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Ginger Chicken (Ga Kho Gung)

Delicious Ginger Chicken -- so easy to make and so tasty!

This classic Viet dish, Ginger Chicken, strikes a wonderful balance between zesty, sweet and savory.  The ginger is mildly spicy and wonderfully fragrant.  Add in the robust marinade and you have a flavorful dish that is super easy to make.  This is one of my favorites when I need to put a meal together fast.  Add rice and some steamed vegetables and dinner is served.  Enjoy!

Watch the video below for instructions.


2-inch section fresh ginger
1 lb boneless skinless chicken thighs
1 tsp oyster sauce
2 Tbsp fish sauce
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/4 small onion, finely diced
1/2 Tbsp Caramel Sauce
1 Tbsp vegetable oil
1/2 cup water
1/4 tsp ground black pepper
1 green onion, finely chopped


Peel the ginger.  Cut ginger into thin slices and then into strips.

Cut chicken thighs into bite-sized pieces.

In a medium bowl combine chicken with oyster sauce, fish sauce, half of the minced garlic, half of the minced onions, caramel sauce and 1/4 of ginger strips.  Marinate in the refrigerator for 15-20 minutes.

Heat wok over Medium-High heat and when hot add vegetable oil.   Add the remaining onions and garlic and stir fry for 15 seconds.  Add the chicken to the wok and leave the marinade behind.  Spread the chicken in the wok in a single layer.  Cook on each side for 2 minutes.

Add the remaining marinade and water and combine with the chicken.   Cook on Low heat for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Add the remaining ginger and toss together.  Cook for another 2 minutes.  Turn off the heat.  Add the black pepper and green onions.

Yields: 4 servings

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5-Spice Beer Can Chicken (Ga Nuong Ngu Vi Huong)

Cooking a chicken on a beer can may seem gimmicky but you will be amazed at how tender and juicy the chicken comes out using this cooking method.  Every time I cook a chicken this way I am amazed with how simple the recipe is and how it never fails to wow my guests.  The rub with its abundant and varied spices adds such robust flavor to an otherwise plain chicken.  It may seem like there are too many spices in the rub but they all work together very nicely.  The brown sugar helps the chicken to get that nice golden color whether cooking on the grill or in the oven.  It really is a no fuss recipe and I hope you’ll give it a try!

Notes on the Recipe, Tips and Tricks

I use a disposable foil tray to catch the drippings.  You’ll be surprised at how much fat drips out of the chicken.  The tray catches everything and makes the clean-up super easy.

The below rub recipes makes approximately 1/4 cup of rub and it should be more than enough for a 5 pound chicken.

I am not a fan of chicken skin and will peel it off and discard it.  So that I don’t lose any of the wonderful flavors, I put the rub underneath the chicken skin.  Just gently work the rub underneath the skin with your finger.  The chicken skin is really stretchy and you can get to most areas of the chicken simply by lifting the skin and then running your index finger between the skin and meat to create pockets where you can then place the rub.

 Watch the video below for instructions.

If you enjoyed this recipe, you may also like: Asian-Style Stuffed Cornish Game Hens.


for the Rub
1/2 Tbsp 5-spice powder
1 Tbsp brown sugar
1/2 Tbsp garlic powder
1/2 Tbsp ginger powder
1/2 Tbsp onion powder
1/2 Tbsp sea salt
1/2 Tbsp paprika powder
1/2 tsp ground black pepper
1/2 tsp cayenne powder

5 lb whole chicken
1-12 oz can beer
1/4 small onion


To make the rub, add all spices into a measuring cup or bowl and mix well making sure to break-up any chunks of spice.  Alternatively, put all ingredients into a jar, seal tightly and shake the jar for 1 minute to combine the spices.

Open beer can and pour out 1/2 cup of beer into a glass.   Drink just the beer in the glass before proceeding to next step.  🙂  Use a can opener to make some additional holes on the top of the can.  Add 2 tsp of the rub into the can.  Coat the can with a thin layer of vegetable oil.  (This will make the chicken easier to remove after it’s done cooking.)

Remove giblets from inside the chicken.  Rinse the inside and outside of the chicken with cool water.  Shake off any excess water and then pat dry with paper towels.  Using kitchen shears cut off the flaps of fat at the opening of the chicken and discard.

