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Caramelised ginger chicken pieces frying in a pan.

Vietnamese Ginger Chicken Stir Fry - Ga Kho Gung

An impressive weeknight dinner, Vietnamese Ginger Chicken is THE stir fry to impress friends. Better than takeout, Ga Kho Gung is full of caramelised sticky chicken and sweet ginger piled on a bed of rice, ready in 30 minutes.
Course Dinner
Cuisine Vietnamese
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 4 people
Calories 309kcal
Cost $10


  • 500 g chicken thighs boneless and chopped into chunks
  • 2 shallots chopped finely, sub onion
  • 1 garlic chopped finely
  • 7 cm ginger julienned - save some strips to garnish
  • 4 cm lemongrass white section of the stalk, sliced into rings
  • 1 tsp turmeric fresh chopped finely or ground powder
  • 1 tsp chicken stock powder or vegetable stock powder
  • ¼ tsp black pepper
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 3 tbsp vegetable oil

For the caramelisation

  • 1.5 tbsp sugar 17g / 0.6 oz
  • 1.5 tsp water 5ml / 0.16 fl oz

For the braising



  • Heat the vegetable oil in a large frying over a medium high heat. Add in the shallots, garlic, ginger, lemongrass and turmeric. Stir fry for a few minutes until fragrant, then remove from the pan into a small bowl.
    2 shallots, 1 garlic, 7 cm ginger, 4 cm lemongrass, 3 tbsp vegetable oil, 1 tsp turmeric
  • Pour in the sugar and water for the caramelisation into the same frying pan over a medium heat. Note: Watch carefully, as it will bubble like crazy and start to turn golden then darker brown. Don’t let it go past this point as it will burn the sugar, giving you a bitter taste to the chicken. Place the chicken pieces in at this point and mix around to coat them in the caramelised sauce.
    1.5 tbsp sugar, 1.5 tsp water, 500 g chicken thighs
  • Once the chicken is coated and lightly browned after around 3 minutes, pour your fried aromatics, chicken stock powder, black pepper and salt over the chicken and continue to cook for a few more minutes, stirring regularly.
    1 tsp chicken stock powder, ¼ tsp black pepper, ¼ tsp salt
  • Now it’s time to braise! Pour in the water and fish sauce and bring it up to a boil over a medium high heat. Once bubbling, bring the heat down to a simmer and place a lid over the top. Braise for around 10 minutes until chicken is cooked through.
    150 ml water, 1.5 tbsp fish sauce
  • Remove the lid, and place the heat back up to medium high to allow the sauce to thicken, stirring and coating the chicken as you go. Give it another 5-10 minutes until the sauce is reduced to how you like it! Add a splash of Maggi seasoning sauce here if you want to add some extra salty magic!
    Maggi seasoning sauce
  • Serve hot with rice and garnish with optional chilli, salt & pepper and leftover ginger pieces.
    chilli, cooked rice, Salt and pepper



  • Chicken - You’ll most often find this dish made with bone-in chicken pieces, however we prefer to use boneless chicken thighs for convenience. You can also use diced chicken breast.
  • Seasonings - Salt, ground black pepper, sugar, chicken stock and fish sauce. Traditionally this recipe includes MSG but we prefer to leave it out. Feel free to add in 1 tsp if you like.
  • Aromatics - Fresh ginger, shallots, lemongrass, turmeric and garlic will give you the most beautiful zesty flavour, but you can sub with minced, jarred or powdered versions if you need.
  • Optional Garnishes - Reserve some aromatics, such as fresh ginger and chilli, or fresh spring onion or coriander to serve on top. Not 100% essential, but sure looks amazing on your finished dish!
  • Go for Quality - Use fresh aromatics if you can, the flavour will be much stronger and fresher than minced or pre-sliced store-bought ingredients.
  • Ginger - Fresh ginger is super easy to peel using a spoon rather than a knife! Watch the technique here.
  • Caramelised Sauce - Once you've stirred the sugar and water together, you can leave it to continue bubbling. It shouldn't stick if you're using a non-stick pan.
  • Protein - Swap the chicken for pork, fish or tofu. You can reduce the cooking time for fish and tofu as they won’t take quite as long to cook through. We haven’t tested these alternatives, so be sure to check as you go. 
  • Add Veggies - Fresh capsicum / bell pepper, bok choy, gai lan or spinach all pair perfectly with this dish!
  • Don't Want to Caramelise? If you're unsure about caramelising, you can swap the sugar and water for honey instead for a similar result.


Calories: 309kcal | Carbohydrates: 8g | Protein: 21g | Fat: 21g | Saturated Fat: 6g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 4g | Monounsaturated Fat: 9g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 123mg | Sodium: 895mg | Potassium: 351mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 6g | Vitamin A: 100IU | Vitamin C: 2mg | Calcium: 24mg | Iron: 1mg