Vietnamese Chicken in Caramel Sauce

Vietnamese Chicken in Caramel Sauce

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Servings 4
Author Connie Veneracion


  • 10 to 12 boneless chicken thighs skin on
  • 1 medium-sized onion or 2 shallots peeled and finely sliced
  • ½ cup patis (fish sauce)
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 stalk lemongrass
  • one-inch knob ginger
  • lots of freshly ground black pepper


  • Make the caramel sauce: Melt the sugar in a small saucepan over medium heat. Off the fire, pour in the fish sauce while stirring. Bring back to the fire, continue stirring until smooth. Add the sliced onion or shallots and lots of black pepper. Simmer for about 3 minutes.
  • Cut off the roots of the lemongrass. From the base, cut a one-inch piece (the light-colored part); discard the fibrous leaves or use for making tea. Crush the lemongrass and finely chop.
  • Peel and grate the ginger.
  • Place the chicken thighs, skin side down, on a heated non-stick frying pan that is large enough to hold all the chicken thighs in a single layer. Cook over high heat until the skin starts to render fat. Pour in the caramel sauce, add the ginger and lemongrass and simmer for about 20 minutes. Lift the chicken pieces from the fatty sauce. Slice and serve the Vietnamese chicken in caramel sauce with rice.


I used yellow ginger (turmeric), hence, the bright yellow color of the chicken meat. If the more common variety of ginger is used, the cooked dish will look even more similar to chicken teriyaki.