Sprinkle spice mixture and rub it onto the chicken, coating it evenly.  Put some rub inside the chicken too.  Optionally, work the rub underneath the skin.

Hold chicken with one hand and beer can with the other.  Tilt beer can slightly and insert into the opening of the chicken.  Lower the chicken onto the beer can until it can stand on its own.  About 1 inch of the can should be visible.  Arrange the legs to help support the weight.

Place an onion wedge into the neck cavity and pull the skin around the onion to hold it in place.

Cooking in the Oven

Transfer chicken to a baking dish or sturdy disposable foil pan.

Arrange oven rack so it is at the lowest position.  Bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit until the internal temperature of the breast meat is 165 degrees.  After 1 hour, check the temperature with a meat thermometer and then keep checking every 5-6 minutes until the it reaches 165 degrees.  (A 5 lb chicken takes approximately 1 1/2 hours.)

Cooking on the Grill

Transfer chicken to a sturdy disposable foil pan.  Set the grill temperature to Medium and place the tray over indirect heat.  (If your grill has 2 heat sources, turn on the one heat source and place the chicken on the opposite side so the chicken is not directly over the flame).  Close the lid and grill until the internal temperature of the breast meat is 165 degrees.  After 1 hour, check the temperature with a meat thermometer and then keep checking every 5-6 minutes until it reaches 165 degrees.

After Chicken is Done 

Remove from the oven or grill and allow to cool for 15 minutes.  Use 2 pairs of tongs to remove the chicken from the beer can.  Clamp the chicken with one pair of tongs and use the other pair of tongs to extract the beer can.  Be careful with this step as the chicken, can and the beer inside is really hot.

Serve the chicken as a rice plate with broken rice, egg meatloaf, carrot and radish pickles, scallion oil and fish sauce dipping sauce.

Yields: 4-6 servings

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Savory and Sweet Sautéed Chicken (Ga Ro Ti)

Mouthwateringly good and very easy to make!This is my version of the classic Viet dish Ga Ro Ti using the essential Vodka 5-Spice Marinade.   There are many variations of making this scrumptious dish with some opting to bake it.   That technique is good too but I like the pan-cook method because it’s faster and I can easily thicken the marinade into a rich caramelly sauce.  We don’t waste any of this delicious sauce at my house, we mix our rice right in the pan and serve a “dirty” rice with the savory and sweet chicken.  Try it–it’s absolutely scrumptious!

Watch the video below for instructions.


1 1/2 lbs boneless skinless chicken thighs
5 garlic cloves
1 Tbsp Vodka 5-Spice Marinade
or 1 tsp 5-spice powder
3 Tbsp soy sauce or tamari
1 Tbsp sugar
1/4 tsp black pepper
1 Tbsp olive oil
1/3 cup water


Trim chicken of any excess fat and cut into large evenly sized chunks.  Add the chicken to a large bowl.

Peel garlic cloves and crush with a knife.

Add garlic, Vodka 5-spice marinade or powder, soy sauce, sugar, black pepper to chicken and combine well.

Cover with plastic wrap and marinate in refrigerator for at least 1 hour.  Overnight is best.

Heat a large pan or skillet over high heat.  Add olive oil.  Place chicken pieces into pan and cook on each side for 2 minutes.

Pour in remaining marinade, add water and cover the pan.  Turn heat to low and cook chicken for 6-8 minutes depending on thickness of chicken thighs.

Remove lid and flip all chicken pieces.  Cook for another 6-8 minutes without covering.  This allows the water to slowly evaporate.

Prick meat with knife or fork.  If the juice runs clear, the chicken is cooked.  If not, cook for a few more minutes and repeat the process.  You can add a little more water if the pan starts to get dry.

There should still be liquid in the pan for this final part of thickening the sauce.  If there’s no liquid left,  add 2 Tbsp of water and deglaze the pan.  Turn the heat to high and flip the chicken pieces in the sauce coating them well.  As the sauce starts to thicken, keep rotating the chicken in the sauce so they are evenly covered with sauce.  This process takes just 2-3 minutes.  Turn-off heat.  Serve hot!

Yields: 4 servings






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