3:36 pm - Thursday November 15, 2018

Vietnamese Caramelized Ginger Chicken

The key ingredient to make the beautiful color of this Caramelized Ginger Chicken is Nuoc mau (Vietnamese caramel sauce). “Nuoc mau” is an essential component to many braised dishes. The direct translation is “colored water” and it adds deep color as well as a slightly sweet, deeply rich flavor to a dish. It takes only about 10 minutes to make, and remember, this step does not mean burning sugar like many people think that.

With the help of this colored water, the chicken will gain the beautiful, firm, glossing present and no one can deny this dish served over warm rice.


4 pieces of chicken, preferably thighs, cut into two-inch chunks if you wish
2 shallots or 1 small onion, diced small
4 to 6 cloves of garlic, finely minced
2-inch knob of ginger, sliced
1 tblsp Vietnamese Fish Sauce, or more according to taste
3 tsp sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp ground black pepper
1 cup water


Wash and cut the chicken. Dice the shallots or onion. Mince the garlic. Slice the ginger.

Make the Vietnamese caramel sauce by sautéing sugar, water, Vietnamese fish sauce till brown.

When finish, put the chicken pieces into the pot of caramel sauce and add 1 tblsp fish sauce, 3 tsp sugar, 1/2 tsp salt, 1 tsp ground black pepper, and 1 cup water. Add in the shallots, garlic, and ginger and mix everything up.

Cook on medium heat until the liquid starts reducing.

About 20 minutes later and the liquid is still a little loose. Taste and adjust seasonings if necessary.

And 40 minutes later, a nice thick caramel sauce has formed.

The times might vary depending on your stove. Make sure you check and add water if needed so the chicken doesn’t burn.
Serve with rice and a side of sauteed greens.

For many people, the hot taste of chilli make the dish more spicy and delicious, if you are among of them, add chilli flake to taste. The dish will be more wonderful.

Filed in: Chicken, Vietnamese Recipes

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