Plum Village’s Salt Baked Chicken definitely didn’t miss, even though I eventually found out that the chicken isn’t actually baked in salt anymore. To be fair to Plum Village, baking every chicken in salt just isn’t practical considering how many of these birds fly out of their kitchen on the daily.⠀

Instead, it’s generously seasoned with sand ginger powder and salt before being steamed, and this simple yet strangely sapid dish is superbly satisfying. The chicken is acceptably moist even at the breasts, and the sand ginger powder and salt have penetrated so deeply that every last meaty morsel is remarkably flavoursome. Heck, even the drippings rendered from the chicken are so savoury that it functions as a sauce of sorts.⠀

Sand ginger is actually dried & ground Kaempferia galangal, and it has a distinctly peppery flavour with only a mild note of ginger. This makes Plum Village’s (not) Salt Baked Chicken even more unique, as the sand ginger infuses the poultry with a distinct & unforgettably ambrosial flavour. It’s a simple dish, but it’s quite unbeatable especially with lots of rice on standby.