Vietnamese Caramelized Ginger Chicken for the Soul

27 Mar

I’ve been a bad, bad blogger. And cook, for that matter. Work has been kicking my ass, to put it delicately.

But I’m back in the saddle. I made a few things over the past week but didn’t get to blog. So today when we got home after hitting the grocery store it was time for business.

One of Thuan’s favorite dishes is a really flavorful chicken dish simmered in a ginger caramel sauce, Gà Kho Gừng.  When his mom makes this meal it is usually served with a squash soup, like Canh Bau Tom, but I wasn’t that motivated. Instead I made a vegetable stir fry and served it with crisp, sliced cucumber.

My first attempt hit the jackpot. Compliments like “This is so good I’ll take this to lunch tomorrow” and, even better “If you put Smith & Wollensky’s and this in front of me, I’d eat this any day.” My fiancee knows how to lay it on thick.

This is UNbelievably easy, and it makes the house smell incredible.

Caramel Ginger Chicken with Cucumbers

Caramel Ginger Chicken with cucumbers

A perfect bowl.

Chicken in Ginger Caramel Sauce

Gà Kho Gừng

  • Chicken sliced in chunks – dark meat preferred, but you can use breast meat if you’d like
  • 2″ thinly sliced and smashed ginger
  • 2 tbl fish sauce
  • 3 tbl caramel sauce (good to have a jar on hand – use this guide)
  • 2 tbl water
  • 2 green onions, green parts chopped
  • Optional: 1 or 2 cloves crushed garlic, fresh cracked black pepper
Ginger and caramel sauce

Super simple sauce

Mix all of this together and put in a small sauce pan. The small saucepan threw me off, but it’s what you gotta do. Cover and bring to simmer over medium heat. Stir around a few times to mix the sauce and chicken until the chicken is cooked through. After 10-15 minutes, uncover and let cook to reduce the sauce. Slice some green onion and toss just before you serve with rice and the sliced cucumber.

Ginger caramel chicken simmering

Chicken with ginger caramel sauce

Sauce reduced and ready to serve.

The fish version of this dish is served with fresh cracked pepper instead of the green onions, which may also be good on the chicken version.

Green Bean and Mushroom Stir Fry

Green beans and Mushrooms

1 tbs each Oyster Sauce and Fish Sauce

1 tsp sugar

1 tbs water

Green beans with mushrooms in oyster and fish sauce

Saute the vegetables in 2 tbs oil for 5 minutes over medium high heat. Add the sauce and let simmer until reduced, about 7 minutes. If you don’t blanch the beans, they’ll still have a nice crunch.

And there you have it. A wholly satisfying dinner in less than 30 minutes.

Caramel Ginger Chicken, Green Bean and Mushroom Stirfry with cucumbers

4 Responses to “Vietnamese Caramelized Ginger Chicken for the Soul”

  1. Gwynne March 27, 2013 at 9:59 pm #

    Obi Wan, do you make the caramel sauce? Or do you have a recommended jar brand? Carmelizing sugar makes me very very frightened.

    • amandare March 28, 2013 at 9:56 am #

      Padawan, fear not! It’s actually really simple. The first time I tried it was a complete disaster, but then I found this really great step-by-step guide. The trick is MEDIUM LOW heat and time. The force is strong with you.

  2. Nancy March 28, 2013 at 12:38 pm #

    Wow I might try this tonite! Thanks Amanda!!!!

    • amandare March 28, 2013 at 12:46 pm #

      Nice! Let me know how it goes 🙂

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