Archive for Kådu

Chicken Soup (Kådun Månuk)

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Kådu is the Chamorro term for soup or broth.  Think of it as Chamorro Comfort Food.  It could be 90 degrees outside on Guam, but serve some kådu for lunch or dinner and chances are, you’ll forget your worries–and the hot weather–as you enjoy a steaming bowl of delicious soup.

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There isn’t a particular occasion that kådu is served.  If made at home, kådu is usually served as the main course — chicken, beef or other kådu is the starring attraction, served over steamed rice with fina’denne’ on the side.  Whereas if you see kadu at parties, it’s usually something more along the lines of a drinkable soup, like Chamorro Corn Soup or Beef Soup with Noodles and Vegetables.

Growing up, kådu was made using whatever we had on hand.  Most often my mom would make chicken kådu, using the chickens raised in our yard, of course.  She’d also add whatever vegetables my dad happened to be growing at our ranch, or vegetables growing in the back yard.  My favorite vegetables to add to kådu were squash and pumpkin tips, and if we had some potatoes and onions, into the pot they went as well.  Freshly squeezed coconut milk was a must; that was usually my job when I was younger — grating the coconut then pressing out the thick and creamy milk.

Give my recipe a try.  It’s great for those bleary days when warm chicken soup seems to be the only thing to chase the cold away.  Find my complete recipe at the bottom of this post.  My recipe makes enough to serve 6-8 people, plus enough left over to pack lunch the next day.

You can also try my recipe for Beef Shank Kådu with Vermicelli Noodles and Vegetables.  I think you’ll like that one too. :)

Here’s how to make my Chicken Kådu.

Prepare your vegetables.  Peel and cut your vegetables in to large chunks.  I used zucchini, potatoes and baby bok choy in this version; you can use your favorite vegetables.

Peel the zucchini and thickly slice them.  I sliced these about 3/4 to 1 inch thick.

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Separate the baby bok choy leaves.  Rinse each leaf thoroughly to remove all dirt trapped in between the leaves.

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Peel and cut the potatoes into large chunks.  I used small red potatoes and cut them half.  Place the cut potatoes in cold water to keep them from oxidizing and turning brown.

Set all the vegetables aside for now while you cook the chicken.image

Place the chicken into a large pot along with sliced onions, chopped garlic, chicken seasoning and black pepper.

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Cook the chicken over medium-high heat until done.

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Add the potatoes to the pot along with enough water to cover the potatoes.  Cover the pot and bring the soup to a boil.  Cook the potatoes for about 8-10 minutes or until they are almost done (the potatoes should still be a bit difficult to pierce easily with a fork).  The potatoes will continue cooking when you add the rest of the vegetables.

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Add the zucchini to the pot once the potatoes are just about done.  It doesn’t take long for squash to cook, so be sure to add them to the pot at the end.  Replace the lid on the pot; cook the squash for just a few minutes.

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Baby bok choy also cooks very quickly.  In fact, the steam from the pot will cook the tender leaves sufficiently.  Add the bok choy leaves to the pot once the squash is done then turn the heat to low; replace the lid on the pot.

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It takes just a couple of minutes for the bok choy to wilt.  Turn off the heat once it does.

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All that’s left to do is stir in the coconut milk.  You don’t want to boil coconut milk or it will separate after prolonged cooking.  The soup is quite hot at this point, hot enough to warm the coconut milk, which is all you need to do.  Give it a stir, then taste and adjust the seasoning if necessary.  Add more salt (or chicken seasoning) and pepper, to taste.

