Delicious Vietnamese Caramel Ginger Chicken Recipe

Indulge in the tantalizing flavors of Vietnamese cuisine with this delicious Ga Kho Gung recipe. Also known as Caramel Ginger Chicken, it offers a savory blend of sweet and spicy that is sure to satisfy your taste buds. The dish has a rich history in Vietnamese culture, where it is eaten both day-to-day and for special occasions.

At first glance, the recipe may seem complex, but don’t be intimidated. With just a few simple ingredients and some careful attention to detail, you’ll have an authentic dish that looks and tastes like it’s straight from the streets of Saigon.

Whether you’re looking for a refreshing change to your usual kitchen routine or keen on exploring the textured world of Vietnamese cuisine, this dish will surely delight your senses. So, grab your apron and let’s dive into the world of Ga Kho Gung!

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

Vietnamese Caramel Ginger Chicken Recipe (Ga Kho Gung)
Vietnamese Caramel Ginger Chicken Recipe (Ga Kho Gung)

If you are looking for a unique and flavorful dish to serve at your next party or gathering, then the Vietnamese Caramel Ginger Chicken Recipe (Ga Kho Gung) is an excellent choice. This dish is a popular Asian cuisine that provides an irresistible combination of sweet and savory flavors.

Firstly, this recipe delivers the perfect balance between caramel sweetness and ginger’s pungent spiciness, creating a distinct flavor profile that will excite any taste buds. The chicken absorbs these flavors, adding a warm richness to each bite.

Secondly, you’ll love how easy this recipe is to make. Once you have prepared the chicken and gathered your ingredients, simply allow it to simmer for 30-40 minutes until it is cooked through, and voila! You can even marinate the chicken in advance or prepare it as a make-ahead meal, making it an ideal choice for those who are short on time but still want that authentic homemade flavor.

Lastly, the versatility of this recipe makes it suitable for different types of gatherings or occasions. Whether you want to serve it as an entrée or as part of a buffet spread alongside other dishes, this ginger chicken ga pairs well with steamed rice or noodles.

In conclusion, the Vietnamese Caramel Ginger Chicken Recipe (Ga Kho Gung) is an exciting dish that will leave everyone wanting more. Its unique blend of flavors combined with its simplicity in preparation makes it an excellent dish to add to your repertoire.

Ingredient List

 Sweet and savory caramel ginger chicken, Vietnamese style!
Sweet and savory caramel ginger chicken, Vietnamese style!

Let’s take a look at the ingredients you’ll need for this Vietnamese caramel ginger chicken recipe. Don’t worry, most of the ingredients are pantry staples that you probably already have in your kitchen. For the caramelized ginger chicken ga kho gung recipe, you will need:


  • 3 lbs bone-in chicken legs or drumsticks or thighs, cut into small pieces (1-2 inches)


  • 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper

Vietnamese Caramel Sauce:

  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 2 tablespoons water

Gung (Vietnamese Ginger):

  • 2 shallots, chopped finely
  • 2 cloves garlic, half minced and half sliced thinly
  • 1/4 cup fresh ginger, peeled and cut into thin matchsticks
  • 1 tablespoon fish sauce
  • 1 tablespoon oyster sauce (optional)

Additional Ingredients:

  • Canola oil for frying
  • Green onions for garnish

Make sure to double-check that you have all these ingredients on hand before starting to cook!

The Recipe How-To

 This chicken dish is guaranteed to be a crowd-pleaser at any party.
This chicken dish is guaranteed to be a crowd-pleaser at any party.

Now for the fun part, preparing the dish itself! Make sure you have all of your ingredients prepped and ready to go before starting. Trust me, this will save you plenty of time and stress along the way.

Step 1: Marinate the Chicken

In a large bowl, combine 3 lbs. bone-in chicken legs, drumsticks or thighs, 2 shallots chopped finely, 2 tbsp. fish sauce, 1 tbsp. oyster sauce, 3 garlic cloves minced finely, 1 teaspoon sugar, and a pinch of salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste. Mix everything up with your hands so that chicken pieces are coated evenly, cover the bowl with plastic wrap or a lid and set it in the fridge to marinate for at least 30 minutes.

