Vietnamese Grilled Chicken (Ga Nuong Recipe)

  • Preparation: 30 mins
  • Cooking: 30 mins
  • Skill level: Easy
  • Servings: 6

Description Vietnamese Grilled Chicken Recipe (Gà Nướng)

My parents had told me so many times about how good chicken was in Vietnam Food that I couldn’t wait to taste it for myself when I returned with my husband in January 2003. Our first day was in Hanoi, and after checking into the hotel, we set out into the streets looking for lunch.
At a small, arty café, we ordered gà nướng, expecting something akin to Vietnamese Garlic Oven Roasted Chicken (Ga Ro Ti). Instead, the hipster waitress returned with plates of sliced grilled chicken thigh, rice, and the ingredients - salt, white pepper, lime, chile - for mixing up a dipping sauce. We took a few bites and then practically inhaled the rest, not because we were famished but because the dish was so unbelievably good. The toothsome meat and crispy skin were wonderful dipped in the tart-andhot sauce. Nowadays, whenever I make this dish for an easy dinner, I am reminded of that memorable lunch.


  • ¼ teaspoon sugar
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1½ teaspoons black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon fish sauce
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
  • 2 tablespoons canola or other neutral oil
  • 2¾ pounds chicken thighs, deboned and well trimmed
  • Salt, Pepper, and Lime Dipping Sauce

Method Vietnamese Grilled Chicken Recipe (Gà Nướng)

1, To make the marinade, in a bowl large enough to accommodate the chicken, combine the sugar, salt, pepper, fish sauce, lime juice, and oil and mix well. Add the chicken pieces and use your fingers to massage the marinade into the flesh, distributing the seasonings as evenly as possible. When possible, peel back the skin to get some marinade between the flesh and skin. Marinate at room temperature for 30 minutes, or cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 2 hours.
2, If necessary, remove the chicken from the refrigerator 30 minutes before grilling. Prepare a medium-hot charcoal fire (you can hold your hand over the rack for only 3 to 4 seconds) or preheat a gas grill to medium (higher heat on a gas grill tends to burn the skin).
3, Place the chicken, skin side down, on the grill rack and grill, turning regularly to ensure even cooking, for about 12 minutes total, or until browned, a little singed by fire, and opaque throughout.
Transfer to a plate and let rest for about 5 minutes.
4, Slice the chicken into strips a scant ½ inch thick. Arrange on a plate and serve with the dipping sauce.

Chef's Note

For a vegetarian version, substitute 2 pounds summer squashes for the chicken. Select zucchini or crookneck squashes between 5 and 6 inches long; trim the ends and halve each squash lengthwise. Or, use pattypan squashes about 3 inches in diameter, trim them, then halve crosswise. Toss in the marinade, grill, and serve with or without the dipping sauce.
See more Traditional Vietnamese Food: Vietnamese Grilled Whole Fish (Ca Nuong Recipe)

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