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Serve with steamed white rice and fina’denne’ and ENJOY! :)

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Chicken Soup (Kådun Månuk)
This is not your ordinary chicken soup -- it's chicken soup with a Chamorro flare, made with potatoes, squash, baby bok choy, and thick coconut milk.
Author:
Cuisine: Chamorro
Recipe type: Soup
Serves: Serves 6-8
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Ingredients
  • 8 boneless, skinless chicken thighs, cut into small pieces
  • 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into small pieces
  • 6 drumsticks
  • 1 large onion, sliced
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 4 tablespoons chicken seasoning (or powdered chicken bouillon)
  • 10 small red potatoes, peeled and cut in half
  • 4 cups water
  • 8 bunches baby bok choy, leaves separated
  • 6 medium zucchini squash, peeled and sliced into 1-inch pieces
  • 2 cans coconut milk
Instructions
  1. Place the chicken, onions, black pepper and chicken seasoning in a large pot. Cook over medium-high heat until the chicken is done.
  2. Add the potatoes and water to the pot. Bring the soup to a boil; cook for 8-10 minutes or until the potatoes are almost done.
  3. Add the squash to the pot; cook for a couple of minutes.
  4. Add the baby bok choy leaves to the pot and reduce the heat to low. Cook just until the leaves wilt.
  5. Turn the heat off then stir in the coconut milk.
Serve with steamed white rice, fina'denne' and ENJOY!

 

Braised Oxtail Soup

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Don’t let the name of this dish turn you off.  Oxtail, as the name describes, was commonly the meaty part of the tail of an ox.  Nowadays, they are cut from the tails of cattle.  Oxtail is quite meaty, but it requires a long and slow braising to tenderize the tough meat.

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You can cut the cooking time down several hours by using a pressure cooker.  I prefer braising the oxtail long and slow, however, which helps to develop an incredibly rich broth.

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Look for oxtail with a lot of meat and not much fat.  Rinse the oxtail then trim off as much fat as you can.  This is what I trimmed off from 5 packages of oxtail (with about 4 oxtails per package).

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The richness of your broth starts by browning the oxtail.  I did this in batches so that I could turn each oxtail over to ensure even browning.  Browning creates amazingly delicious flavor compounds that ultimately gives the resulting dish an extremely rich, deep flavor.  Don’t skip the browning process; trust me.

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The next step to developing that incredibly rich flavor is to brown your aromatics.  Do this BEFORE adding any liquid.

Add onions, garlic and black pepper to the pot.  Do this when you have just one layer of oxtail in the pot.  Set the rest of the browned oxtail aside for now; you’ll add it back to the pot in a few minutes.  Cook the onions just to the point where they become a golden brown and begin to caramelize.

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Now the magic begins.  Add the rest of the oxtail back into the pot then pour in enough water to completely cover the oxtail.  Place a lid on the pot and cook over medium-low heat.  If you decide to braise the oxtail long and slow, plan ahead as this will take several hours — I braised mine for about 5 1/2 hours over a slow boil.

A note about boiling meat:  As meat boils, a foamy substance forms on the surface.  This is called scum.  The scum is denatured protein.  It is harmless, and eventually the foam breaks up and disperses into the stock.  Although harmless (and flavorless), the scum leaves the broth gray and cloudy.  Every so often, skim the surface, removing the scum.

Every 30 minutes or so, at about the same time you skim the scum off the broth, check to ensure the level of liquid stays above the meat.  Add enough water to maintain the level of liquid above the oxtail.  Keep doing this for the first three hours.

After hour number three of braising, add my secret ingredient (shhh…don’t tell anyone):  half a bottle of marsala wine.  Marsala wine adds deep, savory notes to the broth.  After adding the wine, if the level of liquid is still not above the meat, add more water.  Continue to cook over medium-low heat for another two hours.

After five hours of braising, taste the broth.  Add salt and pepper, to taste.  Instead of salt, I like adding a few tablespoons of Dashida seasoning.  If you can’t find Dashida (a Korean beef-flavored powdered seasoning), use beef bouillon.  Taste and adjust the seasonings to your liking.

Add your favorite vegetables during this last 30 minutes of cooking.  Sometimes I add potatoes and carrots, or squash (a favorite).  Baby bok choy is another favorite.  Squash cooks quickly, so add it last to prevent overcooking them.  Baby bok choy cooks in just a few scant minutes, so add them at the very end, just before serving.