Step 2: Caramelize the Ginger

In a wok or a deep pan, heat up 1 cup granulated sugar on low heat until it melts and turns golden brown (be careful not to burn it!). You can swirl it around occasionally to distribute it evenly but don’t stir it as much, as that will cause crystals to form. Once it’s caramelized, add in 2 tbsp. minced fresh ginger and stir carefully to combine – this step might cause some splattering so be careful! The ginger will start releasing its flavor and aroma quickly. Cook for around 1 minute until fragrant.

Step 3: Add Water and Fish Sauce

Slowly pour in 1/4 cup water (it might sizzle violently), stirring constantly until the caramel has dissolved into the liquid. Then add in 3 tbsp. fish sauce while continuing to stir – this is where all of that complex umami flavor comes from!

Step 4: Add Marinated Chicken

Speaking of flavor, it’s time to add our marinated chicken into the wok/pan! Turn up the heat to medium-high and cook for around 5 minutes until everything is nicely browned on all sides.

Step 5: Simmer Until Tender

Once everything is browned up nicely, reduce the heat down to low, add in 2 cups of water (not hot) and stir gently so that the liquid covers all of the chicken pieces. Cover with a lid or piece of foil (make sure you’ve got a tight seal!) and let it gently bubble away for about an hour until everything is tender and falling apart easily.

Step 6: Finish It off with Green Onions

When your chicken is cooked through and wonderfully fragrant, garnish with sliced green onions on top before serving over steamed rice or noodles! Enjoy!

Substitutions and Variations

 Get ready to impress your guests with the perfect balance of flavors in this dish.
Get ready to impress your guests with the perfect balance of flavors in this dish.

The beauty of cooking lies in the ability to improvise and modify recipes to one’s preference. The Vietnamese Caramel Ginger Chicken recipe is no exception. Here are some substitutions and variations that can be adjusted to suit your taste or dietary needs.

If you don’t have fish sauce, substitute it with soy sauce. The resulting flavor profile may be slightly different, but soy sauce is still a great alternative since it’s also salty and savory. Vegans can opt for mushroom sauce or vegan fish sauce to keep the umami flavor intact.

For those who prefer white meat, chicken breast can be swapped in for leg meat. However, chicken thighs and drumsticks work best in this recipe since they become incredibly tender and juicy, absorbing all the delicious flavors of the marinade and caramel sauce.

If you’re looking to add some spice to this ginger chicken dish, consider adding chopped chilies or red pepper flakes during cooking. This addition pairs perfectly with the sweetness of the caramel sauce and brings a little bit of heat to balance the flavors.

Green onions can be substituted with shallots or regular onions if preferred. The onion adds a savory complexity that balances out the sweetness from the sugar and caramelized chicken.

Lastly, try experimenting with different herbs such as cilantro or Thai basil to give the dish a fresh twist. These herbs work wonderfully with Vietnamese flavors and add an aromatic element to the dish.

With these substitutions and variations, you can customize your ginger chicken ga kho gung recipe while keeping its authentic Vietnamese essence intact.

Serving and Pairing

 The caramel sauce used in this recipe adds a unique twist to your classic chicken.
The caramel sauce used in this recipe adds a unique twist to your classic chicken.

The Vietnamese Caramel Ginger Chicken recipe, or Ga Kho Gung, is a hearty and satisfying dish that is perfect for a dinner party. This flavorful and aromatic chicken pairs well with a variety of dishes and drinks.

When serving the caramel ginger chicken, it’s best to keep things simple to allow the flavors of the dish to shine. A bed of steamed rice or rice noodles would be an excellent accompaniment to the chicken, as it will help balance out the richness of the caramel sauce with a light and fluffy texture.

For an extra burst of freshness, you may also consider serving some stir-fry vegetables on the side. Sauteed bok choy or green beans pair nicely with this dish, adding a bit of crunch and color to the plate.

When it comes to drinks, consider offering refreshing beverages that will complement the rich flavors of the dish. I recommend a cold Vietnamese beer that has both lightness and bitterness, such as Saigon Special or 333 beer. For those who prefer cocktails, try pairing this dish with a Hendrick’s Gin-based drink with cucumber and elderflower tonic water for a crisp and refreshing sip.

