Ga Kho (Vietnamese Caramelized Chicken)


the marinade
  • 2 tablespoons fish sauce
  • 1 tablespoons brown sugar
the meat
  • 1.5 lbs chicken drumsticks (or any other cut)
the sauce
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup fish sauce
  • 1/4 cup rice vinegar
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 2 teaspoons of chillie paste
  • 1 tablespoon ginger, minced
  • 1 shallot, minced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
last second additions
  • 2 sprigs of scallion (green onions), roughly chopped 1/2″-3/4″ long
  • 1 thai chilli (phrik chi fah), thinly sliced
  • vegetable oil for frying

  1. Marinade in about 2 tablespoons fish sauce and 1 tablespoons brown sugar for a least 1 hour. Move the chicken around every 20 minutes or so.
  2. Combine for the sauce: 1/2 cup brown sugar, 1/4 cup fish sauce, 1/4 cup rice vinegar, 1/4 cup water
  3. Then add to the sauce the chillie paste,  minced ginger,  minced shallot, and the minced garlic.
  4. Heat a pan on high heat, then add some vegetable oil. Add the chicken and keep turning it as it browns. 1-2 minutes.
  5. Turn down the heat to about medium so the chicken can cook through.
  6. Add some of the sauce, just enough to color and baste the meat as it cooks. Cook the rest of the sauce independently which gives control over the preparedness of the chicken..
  7. Remove the chicken. Add the rest of the sauce and cook on medium high heat until it just reaches desired consistency.
  8. Add the sliced chillie and scallion for the last two minutes of cooking. 
Serve with rice.