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Authentic Gà Kho Gừng Recipe

This authentic caramel chicken recipe is the Vietnamese comfort food of your dreams! Tender, flavorful chicken braised in a delicious caramel and coconut water sauce is served over a bed of steamed white rice,and topped with fresh herbs. So satisfying. I’ll also teach you my tips and tricks for getting the best results for your Gà Kho Gừng!


  • 3 lbs Bone-In Chicken I use Chicken Quarters but thighs and drumsticks would work great.


  • 3 pieces Shallots
  • 1-2 pieces Thumb-size Ginger
  • 4-5 gloves Garlic
  • 1 tbsp Onion Powder
  • 2 tbsp Sugar
  • 1/2 tsp Black Pepper
  • 1 tsp Kosher Salt
  • 1 cup Fish Sauce


  • 2 tbsp Sugar
  • 1 can Coconut Water (11 oz)


  • Green Onions
  • Cilantro


  • Marinate chicken with sugar, black pepper, salt, fish sauce and onion powder.
  • Minced shallots and garlic and add to chicken.
  • Peel ginger, grate it with cheese grater and add to chicken.
  • Take 1 thumb-size piece of ginger and cut it into matchsticks – we will cook with this ginger later.
  • Let chicken marinade for at least one hour. I prefer 3-4 hours to maximize all the flavors.
  • Time to cook! Let’s add 2 tbsp of sugar to a pot over medium heat. Let the sugar melt and become caramelized. You are looking for a deep amber color. Stir the sugar so it doesn’t burn. Make sure to keep an eye on this since it burns very easily.
  • Once sugar has its desired color, add the chicken and all of the marinade.
  • Let the chicken cook for a few minutes to take one the nice caramelized color of the sugar.
  • After a few minutes of cooking, stir the chicken so the other sides can take on the same amber color. You want to do this 2-3 times until chicken looks all around beautiful.
  • Now add the matchstick ginger pieces and let it cook with the chicken and caramelized sugar for another few minutes.
  • Now add the coconut water.
  • Put the lid on and let chicken cook for about 15 minutes.
  • Remove lid and cook for another 10 minutes. This is the time when the liquid will thicken a little and make a nice sauce.
  • After 10 minutes of cooking without the lid on, the chicken will be tender and has absorb all of the beautiful flavors. Ready to serve!