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Vietnamese Caramelised Chicken - Ga Ro Ti

Vietnamese Caramelised Chicken - Ga Ro Ti

4-6 Servings

0:20 Prep

0:45 Cook

Moderate - You'll be right!

This recipe was created in partnership with Aurum Poultry Co.

This Vietnamese caramelised chicken recipe (ga ro ti) is just as popular as chicken pho and ca ri ga in many Vietnamese households. It’s an effortless weeknight meal, that’s packed with flavour and can easily feed 4–6 family members in one seating. Expect slow-grown cockerel braised in coconut water to produce a delicious caramelised chicken to shake up your mid-week menu.

Ga ro ti is another dish that I would classify as a rice thief. The chicken – or in this case cockerel – takes on a mouth-watering savoury umami that demands a side of fresh steamed rice and simple crisp vegetables to balance the flavours.

Vietnamese caramelised chicken appeared regularly on our dinner rotation, as it was simple for mum to make, and cost-effective as it uses the entire chicken. I like to opt for whole slow-grown cockerel or pullet chicken for their natural firmness which bodes well with the recipe’s quick braising technique. Both retain structure better than commercial chicken but if you prefer a slightly firmer meat, go for the cockerel over the pullet chicken.

My tip to make the best braised chicken is to use every part of the cockerel. Each cut plays a part in developing the flavour and texture of the dish. The chicken breasts are naturally sweet and tender, while the neck and feet (optional of course!) add collagen and unctuousness to the caramel sauce, and the legs and thighs make up most of the meat and texture.

Finally, if you’re serving this Vietnamese-style way, don’t forget your side dishes. Luffa stir fry, beef and kohlrabi stir fry, choko stir fry are great accompaniments to this dish, and will add layers to the meal while balancing the savoury umami flavour. If you’re in a time crunch, sliced cucumber, tomatoes or lettuce will also do the trick.

If chicken is a regular feature on your home cooking menu and you’re after a traditional and authentic Vietnamese experience, grab a slow-grown cockerel and give this recipe a whirl to excite the family with the flavours of Vietnam on any given night.

Vietnamese Caramelised Chicken - Ga Ro Ti
Vietnamese Caramelised Chicken - Ga Ro Ti


Chicken marinade:

  • 1 slow-grown cockerel, chopped into small pieces

  • 2 Thai shallots, crushed

  • 4 garlic cloves, crushed

  • 1½ teaspoon Chinese five spice powder

  • 1 teaspoon anchovy salt or MSG

  • 1 teaspoon sea salt

  • 1 tablespoon honey or 1½ teaspoon sugar

  • 4 tablespoons soy sauce

  • 2 tablespoons cooking rice wine


  • 30ml neutral cooking oil

  • 1 young coconut

  • 1 cucumber, sliced

  • 1 tomato, sliced 

  • Steamed rice

  • Coriander, roughly chopped (optional)


How to marinate chicken:
1. In a large mixing bowl, add cockerel and chicken marinade ingredients, mix well and allow to sit for 30 minutes. For best results allow to marinate in the fridge overnight.
Duncan’s tip: Use cockerel as its firm texture will hold up well during the braising process.

How to make Vietnamese caramel chicken:
1. In a large casserole pot on medium heat, add oil, then chicken and saute until golden.
2. Add coconut water, bring to the boil, then simmer on low, covered for 30-40 minutes or until meat is tender.
3. Remove lid and cook for a further 10 minutes on medium or until sauce thickens, occasionally stirring.
4. Garnish with coriander and serve with freshly steamed rice.

Serving option:
1. Serve with Vietnamese pumpkin soup, zucchini stir fry, choko stir fry or freshly cut cucumber and tomatoes on the side.

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