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Vietnamese One-Pan Caramel Chicken


  • 8 bone-in, skin-on chicken thigh pieces
  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • 2 tbsp fish sauce
  • 3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 1 cup coconut water
  • ½ tsp ground black pepper
  • 1 long red chilli, finely sliced
  • roughly chopped coriander (cilantro), to serve
  • sliced cucumber, to serve
  • steamed rice, to serve
  • salt


Preparing the spices


Season the chicken pieces with salt.


Heat the oil in a large, heavy-based frying pan over medium-high heat. Add the chicken, skin-side down and sear for about 5 minutes until you get a golden colour. Then turn and sear for another 2 minutes. Transfer the chicken pieces to a large plate or tray.


Remove and discard some of the fat from the pan, being sure to leave about 2 tablespoons in the pan. Place the pan back over medium heat. Add the garlic, brown sugar and fish sauce. Cook, stirring for a minute. Then add the coconut water and black pepper. Place the chicken in the sauce skinside up. Simmer for 2 minutes. Then turn the chicken over, reduce the heat to low and simmer for 10 minutes or until the sauce has thickened. Turn the chicken again, then cover with a lid and simmer for a further 10 minutes or until the chicken is cooked through (keep an eye on the caramel sauce, if it looks too thick or starts to burn add a little more coconut water or plain water).


Transfer the chicken to a plate. Drizzle over the sauce. Sprinkle with coriander and chilli. Serve with cucumber and steamed rice.

Serve hot with rice. Enjoy!

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