Take a drive down Emma Avenue in Springdale, notice the businesses lining Rainbow Curve in Bentonville, stop by the Fayetteville square on a Saturday morning, or open your eyes in any of the grocer...
- 1 whole chicken
- 1 cup jasmine rice
- 1 tablespoon canola oil
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 tablespoon salt
- 3 tablespoons fish salt
- 1/2 cup chopped cilantro leaves
- 3 green onions, thinly sliced
- 1-inch knob of ginger, peeled and thinly sliced ground white pepper, as needed
1 Place chicken in a large pot, and cover with water. Bring to a boil with a big pinch of salt. Skim any grey foam that comes to the surface, and discard. Cook at a steady simmer for 45 minutes to an hour, or until meat easily pulls away from the bone.
2 Remove the chicken from the pot. Pull the meat from the bones, lightly shred, and set aside. Return the bones to the cooking liquid, and simmer for another hour. Strain the broth, discarding the bones.
3 Combine the broth and rice, and cook for an hour, or until the rice is falling apart.
4 Meanwhile, heat the oil in a skillet, and cook the garlic until fragrant, 1 to 2 minutes. Add to the soup along with the salt and fish salt.
5 Add the shredded chicken to the soup and cook for another 10 minutes.
Serve the soup garnished with cilantro, green onion, ginger, and a sprinkling of white pepper. Suphan also likes this soup with a poached egg floating on top.
About this recipe
Flavors of Thailand: The Gingsumrong Family
There is a beautiful restaurant in south Fayetteville called Thep Thai that boasts a fish pond out front and garden beds all around. Look closely, and you'll see all kinds of leafy greens, onions, and herbs growing in the planters next to the parking lot. This is Suphan Gingsumrong's restaurant, and he has poured his life into this place.
It has been 22 years since Suphan first moved to Ozarkansas, and 12 years since he opened his restaurant. He says life is simple: "All you need to do is grow food and eat." And this is what he does so well. He has two young daughters, Sequoia and Marina, who spend much of their time with their mother, Tepthida, at the restaurant. They play in the gardens and help pull weeds. They are learning where their food comes from and how to prepare it.
Suphan has been here long enough to know where to shop. He frequents the Asian markets, Walmart, and Sam's Club, as well as the Fayetteville Farmers' Market. There are many ingredients he can't find, so he grows them. When asked if the dishes he serves are authentic, he shrugs and says, "You can't make it perfect like Thailand–85 percent is the best I can do." And with that, he smiles and pours another cup of jasmine tea.