Vietnamese Chicken Rice (Com Ga Hoi An)

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Com Ga Hoi An (Vietnamese Chicken Rice) is one of the signature dishes of Hoi An, a small ancient town in Central Vietnam. It features shredded chicken tossed with Vietnamese coriander, onions, and lime juice dressing. The chicken salad is then served with turmeric rice cooked directly in chicken stock. So tasty and refreshing!

a plate of Vietnamese chicken rice (com ga Hoi An0 with a bowl of soup

Hoi An, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, was once a busy port with merchants coming from all over Asia such as Japan and China. As a result, its regional cuisine blends cultural influences from Southeast and East Asia with Vietnamese taste.

One of the most famous dishes of Hoi An is chicken rice (besides mì Quảng and cao lầu), which is full of flavors and textures. A plate of Hoi An chicken rice includes juicy shredded chicken, crunchy onions, refreshing Vietnamese coriander and beautiful yellow turmeric rice. The rice is so soft and flavorful since it is cooked directly in umami chicken stock.

Ingredients

To make this delicious rice dish from scratch, you will need a whole chicken or chicken parts with bones. You will also need long grain rice (preferably Jasmine rice), onion, Vietnamese coriander (rau răm), limes, and turmeric powder.

Vietnamese coriander (also called hot mint, Vietnamese mint, laksa leaf) is an essential ingredient in this dish and it can be found at Vietnamese grocery stores. It has a bright, lemony and slightly spicy note and goes so well with chicken. If you cannot find it, you may use cilantro or Thai basil, but the dish will taste a little different.

Vietnamese coriander leaves in a bowl
Vietnamese coriander leaves

If you have time, I strongly recommend making this dish from scratch because the rice will taste the best with homemade chicken stock. Store bought stock just don’t have the same amount of flavors as well as richness from chicken fat.

Any leftover stock and meat from cooking a whole chicken can be used to make Vietnamese chicken pho noodle soup (pho ga) or bun thang Hanoi noodle soup.

How to Cook Vietnamese Chicken Rice (Com Ga Hoi An)

Making Com Ga Hoi An involves several steps but they are all easy and straightforward, especially if you have a rice cooker. The end result will be worth every effort!

Detailed measurements and instructions are in the recipe card at the end of the post. I will just discuss some important points in this section.

The first step is to cook the chicken. Once it is fully cooked, take it out, remove the meat from the bones and then add the bones back to the stock to continue extracting flavors. Don’t overcook the meat or it will not be juicy.

Once the chicken stock is ready, we will lightly sauté the rice with oil and turmeric powder. Then transfer the rice to the rice cooker and add as much chicken stock as required by your rice cooker. Hit the start button just like how you usually cook rice with your rice cooker.

Cooking turmeric rice in chicken stock for Hoi An chicken rice

I have a Zojirushi induction pressure rice cooker which cooks rice beautifully and keeps it warm with no deterioration in taste for a couple of days.

While waiting for the rice, slice the onion as thinly as you can. Then soak it in iced cold water with some lime juice added for at least 15 minutes. This helps keep the onion slices white as well as remove the raw onion taste.

The dressing is super simple, just fresh lime juice, salt, black pepper and a pinch of sugar (optional) to round out the flavors. Feel free to tweak the ratio of these ingredients to your liking. Toss shredded chicken, onion slices with the dressing and give it a few minutes to let the flavors meld.

a plate with shredded chicken, onion and Vietnamese coriander

Serving Vietnamese Chicken Rice (Com Ga Hoi An)

Once the rice is ready, add Vietnamese coriander leaves to the chicken salad and gently tossed. Adding Vietnamese coriander last to avoid bruising the leaves too much.

Stir and fluff the rice with a spatula, then place rice and chicken salad on serving plates. Now, time to enjoy the fruits of your labor :)!

Traditionally, Hoi An chicken rice also has a sauce made from sautéing chicken giblets with garlic and chicken stock. It is not easy to find chicken giblets even when buying a whole chicken in Western countries so I don’t make this sauce. Instead, I serve the chicken rice with soy sauce and a bowl of hot chicken stock as soup.