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Serve over hot white rice with a good amount of broth and ENJOY! :)

Give my recipe a try.  I think you’ll like it.

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Braised Oxtail Soup
Author:
Serves: Serves 4-6
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Ingredients
  • 15-20 pieces of oxtail, excess fat trimmed off
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 2 tablespoons chopped garlic
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • Water, enough to completely cover the oxtail
  • ½ bottle marsala wine, about 2 cups
  • 4 tablespoons Dashida seasoning (or powdered beef bouillon)
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 4 medium squash, peeled and cut into large pieces
  • 12 baby bok choy
Instructions
  1. Brown the oxtail in batches over medium-high heat (brown one layer of oxtail at a time). Set the browned oxtail aside.
  2. Add the onions, garlic and black pepper to the pot. Cook until the onions begin to caramelize.
  3. Return all of the oxtail to the pot. Add enough water to cover the oxtail. Cover the pot and reduce the heat to medium-low; simmer for 5½ hours, skimming the scum off the surface periodically. Keep the water level above the meat throughout the braising.
  4. After three hours of simmering, add the wine to the pot. Simmer for 2½ more hours.
  5. Add the Dashida. Taste the broth then add salt and pepper to taste.
  6. Add any vegetables last, cooking until the vegetables are done to your liking.
Serve and ENJOY!

 

Chicken Chalakiles

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Chicken Chalakiles is one of my favorite Chamorro comfort foods.  It’s a soup made with chicken, onions and garlic, thickened with toasted ground rice, and made even more rich with the addition of coconut milk.

Chalakiles can be served as your main dish or as a soup served before your entrée.

I make my Chalakiles the way my mom taught me — with freshly toasted and ground rice.  A quick and easy substitute is to use Cream of Rice instead. Toasting rice is easy.  Place the rice in a skillet over medium heat.  Cook until the rice turns golden brown, stirring constantly to prevent any rice from over-browning (and burning).

Let the rice cool for a few minutes then place in a food processor (I have a mini food chopper/grinder that works well).

Grind the rice into a mixture that looks like cornmeal.  A few large pieces of rice is okay; it will add texture to your Chalakiles once cooked.  Set the ground rice aside.

Place your chicken into a large soup pot.  You can cut the chicken to your desired size.  I diced them small here so that we could have more of a soup. My mom would use chicken drummettes or leave the chicken pieces whole if we served this as a meal.  She’d make it more on the soupy side as well so that we could also serve this with some steamed rice. Cook the chicken with onions, garlic, coconut oil and black pepper.

Once the chicken is cooked through and no longer pink, add chicken broth (or water and chicken seasoning), achote powder, and the ground toasted rice.

Bring the mixture to a boil; cook over medium heat for about 10 minutes (keep the pot uncovered).  Stirring occasionally to prevent the rice from settling and sticking to the bottom of the pot.

This is what the Chalakiles looks like after the rice is done.  The mixture is quite thick at this point, but will thin down once you stir in the coconut milk.

Stir in the coconut milk.  Cook for another couple of minutes, just long enough to heat up the mixture after adding the milk.  Remove from the heat.

If you want a thinner soup, either add more water or another can of coconut milk.  Taste and adjust the seasonings to your liking.

My recipe makes enough for a family of four plus enough leftover for lunch the next day. Serve and ENJOY!

