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Caramelized Ginger Chicken

Vietnamese caramelized ginger chicken perfectly marries savory and sweet flavors. Once the liquid reduces, it bathes the chicken in a glistening amber sauce imbued with a fiery ginger flavor. The sauce will no doubt have your taste buds popping and begging for more. This dish pairs perfectly with a side of steamed white jasmine rice.
Servings 5
Cook Time 1 hr 30 mins


  • 1.5 kg whole chicken, chopped into 8 parts*
  • 10 cm ginger, peeled and julienned
  • 1 shallot, finely diced
  • 2-3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tsp salt (+/- to taste)
  • 1½ + 1 tsp sugar
  • ½ tsp ground black pepper
  • 2 tbsp nước mầu
  • ½ - 1 liter water, boiled
  • tbsp cooking oil


  • Mix salt, sugar and pepper (3 tsp salt + 1.5 tsp sugar + ½ tsp pepper) and season the chicken with the mix. Allow to marinate overnight in the fridge*. Broil chicken for 10-15 minutes, making sure that all sides of each part has nicely browned. I don’t have a broiler, so put the chicken into the oven near the heat source on high temperature for about 20 minutes, turning the chicken parts after about 10 minutes.
  • Heat cooking oil in a deep sauté pan over medium-high heat. Add shallots, garlic and ginger, stirring until fragrant. Add the chicken and about 1 tsp of sugar. Drizzle the nước màu over the chicken and stir to ensure that each chicken part is well coated. Pour enough hot water into the pan so that three-quarters of the chicken is covered. Reduce the heat to medium-low and allow to simmer. Turn the chicken occasionally to ensure that all sides cook evenly. Continue to simmer until the liquid reduces to a thick caramel sauce. Served with a side of steamed jasmine rice and sautéed greens.


*Note: The dish can also be prepared without marinating overnight if you're pressed for time and would like to make this dish now. Though I heard on a podcast that marinating does nothing for the meat, I still believe that doing so gives the meat a richer flavor.
*Save the carcass for making soups
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Vietnamese
Keyword: Caramelized, chicken, ginger