This dish is also served with julienned green papaya and carrots on the side in Hoi An. You can also serve it with pickled carrots and daikon radish if you want.

a plate of Vietnamese chicken rice

Another famous dish of Central Vietnamese cuisine is banh xeo.

Related Recipes

⭐️ I’d love to hear what you think about the dish, so please feel free to leave a comment and a rating if you have tried it. New recipes are added every week so let’s connect on FacebookYoutubePinterest and Instagram for the latest updates. You can find my collection of Vietnamese recipes here.

Com Ga Hoi An (Vietnamese Chicken Rice)

Vietnamese Chicken Rice (Com Ga Hoi An)

Com Ga Hoi An (Vietnamese Chicken Rice) is one of the signature dishes of Hoi An, a small ancient town in Central Vietnam. It features shredded chicken tossed with Vietnamese coriander, onions, and lime juice dressing. The chicken salad is then served with turmeric rice cooked directly in chicken stock. So tasty and refreshing!
Author: Sophie
5 from 5 votes
Prep: 20 minutes
Cook: 1 hour 40 minutes
Total: 2 hours
Servings: 3 people

Ingredients
 

Homemade Chicken Stock and Shredded Chicken for Hoi An Chicken Rice (with leftover)

  • 1 whole chicken (about 2.5-3 lbs)
  • 8 cups hot water
  • salt
  • 2-inch long piece of ginger, roughly peeled

To Assemble Hoi An Chicken Rice

  • 3/4 cup long grain rice
  • olive oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 1 1/4 cup homemade chicken stock
  • half a medium onion
  • 3/4 cup iced cold water
  • 4 1/2 tablespoons lime juice, divided (juice of about 2 limes)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons sugar, divided (divided)
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons salt
  • 1 3/4 cups packed shredded chicken
  • 3/4 cup lightly packed Vietnamese coriander leaves
  • freshly cracked black pepper

To serve

  • soy sauce
  • bird’s eye chili, thinly sliced (optional)
  • 3 small bowls of hot chicken stock
  • thinly sliced scallions

Instructions
 

Making Homemade Chicken Stock and Shredded Chicken

  • In a stock pot, add plenty of boiling water then add the whole chicken and a pinch of salt. Bring back to a boil and parboil for a minute. Discard the liquid and clean the pot.
  • Add the chicken back to the pot, and add ginger, a teaspoon of salt and 8-9 cups of hot water (enough to barely cover the chicken). Bring to a boil and then lower to a gentle simmer.
  • Cook for about 20 minutes or until the chicken is just cooked through. Remove the chicken from the stock and you can place it in a bowl of cold water for a couple of minutes to stop the cooking process.
  • Separate the meat from the bones. Add the bones back to the stock and continue to simmer for about 40 minutes (or longer for a stronger stock if you have time). Chill the chicken meat in the refrigerator. 

Making Turmeric Rice with Homemade Chicken Stock

  • Once the chicken stock is ready, place a pan over medium heat and add some olive oil. Add rice and sauté for about 30 seconds then add turmeric powder. Stir and sauté until rice is evenly coated with turmeric powder.
  • Transfer rice to your rice cooker pot. Add enough chicken stock you just made as indicated by the rice cooker. I need about 1 1/4 cups of chicken stock with my rice cooker. Choose the regular program you usually use to cook the rice.

Assembling Hoi An Chicken Rice

  • While the rice is cooking, slice half of an onion as thinly as you can. We need about half a cup of onion slices. Soak them in 3/4 cup of iced cold water plus 2 tablespoons of lime juice and 1 1/4 teaspoons of sugar. Soak for at least 15 minutes.
  • In a small bowl, mix together 2 1/2 tablespoons of lime juice, 1 1/4 teaspoons of salt and 1/4 teaspoon of sugar (the sugar is completely optional) to make the lime juice dressing. Tweak the ratio of ingredients to your liking.
  • Take the chicken meat out of the refrigerator and shred. We need about 1 3/4 cups of shredded chicken. Mix the shredded chicken with onion slices and lime juice dressing. Set aside to let the flavors meld.
  • When the rice is ready, add Vietnamese coriander leaves and plenty of freshly cracked black pepper to the shredded chicken and onion. Gently toss to combine.
  • Fluff the rice with a spatula then add rice to serving plates. Top rice with the chicken salad. Serve immediately with soy sauce on the side and a small bowl of hot chicken stock as soup for each person. You can add bird’s eye chili to the soy sauce and some scallions to the soup. Taste and flavor the soup with some salt or a dash of fish sauce. 

