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Braised ginger chicken rice bowl.

Ga Kho Gung (Vietnamese Caramelized Ginger Chicken)

Tender chicken braised in a sweet and flavorful caramel sauce with fish sauce, ginger, coconut soda, ginger and shallots.
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 30 mins
Total Time 40 mins
Course dinner, lunch
Cuisine Asian, Vietnamese
Servings 4 people
Calories 202 kcal


  • 1 pound chicken thighs, cut into 1 inch pieces I use boneless and skinless
  • 2.5 tablespoons fish sauce
  • 1 cup Coco Rico - coconut soda or coconut water
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • ½ medium shallot, diced
  • 1 inch piece ginger, peeled and thinly sliced optional, add extra for garnish
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • ½ tablespoon oil
  • green onion, sliced optional garnish


  • In a bowl, add fish sauce, shallot, garlic and ginger to the chicken and mix well. Set aside.
  • In a medium saute pan, add the oil then sugar. Melt the sugar on medium low heat, using a wooden spoon or chopsticks to stir continuously. Caramelize the sugar until the color is a dark rich brown. Take it off the heat.
  • Add the chicken to the pan, turn the heat to high and quickly coat the chicken with the caramelized sugar evenly.
  • Once the caramel is evenly distributed onto the chicken, add the coconut soda and bring it to a boil, take down the heat to medium low on simmer. Cover with a lid.
  • Simmer for 20 minutes, then take the lid off and bring up heat to medium for 5-8 minutes, until the liquid reduces and thickens a bit.
  • Garnish with green onions and additional sliced ginger to taste.
  • Serve the chicken over a bed of rice with some sliced cucumber.


  • Caramelizing sugar takes practice, it’s very easy to burn. Make sure to take it off the heat once it reaches a dark golden color. 
  • Clumps of the caramel may form when the chicken is added, this happens when it cools down too quickly, but it will melt once the coconut soda is added.
  • If using chicken breast meat, braising should be about t 15 minutes so the chicken doesn’t dry out.
  • This dish is served with rice. It’s salty and sweet, and will need rice to soak up the delicious sauce. Add a side of cucumber for a refreshing crunch.
  • Taste the dish once it's done, if you like a sweeter taste, add more sugar or for more saltiness, add fish sauce.
  • If you have the time, marinate the chicken with the ginger, garlic, shallot and fish sauce for 30 minutes. This will give the dish a deeper flavor.


Serving: 4peopleCalories: 202kcalCarbohydrates: 14gProtein: 11gFat: 10gSaturated Fat: 2gPolyunsaturated Fat: 2gMonounsaturated Fat: 5gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 41mgSodium: 930mgPotassium: 159mgFiber: 1gSugar: 13gVitamin A: 78IUVitamin C: 2mgCalcium: 15mgIron: 1mg
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