Bac Ha Chicken Cooked in Ginger

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Bac Ha Chicken Cooked in Ginger


The making of Bac Ha Chicken Cooked in Ginger

As mentioned in another post, my son bought me a beautiful cookbook filled with the foods and stories of Vietnam.  I have been taking great pleasure in looking at the photos while reading the stories and recipes.  One thing I did notice was that none of the recipes contain any salt or pepper, all the flavors come from sauces, herbs, and chilies.  Sugar and limes are used for sweet and sour components,  Everything is so very balanced.

The cookbook, The Foods of Vietnam, is divided into regions.  When the author arrives at the region of Bac Ha, he tells a tale of the market or bazaar where everything is sold from livestock to clothing.

Of course, as in every market, there are booths with food, ready to eat.  Simmering pots of interesting smells.  One of the cooks, he tells us, is making a local specialty called Thang co.  In response to his puzzled look, she gives him a plate.  He’s intrigued.  It has, as he puts it, every texture imaginable.  Some bits are soft, some chewy, some gelatinous, crunchy and boney, all combine on the same plate.  “what is this” he asks.  She explains it is a slow cooked stew – of horse guts, horse penis, along with medicinal barks and herbs.

OK, I’m not going to go there.  But I will go to this simple and delicious recipe for Bac Ha Chicken Cooked in Ginger.  Served with some steamed jasmine rice, I think it’s a meal that the whole family will love.  I’ve modified it slightly, just cause that’s what I do, but overall it’s just chicken thighs, marinated in fish and oyster sauce with a great deal of minced ginger and garlic, that is then quickly stir-fried with some green onion and jalapeño. Nothing scary there!  Just great flavor, and a meal, on the table, in about 30 minutes.

So take a quick trip to the Bac Ha region, and enjoy this chicken cooked in ginger.

chào đón


Bac Ha Chicken Cooked in Ginger


Bac Ha Chicken Cooked in Ginger


  • 3 tablespoons fish sauce
  • 1 teaspoon oyster sauce
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes (optional)
  • 2 tablespoons minced fresh ginger
  • 2 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken thighs, cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 1 tablespoon grapeseed or other neutral oil
  • 4 green onions, white part cut into 2 inch lengths, then cut into halves, green tops thinly sliced, divided
  • 1 large jalapeño, thinly sliced (I did mine as a julienne, you could do that, or just slice it)
  • 1 cup chicken stock
  • A slurry of 1 tablespoon cornstarch mixed with 1 tablespoon chicken stock
  • 1/3 cup cilantro leaves, divided


Step 1

Mix the fish sauce, oyster sauce, and sugar together in a bowl, until the sugar is dissolved. Add the garlic and ginger, mix then add the chicken pieces. Massage the marinade into the chicken until it's well covered, then let it sit for 20 minutes.

Step 2

Heat the oil in a wok or large skillet over , heat; when hot add the marinated chicken pieces; (there should not be much liquid in the bowl; if there is, do not add the liquid, only the chicken with the ginger and garlic clinging to it); stir-fry until the chicken is cooked, about 5 minutes, add the white parts of the green onion, along with the jalapeño and stir-fry for 2 - 3 minutes. Add the chicken broth and allow to simmer, vigorously, for 5 minutes; add the slurry and let thicken. Stir in half the cilantro and green onion tops; allow to wilt. Serve topped with remaining cilantro and the sliced green onion tops.

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Recipe Comments

  1. posted by Brian on January 28, 2014

    This was delicious. Savory and loaded with garlic and ginger balanced perfectly! The Jasmine rice was the perfect neutral to the rich flavors of the chicken…serve with a sweet fruit dish…like good old fashioned fruit cocktail!

    • posted by LindySez on January 28, 2014

      So glad you liked it 🙂

  2. posted by Marvin Knight on February 3, 2014

    What was the slight modification what did you do different

    • posted by LindySez on February 3, 2014

      Hi Marvin, Well, first of all, I marinated the chicken in both the ginger (which they had sliced and I minced) and the garlic with the sauce; then sautéed them together in the oil. I used a jalapeño rather than a red Thai chili as they are easier to find, and I cooked it along with the green onion bottoms and the chicken. Also made a slurry to thicken up the sauce. Otherwise 🙂 ~ Cheers

  3. posted by Cher on February 3, 2014

    Seriously, I have to stop reading your blog at dinner time! You share the best recipes and I am not one to shy away from food! Thank you, Linda!

  4. posted by Jessica on February 4, 2014

    This looks so good! And I love that I could swap out the chicken for Tofu! I have all the ingredients but that fish sauce! Grrr. Is it possible to use soy sauce in place of the fish sauce? Or, would that totally ruin things?

    • posted by LindySez on February 4, 2014

      No please, do not substitute soy sauce for fish sauce. Totally different. Fish sauce is a unique flavor and really can’t be replicated by anything BUT fish sauce. It’s not expensive and will stay forever in your refrigerator, so buy some and then you will have it on-hand to make many delicious meals. It’s even available on Amazon so the next time you are on there, buying something else, throw some into your cart. You will thank me later. 🙂

  5. posted by Linda Omura on February 4, 2014

    Love to use these ingredients and will be trying this recipe soon!

    • posted by LindySez on February 4, 2014

      Thanks for stopping by Linda. You will love it, and it’s so easy to make!


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Nutritional Info

This information is per serving.
  • Calories
  • Fat
    9g (2g Sat, 4g Mono, 2g Poly)
  • Protein
  • Carbohydrate
  • Dietary Fiber
  • Cholesterol
  • Sodium
  • Nutritional information is provided as a guideline and may not be 100% accurate

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