Vietnamese Caramelized Chicken (Ga Kho)


This dish is one of my favorites because I love Caramelizing. Caramelization creates a delicious sauce that is sweet, salty, savory and thick enough to nicely coat whatever you’re cooking. A lot of individuals don’t use fish sauce because they’re afraid of the smell but once they get over the smell and try it, they’re hooked. It is a vital part of this dish and you will see how delicious the outcome will be. The first time I made this for my boyfriend, even I was scared that he would think it would smell weird but instead it became one of his favorite dishes! Hope you all enjoy!

Ingredients you will need:

  • 2.5 lbs boneless skinless chicken thighs
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup fish sauce
  • 1/3 cup rice vinegar
  • 1/3 cup water
  • 4 cloves of minced garlic
  • 2 tbs minced ginger
  • 3/4 cup chopped sweet onion
  • 2 tbs fish sauce (marinade)
  • 1 tbs brown sugar (marinade)
  • 1 thai chili thinly sliced or crushed red peppers (optional)
  • 2 green onions, sliced about 1/2 inch
  • 1 tsp black pepper (marinade)
  • roasted sesame
  • Green onions
  • 2 Tbs cooking oil
  1. First thing you need to do is cut the chicken into bit size pieces and marinade it with 2 Tbs of fish sauce and 1 Tbs brown sugar for 10-30 minutes.
  2. Using a medium sized bowl, make the sauce by combining 3/4 cup brown sugar, 1/3 cup water, rice vinegar, fish sauce, ginger, onions, and garlic and mix until everything is incorporated. Set aside for later.
  3. Pour cooking oil onto a large pan and turn on high heat.
  4. Add the chicken and spread it out evenly.
  5. Allow the chicken to sear without touching it for a minute or so and then pour in about 1/4 of the sauce into the pan. The sauce will start to thicken and the chicken will brown after a few minutes. Check to see if it’s nicely caramelized, then turn the pieces of chicken over and pour in the rest of the sauce.
  6. Don’t be worried about the amount of liquid in the pan. The sauce will reduce into a nice thick consistency.
  7. Right before you turn off the heat toss in the chiles and green onions.
  8. Transfer chicken to serving platter topping it with roasted sesame and serve!

I usually serve my Ga Kho with a side of Jasmine rice and cucumbers to dip in the caramel sauce.

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