimidating as the last. will have to get from sister/best friend/sister-in-law (any of them makes absolutely fantastic Pho). While we’re at it, am working on a post of many vietnamese dishes. meanwhile, will edit @ end of this post for miến gà , something i’m fully capable of making!
      ps- my Pho will always be 8+ hours of stock making. you won’t hear any “buying stock cube” from this family! no no NO!! 😉

  4. Mmm, mien ga sounds good and simple enough. But you do have to have a gigantic pot. And I take it the soup can stay in the fridge for a few days? If you’re only one person, it’ll take you some time to finish it all up.

    What do you mean, remove gooey stuff? I ain’t removing any gooey stuff, lady. I’m in it for the gooey stuff.

    • By the way, what brands of fish sauce can you recommend? I sometimes improvise my own by simply adding mashed salted anchovies.

    • thả diều says:

      good “morning”. i’ve just edited goey to foam. so the english phrase is “skim off the foam“. you don’t have to, but our aim (at least in vietnamese families I’ve known) is to achieve clear broth. if u fail to skim it off, the soup is cloudy and has all sorts of small tiny dark matter floating around (at which point our family will avoid your cooking :-D).

      fish sauce: i normally get this one (three crab brand; and that sounds like a cool blog, perhaps i should bookmark.) That fish sauce has a recent change in design at the top (2cm instead of 4mm opening), and i’m having a bit of a hard time (given i out of practice) judging how much fish sauce to put in now.

      you can make the broth in small or large quantity, essentially it’s chicken broth. i normally store away a couple vertical containers in the freezer. if you don’t want to cook big pot or eat it in a rush for rest of the week, you can buy the prepared chicken breast and a couple of drumsticks and make enough for three days or for 3 people.

  5. Eyesometric says:

    Perhaps your mind is elsewhere?

  6. Oh be patient with me until after Friday, darlings.

    • thả diều says:

      😉 . any decision on outfit yet? what’s the poll result?

    • ‘Butching it down’ won against ‘femme-ing it up’ by the popular vote. So… It’ll probably be the dark velvet trouser w velvet jacket, Doc Martens silver boots, and under the jacket the purple striped shirt with polka dot necktie. (See, I can’t do either butch or femme with a straight face. I always have to add an element of silliness to either act.) And I need a new hairdo! I’ve been trimming my own hair in the last months and, um, it probably shows.

      I am thinking of wimping out of the flowers delivery, because just thinking about it makes my knees into a muddle of wobbly pudding. I am praying to all gods and goddesses that Herself joins her audience in the post-performance performance in the lobby of the Royal Conservatory, as most singers do after their concerts… but what is he doesn’t?

      I’m also thinking of inventing a reason for hanging out at the espresso caff at the RC the day of the concert, in case she turns up. It’s a busy place, full of students and employees of the RC, so one can type away on one’s laptop at one of the tables all day without attracting any attention.. Of course, if she did turn up, the earth would open and swallow the embarrassed-into-paralysis me, so whether she shows up for an amaretto or not, a deliciously useless exercise it’d be.

      Please, skin on my face, do not flare up, I know you’re prone to mysterious rashes at most inconvenient moments. Please, colds and flus, you can have me after Friday. Please, blizzards, stay away and leave the air traffic alone this week. And with my knees… I’ll need to have a word in private.

      • thả diều says:

        wow, and who can we bribe to catch an image of the velvet outlook with stripe and polka dot mixed in w/ silver boots?? to help with the flower-delivery thingy, perhaps it’s best to skip flower altogether? why not something like this? she’ll have fun seeing on the plane, and might even enjoy looking at it from time to time in her garden ;-). and here’s the place you can go hunt for such things between now and friday, might build up strength in the knees?
        but why need an excuse to hang out at the cafe? i did that in Wien, didn’t manage to catch Kasarova though…

      • Interesting idea… But somehow I don’t think she’d be interested (if it was a piece of Sweden, then it’d be a different thing altogether). I considered commissioning a silver rose of the Rosenkavalier type from a blacksmith, but it would be waaaay to awkward to give it to her during the curtain call. (And only one? You appear stingy, but making a bouquet of silver roses won’t make any sense… aaaaaaghhh. I will howl.)

        If I skip the flowers, I can photograph their bows. That’s one good reason not to do the flowers.

        What caff did you hang out in? At the Vienna Staatsoper? They have to come in at one point and check out the stage and the piano, which is why I was counting on her turning up, but maybe they come through the stage door, do the thing and disappear back to the hotel through the stage door, no lingering in the espresso bars.

      • thả diều says:

        “but making a bouquet of silver roses won’t make any sense… aaaaaaghhh. I will howl.”
        hihihi, quite a dilemma eh.
        there’s cafe mozart, and a couple more, all looking to the back-stage entrance. will she do more or just one recital? it’s quite a distance to travel only for 1 recital no? cd signing? artist discussion? it’s still a mystery to me how she only appeared in Los Angeles for 1/2 hour last April. sooo tall i tell u.

      • Madame and the jazz pianist toyboy, I mean accompanist, Brad Mehldau, are on a North American tour which includes NYC, Princeton NJ (these two done already), Montreal (Wednesday), Toronto (Friday), then she goes on to do a concert with the San Francisco Symphony.

  7. Eyesometric says:

    Now, DtO, this is very serious. Listen carefully to Aunty Eyes and do NOT, under any circumstances, wear the velvet. You know how much Madame cares for velvet and I fear that if she saw you either in the caff or the lobby there would be no restraining her. She would feel compelled to rush over to you in order to caress the fabric and your heart would become under incredible serious strain. BE WARNED.

  8. Now you busted my unacknowledged fantasy by putting it in words… *sob*

    But there’s something comforting about velvet… it calms me down a little. It’s not the subtle one, but the rougher, ourdoors-friendly thick kind of velvet.

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