A quick and easy dish, this Vietnamese Caramelised Ginger Chicken, is perfect for a midweek dinner or as part of an elaborate Oriental menu. The citrusy spice of the ginger combines with the salty fish sauce and the sweet sugar to produce a complex flavour that still manages to stay light on the tastebuds.
Now some recipes call for a whole lot of sugar to achieve that dark brown shade and some recipes call for the sugar to be cooked on its own to that caramel stage. This recipe goes for a reasonable amount of sugar without being sickly sweet and we cook the sugar with the chicken, simplifying the cooking process.
What do you eat this with? Steamed Jasmine or Basmati rice, of course! As part of a simple meal, add a salad or vegetable dish and perhaps some dipping sauce like Nam Prik Kapi of Nam Prik Noom, and you’re set for a typical South East Asian meal. Of course, it goes just as well as a side to fried rice or noodles and if you make it really dry, we’re talking finger food!
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To get the best out of your Vietnamese Caramelised Ginger Chicken
How much sauce you make with this really does depend on you. For a thick version, as is traditional, 100ml of stock will suffice, giving you a fairly dry dish. My family, however, loves sauces/gravy with what they eat, so I tend to go for a wetter end result.
Chicken on the bone is best, cut into bite size pieces, as there’s nothing like the depth of flavour the bones lend to a dish.
You can usr just plain old white sugar if that’s all you have. Palm sugar does add a deeper caramel flavour, so if you can get it easily, go for it!
- 500g chicken, in bite size pieces, on the bone
- 1-2 tbsp sesame oil or vegetable/peanut oil
- 1 medium onion, sliced
- 2"/6.5 cm ginger, julienned/sliced thinly
- 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
- 100-200ml light chicken stock
- 2 tbsp fish sauce
- 1 tsp oyster sauce
- 5cm/2"ginger, pounded/grated
- 1 tbsp sugar (made up of 2 tsp white and 1 tsp palm, or all white)
- 2 spring onion, green part, thinly sliced
- 1 red chilli, sliced
- 2.5cm/1" ginger, sliced thinly
- Marinate the chicken and leave aside for 30 minutes.
- Heat the oil in a wok or frying pan over medium heat and sauté the onions for about a minute.
- Add the ginger and garlic and continue cooking for another 2 minutes until you get a strong fragrance from the mix.
- Turn the heat up high and add the chicken, leaving whatever little marinade there is, in the bowl. Brown the chicken for about 2-3 minutes, being careful not to let the onion mix burn, so stir it a couple of times.
- Add the stock, more or less, depending on how dry you'd like it to be. Bring it to boil, then cover and simmer for about 20-30 minutes, until the chicken is cooked through.
- At this stage, the sauce would have thickened to a lovely, thick light caramel texture. Check seasoning, it should be spot on, if not adjust.
- Serve sprinkled with the spring onions, ginger & chillies. You can even add some coriander as garnish.
Prep time includes 30 minutes of marinating time.