 

Chicken Chalakiles
A savory soup made with chicken and ground toasted rice.
Author:
Serves: 8 servings
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Ingredients
  • 2 cups uncooked rice
  • 2 boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into small pieces
  • 3 boneless skinless chicken thighs, cut into small pieces
  • 1 med onion, diced
  • 1 tablespoon chopped garlic
  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper
  • 3 tablespoons chicken seasoning*
  • 10 cups water*
  • 1 packet achote powder
  • 1 can (14-oz) coconut milk
  • Red pepper flakes, to taste (optional)


  • *Note: You can use chicken broth instead of water; omit the water AND chicken seasoning if using chicken broth.
Instructions
  1. Place the uncooked rice in a skillet over medium heat. Cook for a few minutes until the rice is evenly browned, stirring occasionally to ensure even browning. Let the toasted rice cool then grind in a food processor until you get the consistency of cornmeal. Set aside.
  2. Place the chicken, onion, garlic, coconut oil and black pepper into a large soup pot. Cook over medium heat until the chicken is no longer pink.
  3. Add the chicken seasoning, water, achote powder and ground rice to the pot. Stir to combine the ingredients then bring the mixture to a boil. Cook, uncovered, for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  4. Stir in the coconut milk; cook for a couple of minutes then remove from the heat.
Serve and ENJOY!

 

Beef Shank Kådu with Fresh Vegetables and Vermicelli Noodles

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It’s currently 9 degrees outside, with a windchill of -11 degrees — it’s the perfect time for a pot of my delicious Beef Shank Kådu (which means soup, in Chamorro) with fresh vegetables and vermicelli noodles. Come to think of it, this soup is good at ANY time, not just when it’s cold and blustery outside. After all, we make kådu on Guam, where the temperature is in the 80’s year-round! ;)

I used beef shanks (with bones) for this recipe, but you can use any lean cuts of beef you like. I like shanks because the bone marrow in the bones give the broth an extra rich and concentrated beef flavor. Most shanks are marbled with sinew. If I’m pressed for time, I’ll cook the meat in a pressure cooker, along with some onions, garlic and water, just long enough to break down the sinew and tenderize the meat. I started this soup around 8 am, cooked the meat low and slow for a couple of hours, then added the vegetables the last half hour before eating. If you don’t braise the meat long enough, the sinew in the meat won’t break down enough and you’ll end up with tough, dry meat in your soup.

I prefer using fresh vegetables when I make soup (with the exception of canned tomatoes and corn). I know, you can cut your prep and cooking time by more than half if you use frozen vegetables, but I don’t particularly like that the frozen vegetables are cut so large (I end up cutting each one smaller–that’s very time consuming), nor do I like that it’s overcooked by the time my soup is done. Nope — it’s fresh vegetables for this soup or I don’t make it.

I know what you’re thinking by now…you’re probably thinking, “gosh, she sure is picky.” Well, for this soup, I am. I think it’s because this is how my mom made it, using vegetables picked fresh from my dad’s ranch. Sometimes we’d have wing beans and green beans in our soup, along with squash and onions. Other times we’d have fresh corn and tomatoes picked fresh off the vines.

If you thought I was picky with my choice of fresh over frozen vegetables, let me tell you about my choice of noodles. I’ve tried making this soup with rice noodles, but it’s just not the same as using vermicelli or glass noodles. There are many brands of vermicelli noodles (not the kind used for Italian pasta dishes, mind you). I like using Korean vermicelli noodles, namely the kind used for Jap Chae (or Chap Chae). If you don’t know what type to buy, go to your local Korean or Asian market and ask a clerk for Korean Jap Chae noodles.

Give my recipe a try. I think you’ll like it. :)

Beef Shank Kadu with Fresh Vegetables and Vermicelli Noodles

Ingredients:

  • 5 medium sized beef shanks, with bone
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons garlic powder (or 6 cloves fresh garlic, minced)
  • 1 tablespoon onion powder (or 1 small onion, diced)
  • 6-8 tablespoons Dashida (Korean beef flavored powdered seasoning)
  • 10 cups water
  • 2 large carrots
  • 2 stalks celery
  • 1 (2-inch) piece of ginger root
  • 1 medium potato
  • 1 handful of green beans
  • 1 can (28 oz.) petite diced tomatoes, drained
  • 1 can (15.25 oz.) corn kernels
  • 1 bag Korean vermicelli noodles (plus enough hot water to submerge the noodles in)

Directions:

1. Rinse each piece of meat. Trim off and discard any excess fat around the meat. Cut around the bones to separate them from the meat. Place the bones in a large stock pot over medium low heat.