Remember that Ga Kho Gung is a versatile recipe that fits well on any table setting from casual dinners to formal occasions. By pairing this savory city’s traditional dish with an elegant presentation or eating family-style with excitement, your guests will surely experience authentic Vietnamese cuisine like never before.

Make-Ahead, Storing and Reheating

 If you're a fan of ginger, this dish is a must-try for you!
If you’re a fan of ginger, this dish is a must-try for you!

Vietnamese Caramel Ginger Chicken (Ga Kho Gung) is a recipe that can be prepared ahead of time, making it an excellent choice for anyone planning a party. You can marinate the chicken up to 24 hours before cooking and store it in an airtight container in the fridge. This allows the flavors to blend and penetrate the meat, resulting in a more intense and flavorful dish.

You can also make the caramel sauce ahead of time and store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator. When you’re ready to cook the chicken, simply reheat the sauce on the stove over medium heat until it’s hot and bubbly. This will save you time when cooking for a crowd, as you’ll only need to worry about baking or frying the chicken.

If you have any leftover Vietnamese Caramel Ginger Chicken, store it in an airtight container in the fridge for up to three days. To reheat, place the chicken on a baking sheet and warm it up in the oven at 350°F for about 10 minutes or until heated through. Alternatively, you can reheat it on your stovetop using a non-stick skillet with a lid for about five minutes.

One important thing to keep in mind when reheating this dish is that the caramel sauce tends to thicken when refrigerated. To loosen it up, add a splash of water or chicken broth before reheating. This will help maintain its original texture and flavor.

In conclusion, Vietnamese Caramel Ginger Chicken is a delicious and versatile dish that can be made ahead of time and reheated without losing its authentic flavor. With these handy tips on storage and reheating, you can confidently make this dish anytime you’re hosting friends and family.

Tips for Perfect Results

 The chicken is cooked to absolute perfection and is melt-in-your-mouth tender.
The chicken is cooked to absolute perfection and is melt-in-your-mouth tender.

To ensure that your Vietnamese Caramel Ginger Chicken (Ga Kho Gung) Recipe turns out perfect, here are some tips to keep in mind.

Firstly, chicken leg meat is the best choice for this recipe because it has a perfect balance of flavor and texture. You can use any part of the chicken, but using chicken legs will give you a more authentic ga kho gung as the caramel sauce clings better to bone-in meat.

Secondly, make sure to pat your chicken dry with a paper towel before marinating and cooking it. This removes excess moisture and helps to achieve a better caramelization on the skin. A dry surface ensures that the seasoning penetrates better, giving you intensely flavored meat.

Thirdly, when preparing the marinade, it is important to use fish sauce as it gives the dish its signature salty-sweet flavor. However, be aware that different brands of fish sauce have varying levels of saltiness. Adjust the amount according to your preference.

Nutmeg and cinnamon can be added for richness and depth of flavor. Ensure you crush them in a mortar and pestle before adding them to the marinade or spice mix.

When cooking the chicken, use a heavy-bottomed pot or pan. This allows for even heat distribution which promotes uniform cooking results for your chicken thighs or legs. Avoid frequent stirring during cooking as this could break down meat fibers resulting in chewy chicken ga kho gung.

After adding water to the pot, do not stir for at least five minutes so that the sugar can dissolve easily in fish sauce and water mixture without forming clumps.

Finally, one essential tip when making Vietnamese Caramel Ginger Chicken is patience. For optimum results, allow it to simmer on low heat until almost all of the liquid has been reduced and a thick caramel sauce forms around each piece of chicken. The lower heat ensures that the chicken cooks evenly without charring and becomes fork-tender while allowing flavors to meld together for an unforgettable taste experience.

Follow these tips, and you will have an authentic ga kho gung with tender fall-off-the-bone meat bursting with sweet-salty flavor at your next get together with friends and family!

Bottom Line

In conclusion, I highly recommend trying out this Vietnamese Caramel Ginger Chicken (Ga Kho Gung) Recipe. Not only is it a perfect dish for any party you could throw, but it’s also an authentic and flavorful culinary experience that is sure to please everyone’s taste buds. With ingredients like ginger, fish sauce, and caramel sauce, this recipe offers a unique blend of flavors that you won’t find anywhere else.

