Chicken Braised in Ginger and Coconut

Gà Kho Gủ̀ng

Preparation info

  • Serves


    • Difficulty


Appears in

Little Saigon Cookbook: Vietnamese Cuisine And Culture In Southern California's Little Saigon

Little Saigon Cookbook

By Ann Le

Published 2011

  • About

On a gloomy day, coming home to this braised chicken dish is better than money in the bank. The chicken is very flavorful and moist, and it falls straight off the bone. It’s perfect with some plain steamed rice over which you’ve drizzled the caramel braising sauce.


  • 1½ to 2 pounds chicken thighs and legs, skinless
  • 3 clove garlic, finely chopped
  • ¼ cup fish sauce
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 2 scallions, sliced into rings
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons minced fresh ginger
  • ½ fresh Thai bird chile, chopped into rings
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 cups fresh coconut juice or coconut soda such as Coco Rico
  • Fresh cilantro


    1. Clean the chicken pieces and pat dry.
    2. In a small bowl, combine the garlic, fish sauce, black pepper, scallions, 1 tablespoon of the olive oil, the ginger, and chile.
    3. In a clay pot or saucepan, caramelize the sugar until brown. Add the chicken and coat with caramel.
    4. Pour the fish sauce mixture all over the chicken. Add just ½ cup of the coconut juice or soda and gently stir it in. Bring the pot to a boil and let it continue to boil for 10 to 15 minutes. Add remainder of coconut juice or soda. Lower the heat to a simmer and cover the pot.
    5. Continue simmering the chicken for 2 hours, or until liquid has reduced to half.
    6. After 2 hours, the chicken will be thoroughly cooked, and the meat will be falling off the bone. The sauce will have thickened nicely. If you prefer a more syrupy texture, you can continue cooking, but for no longer than 30 minutes. Either way, serve the chicken with hot rice. Drizzle the sauce over the rice and garnish with fresh cilantro and black pepper.