2. Cut the meat into small pieces; I cut the shank meat that had a lot of sinew marbled through it into large chunks.  Place the meat into the pot. Cook over medium low heat until the meat starts to brown. After most of the meat has browned, add the black pepper, garlic and onion powders (or fresh garlic and onions), and Dashida. Stir to combine, then add the 10 cups of water. Keep the heat at medium low. With the pot covered, simmer for about 2 hours. Every now and then, skim off any fat and sediment from the surface of the broth and discard.

Tip: After cooking, let the meat and broth cool to room temperature then place in the refrigerator. After several hours, remove the solidified fat off the surface of the broth and discard. Continue with the remaining steps below.

3. While the meat is simmering away, prepare the vegetables.

Prep the carrots: Peel the carrots. Slice into sticks, then dice.

Prep the celery. Cut into sticks then dice.

Prep the ginger. Peel (scrape the skin with a spoon) then thinly slice the ginger.

Prep the potato. Peel the potato. Cut into sticks (like french fries) then dice.

Prep the beans. In my list of ingredients, I stated “a handful” of beans was enough. This is what I mean by “a handful.”

Cut the tips off the ends of the beans, then thinly slice them.

4. After a couple of hours of simmering, the sinew in the large chunks of shank meat should have broken down and softened. Remove the large chunks of meat from the pot. Let it cool then cut the meat into small pieces then return the meat to the pot.

5. Add the tomatoes (don’t forget to drain the liquid!) and cut vegetables to the pot. Stir to combine.

6. Simmer the vegetables over medium high heat for 10 minutes. Meanwhile, prepare the noodles. Place the noodles into a large bowl. Pour hot water (I used hot water from the tap) over the noodles; use enough water to completely submerge the noodles. Let the noodles sit in the hot water for 5 minutes to soften slightly. After the noodles have softened, use a pair of kitchen scissors to cut the noodles into small pieces, about 3 inches in length. Drain the noodles in a colander then add them to the pot, stirring to combine.

7. Add the drained corn to the pot. Stir to combine. Cook for another 10 minutes or so, or just until the potatoes and carrots are cooked through (don’t over cook them).

8. Remove from the heat and serve while hot. ENJOY!

Save the bone marrow for me, please! :)

 

Carolyn’s Kådun Pika (Spicy Chicken)

Kadun Pika

Kådun pika is a spicy Chamorro chicken dish that’s somewhat similar to chicken adobo. It’s an easy dish to make — it takes only a few ingredients and a few simple steps and voila! — you’ll have dinner served in no time.

Pika means “hot” or “spicy” in Chamorro. You can omit the hot chili peppers in this recipe, but then it won’t be called Kådun Pika without the “pika”. :) I have one daughter who doesn’t like anything spicy. I usually prepare this dish, omitting the peppers. When it’s done, I separate a small bowlful for my daughter, then add the peppers to the rest of the pot.

The recipe below is my sister, Carolyn’s. Give it a try. I think you’ll like it. :)

Carolyn’s Kådun Pika (Spicy Chicken)

Ingredients:

  • 5 pounds chicken pieces
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • LOTS AND LOTS of garlic, as much as you like (or about 1/2 cup chopped garlic)
  • 1/2 cup soy sauce (more or less to taste)
  • 1/4 cup white vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons tabasco sauce
  • 8 Thai chili peppers, chopped (more or less to taste)

Directions:

Rinse the chicken pieces; cut into smaller pieces if desired. Place the chicken in a large soup pot over medium heat. Add the onions and garlic. Cook for 5-10 minutes or until the chicken is slightly browned.

Add the rest of the ingredients to the pot. Turn the heat down to medium-low. Simmer for about 30 minutes or until the chicken is cooked through.

Taste, then adjust the seasonings (soy sauce, hot peppers) to taste.

Serve with hot white rice and ENJOY!

 

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