Vietnamese Ginger Chicken

“Another classic kho recipe to do ahead and eat with rice. You can substitute the ginger with two stalks of finely chopped lemongrass or lime leaves,” explains food writer and photographer, Uyen Luu.

“Reduce until it is sticky and caramelised, then enjoy with steamed or sticky rice. You can also use whole drumsticks and thighs too; if you don’t want to remove the bones, just cook it for a bit longer.”

Read: Parsnip and Ginger Fishcakes

Serves: 2


  • 1.5 tablespoons vegetable oil or coconut oil
  • 2 round shallots, roughly sliced
  • 4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 3 teaspoons brown sugar
  • 400g chicken thighs, bones removed, skin on, sliced into bite-sized pieces
  • 70g ginger root, julienned
  • 150ml coconut water
  • 2-4 bird’s eye chillies, whole
  • 2 tablespoons fish sauce
  • 1 teaspoon heaped black pepper

For the garnish:

  • spring onions, sliced lengthways and soaked in cold water until curled (optional)

Heat half a tablespoon of the oil over gentle heat in a saucepan that will fit the chicken pieces snugly. Fry the shallots until golden, then add the garlic. Watch over the pan until the garlic turns golden, then remove the shallots and garlic, leaving any oil, and set aside in a small bowl.

Read: Vietnamese-inspired Bun Cha

Add the remaining oil to the same pan and increase the heat to medium. Spread the brown sugar evenly over the surface of the pan. Watch over the pan for the sugar to caramelise, resisting the urge to stir. It should take three-and-a-half to four minutes, but don’t take your eyes off it as it will burn very quickly. As soon it becomes a golden colour, watch for it to slightly darken, then immediately add the chicken pieces and let them sizzle away for a couple of minutes before turning. Add the ginger, let it sit for two minutes, then add the coconut water.

Return the fried shallots and garlic to the pan along with the bird’s eye chillies, fish sauce and black pepper. Cover and cook over low heat for 10 minutes, then remove the lid to reduce for a further 10-15 minutes. It should be reduced and quite succulent and sticky.

Read: Vietnamese Beef Noodle Soup

When ready to serve, garnish with spring onions. Serve with rice and plenty of greens.

Vietnamese: Simple Vietnamese Food To Cook At Home by Uyen Luu is published by Hardie Grant.

– With PA

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YourLifeChoices Writers
YourLifeChoices Writers
YourLifeChoices' team of writers specialise in content that helps Australian over-50s make better decisions about wealth, health, travel and life. It's all in the name. For 22 years, we've been helping older Australians live their best lives.
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