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Pheasant and Maitake Xôi Mặn

pheasant and maitake xôi mặn

This Vietnamese xôi mặn is the ultimate comfort food and is very customizable in terms of the toppings. 

I made mine with pheasant and hen of the woods mushrooms, giving it a wild spin. You could swap out the pheasant for grouse, partridge, or chicken. This dish is usually made with pork, ham, eggs, mushrooms, tofu, and/or dried shrimp. One of the main parts is floss, a dried meat product. You can buy floss in most Asian grocery stores, or you can make pheasant floss (get the recipe here), or my BBQ Pork Floss (recipe here). 

This is by no means an easy recipe. You could take most of the elements in the recipe and purchase them, making this much easier to put together, but if you’re interested in taking a day and doing it all from scratch like I did, kudos to you! 

  • Prep Time1 hr
  • Cook Time30 min
  • Total Time1 hr 30 min
  • Yield4 servings

Ingredients

For the Xôi Mặn

  • Pheasant skin and fat from breaking down bird, (optional)
  • 4 shallots, thinly sliced
  • 2 tablespoons (30ml) vegetable oil or pheasant schmaltz
  • 1 pheasant breast, boneless, skin-on
  • 3 cups (750ml) pheasant stock or water
  • 6 quail eggs
  • 1 cup (dry) sticky rice
  • 1/4lb (100g) maitake/hen of the woods mushroom
  • 2 lap cheong Chinese sausages
  • 1 teaspoon (4g) white sugar
  • 1 teaspoon (5ml) soy sauce
  • 2 scallions, sliced
  • 1 red chili, minced (optional)
  • Omelette (see below)
  • Liver sauce (see below)
  • 1 cup pheasant floss (get recipe here)

Liver Sauce

  • 1 pheasant liver (or chicken liver)
  • 1 teaspoon (5ml) vegetable oil or pheasant schmaltz
  • Pinch of salt and pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon (1.5ml) fish sauce
  • 1/4 teaspoon (0.75g) garlic powder
  • 1 tablespoon (15ml) mayonnaise

Omelette

  • 2 eggs
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon (2.5ml) fish sauce
  • 1 teaspoon (5ml) vegetable oil or pheasant schmaltz

Preparation

For the pheasant

1

If you are starting out with a whole bird, remove both breasts, leaving the skin on one of them. Remove the thighs/legs and put them aside for another use. 

Remove all of the skin and fat from the carcass (and the one breast) and chop into small pieces. 

Roast the carcass in the oven at 400°F (200°C, gas mark 6) for 20 minutes, or until golden brown, then cover it in water and simmer for several hours. Strain the broth, discard the bones, and use the liquid for this or other recipes. 

Take the skin and fat and put them into a skillet with 1/4 cup (60ml) of water over medium heat. Once the water evaporates, turn down to low. Cook for at least 1 hour, or until all of the fat renders out of the skin and you’re left with liquid fat (schmaltz) and crispy bits. Save the crispy bits as a topping for the xoi man. Use the fat for cooking instead of vegetable oil. 

Turn one of the breasts into floss, and use the other in this recipe. 

For the crispy shallots

2

Heat the 2 tbsps of schmaltz or oil over medium heat in a skillet. Add the sliced shallots. 

Cook, stirring regularly for 5 minutes, then reduce heat to low. Continue cooking for another 15 minutes or so, until the shallots are brown and crispy. 

Remove with a slotted spoon and let drain on a paper towel, then set aside.  Reserve the oil. 

For the pheasant breast

3

Bring the 3 cups of pheasant stock or water to a bare simmer. Add the pheasant breast and cook for about 15 minutes or until it reaches an internal temperature of 165°F. 

Remove from the water and set aside in the fridge. Reserve the water. 

For the quail eggs

4

Bring a small pot of water to a boil. Add the quail eggs and boil for EXACTLY 3 minutes. Remove from the hot water and immediately run them under cold running water to stop them from cooking. Peel them, sliced them in half from top to bottom, then set aside. 

For the liver sauce

5

Heat up the oil or fat in a skillet over medium high heat. Add the liver and fry for 2.5 minutes a side, or until medium doneness. 

Mince the liver with a knife, then add to a mortar and pestle or food processor (or use the knife blade to scrape it back and forth across the cutting board until it’s a paste). Add the fish sauce, garlic powder, and pound or process until smooth. Add the mayo and mix together well. Set aside in the fridge. 

For the rice

6

Cook rice as per package instructions, using the poaching liquid from the pheasant breast instead of water.

7

Heat 1 tablespoon (15ml) of the fat or oil used to cook the shallots in a skillet, over medium high heat.

Fry the maitake/hen of the woods mushroom in the oil for 5 minutes a side, then remove. 

Slice the lap cheong sausage on a bias, then add to the pan. Fry for 2 minutes, then remove.

Take the poached pheasant breast out of the fridge and slice it thinly. 

Add the mushrooms, breast, and sausage to the rice, along with the sugar and soy sauce. Stir it in. 

sticky rice with pheasant, maitake, and lap cheong

For the omelette

8

Beat the 2 eggs together with a pinch of salt and the fish sauce. 

Heat up oil (or use any leftover oil from the lap cheong) over medium heat and pour the beaten egg into the skillet. 

Once it begins to set, flip 1/3 over towards the middle, then flip again so the omelette is rectangular. 

Remove from the heat, then slice thinly into ribbons. 

Putting it together

9

Mince the chilies if using and slice the scallions. 

Spread the mixed rice evenly between 4 plates. 

Divide the toppings evenly: quail eggs, omelette, crispy shallots, crispy skin bits (if using, see step 1), pheasant floss, liver sauce, chilies, and finally scallions. 

Xoi Man

10

Serve with chili oil or hot sauce. Enjoy!

Xoi Man

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