Notes

The leftover chicken stock and chicken meat can be refrigerated. You can make another meal of Hoi An Chicken Rice with it the next day or make chicken noodle soup. If you don’t want to have leftover, you can cook half a chicken.
Vietnamese coriander is an essential ingredient in this dish and it can be found at Vietnamese grocery stores. If you cannot find it, you may use cilantro or maybe Thai basil, but the dish will taste a little different.
If you don’t have time or already have shredded chicken on hand, it’s fine to use store-bought chicken stock. However, the rice would taste best with homemade chicken stock.
Traditionally, Hoi An chicken rice also has a sauce made from sautéing chicken giblets with garlic and chicken stock to drizzle on top. Not everyone likes chicken giblets. I personally don’t make it.
This dish is also served with julienned green papaya and carrots on the side in Hoi An. You can also serve it with pickled carrots and daikon radish if you want.

Nutrition

Calories: 373kcal | Carbohydrates: 50g | Protein: 26g | Fat: 6g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 61mg | Sodium: 1063mg | Potassium: 363mg | Fiber: 0g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 35IU | Vitamin C: 6.8mg | Calcium: 30mg | Iron: 1.7mg
Course: Main Dish
Cuisine: Vietnamese
Keyword: hoi an chicken rice
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13 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    We love this recipe! We’ve made it about 10 times now. Thank you so much. We lived in Hoi An 2+ years and returned to US recently and miss this dish so much. This herb is so easy to grow and resprout, so we have plenty, once I found a plant. We sous vide the chicken breasts after deboning (my husband likes gadgets) and put the rest in for broth making. The chicken is perfectly done. Looking forward to trying your other recipes. Thanks again.

    1. Hi Beth,
      Thank you so much for the feedback! I’m glad to hear you’ve made it so many times :). This herb goes well with many other Vietnamese dishes too, chicken, duck, clam, congee for example. My husband and I just had a quick stop in Hoi An last month, mostly just for the food. It was so hot and humid but worth it since we both like Hoi An food a lot.

  2. 5 stars
    I have made this recipe for our family and our Vietnamese exchange student from Hoi An. My family loved. Our exchange student approved of it. Since my wife doesn’t like coriander or cilantro I made a separate batch of chicken with Thai basil. They were both good. It did take me longer than 20 minutes to cook the chicken. I have made this dish several times. Thank you for sharing.

    1. Hi Jay,
      It’s wonderful to hear that you have made the dish several times and your family and your student loved it. Thank you so much for the comment! Yes, the cooking time may depend on the size of the chicken and the heat. I often use a pair of kitchen shears to cut in in half to reduce the cooking time a bit and more even cooking, but it’s totally optional.

  3. Hey

    Just checking that the chicken is only boiled for 20 minutes??

    Thanks in advance!

    1. Hi James,
      You will need to cook until the meat is just fully cooked. Actual cooking time depends on the size of the chicken and some other factors like your stove. For me, it usually takes only 20 minutes but it can be different for you. You can use a meat thermometer to check if it has reach 165F (test in the chicken thigh). If you don’t have a meat thermometer, you can use a fork or a chopstick to pierce into the thick part near where the thigh meets the drumstick to see if the juice runs clear. I hope this helps :).

      1. Hey

        20 mins did the trick! It was perfect, did it with cilantro so need to find the proper stuff next time round 🙂 Great recipe, better than ones I’ve tried previously Thanks

        1. Thank you so much for the feedback! Glad I was able to help. Yes, I think it is still tasty with cilantro, mint and Thai basil. I hope you can find some Vietnamese coriander and try it next time :).

  4. 5 stars
    This dish is so delicious. I was in Hoi An last year and my cousin took me to a restaurant that served this, so yummy! I’m drooling as I’m reading your post lol

    1. Thanks Trang! I just visited Hoi An two months ago and loved this dish so much. Well, I pretty much loved everything we ate in Hoi An haha.

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