Whether you’re a novice or an experienced cook, this recipe is easy to follow and produces consistently delicious results. And with plenty of substitutions and variations available, you can customize the recipe to your liking.

So why not impress your guests at your next party by serving them something truly unique and delicious? Give this Vietnamese Caramel Ginger Chicken Recipe a try today!

Vietnamese Caramel Ginger Chicken Recipe (Ga Kho Gung)

Vietnamese Caramel Ginger Chicken Recipe (Ga Kho Gung) Recipe

One of delicious Vietnamese Chicken Recipes in rainy day is Caramel Ginger Chicken (Ga Kho Gung). If you are like me, you have probably been seduced by popular Vietnamese foods, such as Pho and Banh Mi. The flavors, delicate in the case of the traditional noodle soup (Pho) and robust in the instance of the roasted or grilled pork sandwich (Banh Mi), are always pleasing but rather elusive. We learned that Vietnamese food is carefully balanced using five elements: salty (water), spicy (metal), bitter (fire), sour (wood), and sweet (Earth). Each element, in turn, corresponds to one of the body’s organs. This dish, with its rich caramel and ginger sauce, epitomizes the principles of Vietnamese Chicken Recipes for cooking. A simple caramel sauce (don’t be nervous – it’s just melted and cooked sugar) blends with pungent fish sauce to produce a sticky, sweet and salty coating for the chicken. As soon as you taste it, you will wonder why the only thing you topped with caramel sauce in th
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Prep Time 30 mins
Cook Time 1 hr 30 mins
Course Main Course
Cuisine Vietnamese
Calories 183.5 kcal


  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 3 tablespoons canola oil
  • 1/2 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup fresh ginger, peeled, and cut into matchsticks
  • 2 garlic cloves, sliced
  • 4 -5 chicken leg meat, cleaned
  • 2 tablespoons fish sauce
  • 1 teaspoon fish sauce
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon red chili pepper flakes
  • 3 green onions, thinly sliced


  • Process.
  • Step 1: Heat a large straight-sided skillet over medium heat and add sugar. Cook until the sugar starts to melt and turn brown, about 5 minutes. Reduce the heat to medium-low and cook, swirling the pan frequently, until the caramel is bubbling and turns reddish brown, 4 to 5 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and, very carefully, pour in water. Please be sure to turn your face aside while you do this so you do not get splattered. If the caramel hardens, set the pan over medium-high heat. Stir until the caramel dissolves, then pour it into a heatproof measuring cup or bowl.
  • Step 2: With hot water (so the leftover caramel bits do not seize up on the bottom of the pan), clean and dry the pan. Place the skillet over medium-high heat and heat canola oil in the skillet. Add onion and ginger. Cook for 1 minute. Add sliced garlic and cook for an additional minute. With a slotted spoon, remove the onion, ginger, and garlic from the oil and reserve in a bowl. Many Vietnamese Chicken recipes usually require a short time to make this process.
  • Step 3: To the skillet, add chicken thighs. Cook until the chicken no longer looks raw on the outside, about 2 minutes per side. Yes, the pan will be crowded! Add the reserved caramel sauce, fish sauce, 1/4 teaspoon salt, black pepper, and chili flakes. Mix to coat the chicken. Reduce the heat to medium and cook (the mixture will be simmering briskly) until the chicken is cooked through, turning the chicken every 2 to 3 minutes, about 20 minutes. Stir in the reserved onions, ginger, and garlic and cook for 2 to 3 additional minutes.
  • Step 4: Transfer the chicken and cooked aromatics (ginger, etc) to a serving platter. Thinly slice spring onions and use to garnish the chicken.
  • To sum up, this dish is one of best Vietnamese Chicken recipes in rainy days. With a hot bowl rice and soup, you can feel comfortable and feel warmer inside by ginger. It also help you to prevent many sick when the weather changes. Good luck to you!
  • If you wanna see more recipes of Vietnamese, feel free to follow my website at

Your Own Notes


Serving: 106gCalories: 183.5kcalCarbohydrates: 22.1gProtein: 1.3gFat: 10.7gSaturated Fat: 0.8gSodium: 944.1mgFiber: 1gSugar: 18.1g
Keyword < 4 Hours, Asian, Easy, Vietnamese, Winter
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